How to Protect Students from Sexual Harassment at School
Sexual harassment at school is an ongoing problem that can lead to anxiety, confusion, depression, and loss of self esteem. Moreover, research has shown that students who are the victims of sexual harassment are more likely to not pay attention in class, talk less during class discussions, and drop out. Because of this, our sexual harassment lawyers are here to help ensure students have a safe environment at school.
Furthermore, the federal law states that schools who receive federal funds are obligated to protect students from sexual harassment. If an educational institution does not use due diligence to ensure the safety of their students, then they will be held financially responsible for the repercussions of sexual harassment between students and/or teachers.
In order to protect students from sexual harassment at school, our sexual harassment attorneys recommend the following:
Have a Sexual Harassment Policy at School. Most educational institutions are required to have a sexual harassment policy that clearly outlines the immediate steps students need to take if they are sexually harassed in school.
Sexual harassment policies should include the following:
- Versions translated into different languages for parents who do not speak english.
- The definition of what constitutes sexual harassment, and the subsequent punishments that comes along with it.
- Emphasis on complete confidentiality for the person alleging sexual abuse throughout the course of the investigation.
- A clearly outlined complaint procedure that includes how and where to file a formal complaint, what will happen after the complaint is filed, how long the investigation will take, the potential consequences for alleged perpetrators, and how to file an appeal.
- Copies for every student, parent, and school employee explaining the school’s sexual harassment policy.
- Posters of the policy with information on who to contact for more information should be hung in classrooms, offices, cafeterias, and other places within the school.
- Contact information for sexual harassment lawyers.
Actively Respond to Sexual Harassment Complaints. While having a detailed sexual harassment policy at school, taking the appropriate action to end the harassment is just as important.
School employees should be trained to do the following:
- Thoroughly investigate all sexual harassment complaints, regardless of who filed them.
- Take immediate action based on the conclusion of the complaint in order to ensure that it does not continue to happen.
- Keep records of the complaints, along with the steps taken to investigate them.
If you would like more information on how to protect students from sexual harassment at school, or if you are a student who is the victim of sexual harassment, please contact us as soon as possible. We know that dealing with sexual harassment can be difficult, and we are here to let you know you do not have to deal with it alone.