An Instructional Program For Adolescent Activities

How to Recognize and Stop Sexual Harassment



Maybe this has never happened to you or to anyone you know. Or maybe it has. But the truth is--it does. Sexual harassment is unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. It's harmful and it's illegal.

Sexual touching, grabbing, pinching or intentionally brushing up against someone in a sexual way--all of these can be considered harassing behavior. Even obscene comments, looks, teasing and rumors can be forms of harassment.

The trick to knowing if these behaviors are harassment is in knowing how they are received. If the person on the receiving end doesn't like it or is disturbed by it--it's probably harassment and it's definitely wrong to continue.

If you're a student, you can be assertive and let people know if their behavior makes you uncomfortable--whether their behavior is aimed at you or at someone else.

If you're a teacher you can listen, support and advise students who are being harassed. You need to be aware of and support school sexual harassment policies and procedures and challenge any questionable behavior of your peers.

If you're a school administrator, you must establish a clear and binding sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure. Teachers, staff and students need to be trained and made aware of what sexual harassment is and how it can be prevented.

An no matter who you are, no matter what your role in school, what you say and do affects the people around you. We all have to take responsibility for how that happens and use it to create a respectful school environment.