Sexual Harassment at School FAQs

There are two types of sexual harassment cases in the schools or universities. The first type is called quid pro quo harassment. In the case of quid pro quo harassment, the teacher or anyone from the school staff requests sexual favors or sexual relationships from the student in exchange for some education decisions or a school program that may benefit the student.

The second case of sexual harassment is called a hostile environment. In such an environment the student receives persistent and intimidating offers of sexual relationships. Such acts usually hinder the student’s desire to participate in the school life or to study at all.

 Is it sexual harassment if the harassment is only verbal?

Yes, verbal harassment may also be considered sexual harassment. The harasser may tell jokes or stories that may be inappropriate and intimidating, thus creating a hostile environment.

Who are the potential harassers in a school or university context?

A teacher, a lecturer, a principal or any other member of a school or university staff may be a harasser. Other students may also be harassers; for example in the majority of cases students of higher grades tend to harass lower grade students more often. The so-called third party people may also be potential harassers.

Do only female students undergo sexual harassment?

No, both male and female students may undergo sexual harassment in a school or university environment. Even members of the same sex should be held legally responsible for sexual harassment. Thus, both male and female students are protected from sexual harassment by school’s employees, other students (including students of the same sex) and third party people under Title IX.

What should a student do if he/she thinks he/she is being harassed?

Either the student or his/her parents should report the incident as soon as possible. The parent should hire an attorney in case the school does not respond to their report.

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Armen Margarian

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