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How Should I Deal with Sexual Harassment in School?

By L. Dunne
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, words or a hostile environment. When dealing with sexual harassment in school, it is important to know how to respond. First, you must understand that this is not your fault. Speak to someone right away, such as a friend, parent, counselor, teacher, or anyone that you feel comfortable talking to. Once you have confided in someone, the two of you can speak to an adult who can help and get in touch with authorities and a lawyer.

Many victims feel that sexual harassment in school is their fault. Initially cooperating does not make the harassment or environment you have been placed in your fault. Do not be ashamed because you are a victim. Remember that sexual harassment can happen to anyone, but it is still inappropriate, even if you trusted your harasser at one time. In the meantime, do not become aggressive with your harasser, but firmly ward off advances. Try to avoid your harasser as much as possible.

If you feel something is not right, it most likely is not. Find a friend, coach, counselor or anyone you feel that you can confide in and discuss your situation. Let them know your feelings, and ask for their help in speaking with someone who can help you. Having an outside opinion can often help you to come to a realization of the seriousness of the events that have occurred.

School administration and officials have a legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment in school. Inappropriate teacher, coach or other adult or student conduct needs to be reported to a parent or adult at the school who can take the necessary actions to remove your harasser from the environment. You will need to make a list of all the instances of the sexual harassment. An adult can take this information to the authorities and begin the appropriate legal steps.

You may need to speak with police and the local prosecuting attorney regarding your experiences of sexual harassment in school. Make sure you have your parents with you while speaking to them. Your parents may also want to get in touch with their own attorney to file a civil lawsuit against your harasser, depending on the facts of your case. Make sure to express any feelings of discomfort to your parents during the investigation and trial.

Throughout all of the above, you may want to consider speaking with a counselor or a therapist about your experience of sexual harassment in school. Speaking with someone can help you come to terms with what has happened. There is no time limit for when you can or should speak to a therapist or counselor to get help.

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