Student-Generated Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools

Student-Generated Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools

Student-Generated Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools

Student-Generated Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools

Synopsis

Wetzel and Brown present information on the extent of student-to-student sexual harassment and its impact on the educational and psychological well-being of adolescent boys and girls. They also present a template and strategies for developing an effective school district sexual harassment policy and practical applications and strategies to sensitize and educate students, parents, and school personnel.

Excerpt

The most important responsibility of every school administrator is to provide for the safety of students. This task is carried out effectively through a variety of supervision schemes that seek to oversee students' activities throughout the day. The goal of supervision is to assure that students will be free from outside interference while in school and will be free from physical confrontation on school grounds. Principals and other school officials, such as lead teachers and counselors, typically do a very good job of supervision.

During the years I served as a secondary principal and later as a superintendent, I became aware of the fact that there may be other things happening in relationships between and among students that are less than obvious to the casual observer. In fact, these things may not lend themselves to the kind of supervision provided in a typical school today. It should not surprise any educator to know that the teenagers over whose activities we preside daily are more interested in their peer relationships than they are in academic lessons. We only have to reflect on our own days as students in high school to remember that the clearest memories are the good and bad events that involved relationships with our peers.

Students are sometimes insensitive, even cruel, to one another. Too often this insensitivity takes the form of ridicule and can be . . .

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