• Sexual harassment in middle and high schools on the rise

    Date: 12.14.11 | by Judge Tom.

    A nationwide survey of 2,000 students in May and June, 2011, produced surprising results about the frequency of sexual harassment in schools. The American Association of University Women (AAWU) conducted the poll of students in grades 7 to 12.*

    Of those surveyed, 56% of the girls and 40% of the boys said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment during the school year. The incidents included in-person comments and by means of email, texting or on a social networking site. Some of the forms of harassment included being called gay or lesbian in a negative way, being touched in a sexual manner, being shown unsolicited sexual photos, and being the subject or sexual rumors.

    Alex Castro (Flickr)

    The victims reported physical symptoms (nausea, headaches, etc.) as well as emotional distress (study habits affected and a reluctance to go to school). Only 9% of the students reported the harassment to school authorities. Many felt that it wouldn’t make any difference if they reported it while others thought it would make the situation worse. Some didn’t bother because they had concerns about the staff member’s reaction.

    When asked for suggestions about reducing sexual harassment at school, more than half of the students surveyed favored immediate punishment of the bully and methods for reporting harassment anonymously.

    Find out more about your rights at school under federal law (Title IX).

    *To read more about the AAWU and “Breaking Through Barriers for Women and Girls”, click here.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Thu, 15 Dec 2011 at 12:38

      New blog post: Sexual harassment in middle and high schools on the rise http://t.co/LuIAVBHV

    • Tulsa Divorce Lawyers
      Wed, 21 Dec 2011 at 10:18

      I can believe this. When I was in school, students were mean towards each other sure but me and my classmates did not deal with half of the harassment and bullying that students today are facing every day.

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