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Sexual Harassment

 

What is Sexual Harassment?

 

Sexual Harassment is...

  • unwelcomed, unwanted sexual behavior, which interferes with your right to get an education or to participate in school activities. Flirting is different from sexual harassment because its effect is not threatening.
  • a form of gender discrimination, which is illegal.
  • a violation of your civil rights.
  • hostile or demeaning conduct targeting someone's sex, sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual) or gender identity.
  • a violation of laws that protect both male and female students and employees from harassment by members of the same or opposite sex.

Some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, could constitute sexual harassment...

Physical

  • Purposely bumping or hurting someone because of their sex, sexual orientation or gender.
  • Pulling up, snapping, pulling down or grabbing another's clothing.
  • Standing in someone's way, standing too close or staring at or stalking someone.
  • Hugging, kissing, touching, grabbing or pinching.

Verbal

  • Pestering for dates.
  • Making comments about a person's body, body parts or rating people's bodies.
  • Spreading sexual rumors.
  • Using insults ,threats, slurs or sexual jokes that target someone's sex, sexual orientation or gender.

Visual

  • Displaying pictures, posters, cartoons, drawings and computer generated images of a sexual nature.
  • Writing notes, letters or graffiti that are sexually explicit.
  • Making obscene gestures or suggestive body movements that are sexual in nature.

How can you fight sexual harassment?

  • Don't harass or encourage those who harass other students. Remember, "I was only kidding" will never be accepted as a defense to sexual harassment!
  • Give everyone respect. Be sensitive to how others perceive your actions or words.
  • If you are harassed, tell the harasser that the conduct offends you and you want it to stop, if it is safe for you to do so.
  • Don't be a social spectator. If you witness the harassment or bullying of others, you can respond by reporting the incident to your Title IX Complaint Manager or school administrator. Remember, doing nothing empowers the harasser.
  • If the harassemnt does not stop, report it. It's up to your school to investigate and take action. There are many ways to deal with sexual harassment; silence is not the answer. Ignoring it doesn't stop it!
  • If a friend or a classmate confides in you, listen with understanding and support. Encourage that person to report the harassment!

What can you do if you think you are being sexually harassed?

If you find that any of your rights are being violated, you can do something about it. It's your right!

Sexual Harassment: Myths and Realities

Myth: Sexual harassment is rare.
Fact: Sexual harassment affects four out of five male and female students at least once from Kindergarten to twelfth grade.

Myth: Most sexual harassment is really just harmless flirtation.
Fact: The difference between good-natured harmless fun and sexual harassment is how it makes the other person feel. If your conduct makes another feel uncomfortable or angry, it may be sexual harassment.

Myth: People who complain about sexual harassment are just people who can't take a joke.
Fact: Sexual harassment is never funny. Remember, it is the effect on the victim, not the intention of the offender, which defines an action as sexual harassment.

Myth: Sexual Harassment cannot be stopped. It ís just the way things are.
Fact: Your school will not tolerate sexual harassment. If you sexually harass someone, expect to pay a price.

Myth: Many students make up and report stories of sexual harassment to cause trouble for other students or teachers.
Fact: Research shows that less than one percent of all complaints are false. In fact, not only do students rarely file false reports, they tend to not file complaints even when they are justified in doing so.

Myth: If you ignore harassment, it will go away.
Fact: It will not. Research shows that harassers generally will not quit until they are confronted. Ignoring such behavior will probably be seen by them as agreement or encouragement.

Myth: The harmful effects of sexual harassment are greatly exaggerated.
Fact: In a recent nationwide poll, 70% of students in grades 8 through 11 regarded sexual harassment in their school as a serious problem.

Myth: Even if you report sexual harassment, the school probably won't do anything about it.
Fact: If your school finds out that there has been sexual harassment, it has a legal obligation to stop it and make sure that it does not happen again.

Complaint Process

  • Take your verbal or written Title IX complaint to the school administrator or Title IX to your Title IX Complaint Manager within six months from the date the incident occurred. You have the right to a timely and informal resolution at the school site.


  • If you are not satisfied with the school site resolution, you can file a written complaint appeal directly with the Local District's Title IX Designee within 15 days of receiving the school site decision. This will begin the formal investigation process which must be completed within 60 days.


  • If you are not satisfied with the Local District's response, you may appeal their decision by writing or calling the Title IX Coordinator in the District's Educational Equity Compliance Office or by writing to the California Department of Education Office of Equal Opportunity.

Where Can I Obtain Further Information or Assistance?

  • At Your School:
    Ask to speak to the school's Title IX Complaint Manager.


  • At Your Local District site:

  • Ask to speak to the Local District's Title IX Designee.

  • At the District's Central Office:

Call or write to Sue Spears,
Director and District Title IX
Coordinator
Educational Equity Compliance
333 South Beaudry Avenue
20th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90017
telephone: (213) 241-7682
fax: (213) 241-3312

Office for Civil Rights
National Women's Law Center

PDF Downloads


Sexual Harassment Brochure - English / Spanish
Bust The Bullies
- (Power Point Presentation)
Students, Don't Let Others
Bully or Harass You! (
brochure
for primary grades) - English / Spanish
Sexual Harassment Policy - Bulletin No. BUL-3349.0

 

 


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