SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
TITLE IX.COM The Internet’s Primary Clearinghouse for All Things Title IX
May 26th, 2017 by

The Internet’s Primary Clearinghouse for All Things Title IX

TITLE IX.COM

Share
OCR Releases Policy Guidance on Retaliation
Apr 24th, 2013 by

Dear Stakeholder:

Today, the Office for Civil Rights has released guidance to remind school districts, postsecondary institutions, and other Federal funding recipients of the legal prohibition against retaliation with regard to civil rights complaints and to describe OCR’s methods of enforcement. The DCL does not contain any new policy or new interpretations of law and is supported by well-established caselaw. However, OCR has never before issued any public guidance describing its enforcement of recipients’ non-retaliation obligations.  We chose to do so here because we feel that this is an important area for clear concise guidance as nearly one fifth of all complaints received by OCR raise retaliation allegations.

 

Please take a moment to read this important guidance at:

·         http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201304.html

·         http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201304.pdf

 

As always, if you have any questions, requests for technical assistance, or outreach opportunities where OCR can play a role please contact one of our regional offices.  You can always find our list of offices and the regions they support at https://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm.

 

Remember to follow the Office for Civil Rights on twitter @EDcivilrights.

 

Thank you.

 

Office for Civil Rights

 

Share
GUEST VIEWPOINT: Sexual harassment is an epidemic in the school system
Jan 1st, 2012 by

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Sexual harassment is an epidemic in the school system

By Megan Connor

Published: (Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 05:00AM) Midnight, Dec 29, 2011

Nearly everyone has had moments that completely change their lives. Mine was in sixth grade as I sat with a group of my guy friends. I always had been the tomboy who was close with the boys. During the previous summer, I had developed a womanly figure, but I never felt it was a big deal. After all, it didn’t change who I was as a person, so why did it matter?

My blissful ignorance came crashing down that day. My male friends were discussing which girls they had crushes on in our class. I listened, half-­interested — this was a common occurrence, and sometimes I would even chime in with advice: “No. Don’t use your friends to ask her out. That’s just embarrassing. Please, just do it yourself.”

But this discussion was different. It quickly turned to me.

The boys all turned on me at once, commenting on my breasts, my posterior and my hips. They all had comments: “You have the best rack in the grade.” “You have a really nice butt.”

There I sat, in utter shock and at a loss for words. What could I possibly say? My body was my own, and should not have been the topic of lunchtime discussion. Yet the boys felt completely justified in discussing my attributes. I felt helpless and as though I could do nothing to stop it.

Sexual harassment can come in many forms, ranging from hurtful comments by one’s peers to the unwanted sexual advances of a school faculty member. Sexual harassment within the educational system is wildly underreported, and most of those who commit these disgusting acts remain unpunished.

To understand the impact of sexual harassment, one must understand what actions constitute it. Sexual harassment is defined by the Merriam-­Webster dictionary as the “uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate.”

A study conducted by the American Association of University Women found that 56 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys experienced sexual coercion in the 2010-11 school year. Unfortunately, not only do students experience sexual harassment from their peers, they also are subjected to unwanted attention from those who are supposed to nurture their educational interests.

In Gebser vs. Lago Vista Independent School District, a female student was forced to have a sexual relationship with her teacher for more than a year and a half. They were caught in a compromising position, and he eventually was convicted of statutory rape and lost his teaching license.

Unfortunately, unlike this case, those who commit sexual harassment and abuse against others often are not held responsible for their actions.

The AAUW determined that only 9 percent of students targeted report their harassment to proper authorities. Often, students don’t report sexual harassment by peers because they feel that it “wasn’t that important” or “not that big of a deal.”

Sexual harassment by faculty occurs less often, but it’s estimated that nearly 500,000 students will be harassed sexually by a faculty member by the time they graduate from college. Students are left to struggle within the school system, and many feel as though what happens to them doesn’t matter.

The educational system needs to make a better effort to educate its students and faculty in how to avoid sexual force, and what the proper response is.

Sexual harassment is an epidemic in the school system. More precautions need to be taken to ensure that students feel comfortable reporting it, when it happens to them.

Middle school would have probably been an entirely different experience for me if I had felt strong enough to report the boys’ comments about my body. Schools need to make the rules against sexual harassment more clear.

In addition, school systems should make reporting occurrences of sexual harassment less threatening by having numerous discussions explaining the specifics of a proper response to such actions. School systems also need to punish those who commit these acts against others more swiftly, and with a punishment befitting their crime.

If these rules had been in place, perhaps I would have felt more comfortable reporting my incident to school authorities. Perhaps middle school would’ve been a different experience for me. Sexual harassment is an avoidable epidemic, and as a society we need to protect everyone, especially future generations, from its cruel impact.

Megan Connor grew up in Florence and is a first-year student at the University of Oregon, planning to major in journalism.

Share
SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa