What can I do if I am sexually harassed at school?

What can I do if I am sexually harassed at school?

Sexual harassment is a serious issue. Many students who have been sexually harassed report a drop in their grades, and some students have had to transfer to a different school, drop classes, or leave school altogether. If you think you are being sexually harassed, it is important to tell someone who can help you stop it. Here are some things you and/or your parents can do:

Don’t blame yourself. The person who is harassing you is the one doing something wrong and you haven’t done anything to cause the harassment, even if you flirted with this person or liked him/her.

Say “No” Clearly. Tell the person who is harassing you that his/her behavior offends you. They may not realize how hurtful their behavior is and may need a clear message from you to stop. If the harassment does not end, promptly write a letter asking the harasser to stop. Keep a copy of the letter.

Write down what happened. When someone harasses you or makes you feel uncomfortable, write it down in a notebook. Write down what happened, the date it happened, where it happened, and who else may have seen or heard the harassment. Save any notes, e-mails, text messages, or pictures the harasser sent or posted about you.

Report the Harassment. It is very important that you tell your parents or another adult, like a teacher or guidance counselor, about the harassment. If you want the school to do something about the harassment, you must tell a school official, such as the principal, that you are being sexually harassed. If you do not feel comfortable telling the school official yourself, get the help of your parents, a teacher, guidance counselor or another adult to go with you.

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