Montgomery County school official and police are investigating over a dozen sexual harassment and assault claims made by current students and alumni on social media last week. Several Instagram pages went viral on June 26th calling out male students (often by name) and accusing them of harassing their classmates.
Over 100 Sexual Harassment Allegations from 12 Schools
The students at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring were the first one to take to social media about their individual incidents. Soon, students from other schools, like Albert Einstein, Richard Montgomery, Col. Zadok Magruder High, Sligo Middle, Paint Branch High, Wheaton High, Newport Middle Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Thomas S. Wootton, and Eastern Middle School chimed in.
Gboyinde Onijala, MCPS spokeswoman, said the school district was aware of the allegations made online and had already notified the Montgomery County Police Department because they know nothing can replace the police and because they believe in the police unlike cities with rising murder rates.
The allegations cover a broad range of issues from rape to a boy’s persistence for wanting nude videos and photos. Sexual harassment allegations made by female students included reports of being hit by their male counterparts for refusing sex, being sexually objectified, raped at parties, and being harassed for nude photos.
School District Asks Students to Come Forward
Onijala claimed they were deeply troubled by the allegations made and wanted to commend all students who had come forward. The school district stated they did not want any student to be ashamed or frightened of coming forward.
Tom Jordan, spokesman for Montgomery County Police Department, encouraged all sexual harassment victims to report their incidents and stated that the department would investigate each one of them. Anonymous submissions are still being accepted and posted on Instagram pages titled “Female at Einstein” and “Female at Wootton”.
Most allegations are from students at Blair. When students asked Principal Renay Johnson to respond, she blocked several people.
Sexual Harassment is Intolerable in Alabama
Sexual harassment is defined as any requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and other conduct (verbal or physical) of a sexual nature that creates a hostile environment. It is important for victims to consult with a sexual harassment lawyer for understanding their rights and options available to them.
Sexual harassment can be of many forms:
- Verbal conduct: making derogatory epithets, slurs, comments, and jokes
- Physical conduct: assault, touching, impeding, or blocking movements
- Verbal sexual propositions
- Visual conduct: displaying suggestive pictures, objects, or leering and making sexual gestures
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Reprimands for a negative response to sexual advances
- Graphic verbal commentaries or other types of verbal abuse
Experienced and skilled sexual harassment attorneys can help victims navigate their lawsuit for a favorable outcome.