For the complete Guide from AAUW http://www.aauw.org/7000/ef/harass/pdf/completeguide.pdf
Introduction for Schools
Educators wrestle every day with the challenge of helping students feel safe in U.S. schools. Violence like the Columbine shootings is only one of the many school safety issues facing students, educators, parents, and policy-makers.
The reality is that school violence takes many forms. An often overlooked aspect of school safety that continues to be a serious problem in the nation's schools is sexual harassment.
As recently as 2001, 80 percent of students participating in a national survey commissioned by the AAUW Educational Foundation said they experienced sexual harassment at school. The impact of this reality is particularly troubling: As a result, 16 percent of students said they avoided school or cut classes; 20 percent found it hard to pay attention; and 24 percent of students reported that they talked less in class.
Over the past years, schools and organizations have conducted significant work on this issue, yet sexual harassment persists in our schools. In response, the AAUW Educational Foundation task force on sexual harassment developed this guide.
Efforts to Prevent Sexual Harassment
These are just a few examples of the work
schools and organizations have done to address this serious problem.
Despite these important efforts, sexual harassment remains a serious problem in our schools.
Policies Aren't Enough
The findings in AAUW's 1993 and 2001 studies were disturbing. In 2001, as in 1993, four out of five students—both boys and girls—said they had experienced sexual harassment at some point during their school lives, with one-third reporting they experienced it often. The remarkable difference between the two surveys was that in 1993, only 26 percent of students reported being aware that their school had a sexual harassment policy; in 2001, that percentage jumped to 69 percent.
Obviously, there is a troubling paradox at play. If so many more students are aware of anti-harassment policies, and if so much work has been done to prevent sexual harassment in schools, why are the same numbers of students being harassed?
Schools Still Need Help Preventing Harassment
As a follow-up to the Hostile Hallways survey, AAUW convened a national task force of educators, researchers, and experts on the issue of school-based sexual harassment. The challenge posed to the task force was to develop a user-friendly resource guide to help schools, school districts, parents, and students:
This resource guide is the culmination of the task force's work and reflects dozens of collective years of work that task force members have conducted on this subject. The task force hopes this informative, concise, and action-oriented resource guide will contribute to the positive transformation of the nation's schools from hostile to harassment-free hallways.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable. It is unacceptable in the workplace, and it is unacceptable in school. Students should not fear for their lives or safety on school grounds, just as they should not fear being bullied or harassed. Schools need to be safe zones where all students are given every opportunity to learn and to thrive. It is clear that students cannot learn when they are scared. And it is clear that too many students are, in fact, scared on school grounds. Every day, kids are sexually harassed in our nation's schools. We hope you will use this guide to change this reality.
Time for Action
The research tells us that efforts to prevent harassment must start at the earliest ages and continue throughout the time children are in school. Ongoing anti-harassment programs will give children the courage to speak up for themselves and the knowledge to recognize behavior that is unacceptable. In that same light, training opportunities for parents and school staff must also occur regularly. The more knowledge adults have on the issue of sexual harassment, the better they will be prepared to prevent it from occurring.
Policies alone are not enough. Everyone involved in educating and caring for children must step up to the challenge of making our schools safe places for students. Now is the time for action.
Commissioned by the AAUW Educational Foundation Sexual Harassment Task Force
AAUW Educational Foundation Sexual Harassment Task Force Members
Julie Arrighetti, Information Specialist, National School Boards Association (VA)
Gaye Barker, Senior Professional Associate, Human and Civil Rights, National Education Association (DC)
Andrea Bell, Associate Legal Counsel, National Association of Secondary School Principals (VA)
M.K. Cullen, Policy Director, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (DC)
Jackie DeFazio, High School Principal (Retired), Past AAUW National President (WA)
Nancy Gruver, Founder and Publisher, New Moon Publishing (MN)
Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, Director of Student Activities, Representing National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, University of Maryland (MD)
Marta Larson, Field Service Specialist, Programs for Educational Opportunity, School of Education, University of Michigan (MI)
Melissa Pelayo, Student Member, New Moon Publishing Editorial Board (MN)
Jocelyn Samuels, Vice President for Educational Programs, National Women's Law Center (DC)
Nan Stein, Senior Researcher, Wellesley Center for Research on Women (MA)
Ruthie Young, Student Member, New Moon Publishing Editorial Board (MN)
Pat Donohue, Counselor, Glenbard East High
The AAUW Educational Foundation provides funds to advance education, research, and self-development for women and to foster equity and positive societal change. In principle and in practice, the AAUW Educational Foundation values and supports diversity. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or