Tackling sexual harassment at school: Key resources for educators

Resources The Talk

“You’re so gay.”
“I hit that.”

As an educator, how do you respond when a student uses sexually demeaning language or sexually harasses another student? Do you feel prepared to address it in the moment? Or do you have concerns or fears about how to respond?

Do teachers at your school know how to respond to instances of sexual cyberbullying or online sexual harassment?

And when it comes to sexual consent, does your school check in with students about whether they understand the meaning and importance of consent?

Many teachers—like most adults—struggle with these difficult conversations with young people. But it’s critical that all adults—including educators, and especially now—model respectful relationships for young people, proactively talk about healthy relationships, and address disrespectful and harassing behavior when they see it.

As part of Making Caring Common’s report, The Talk: How Adults Can Promote Young People’s Healthy Relationships and Prevent Misogyny and Sexual Harassment, we developed two key resources for educators that we hope will be useful to you in your classroom and at your school:

  1. Scenarios for Educators include examples of misogynistic, objectifying, insensitive, or disrespectful comments based on real-life student conversations and interactions plus pointers for addressing them in the moment. By thinking through and practicing your responses in advance, you can be prepared the next time you hear these comments in your schools. Download the PDF →
  2. Audit for Educators is a tool for educators to reflect on the policies and practices of their school related to misogyny, sexual harassment and assault, and healthy romantic relationships. It is intended to help you answer these questions: Are we doing what is needed to prevent harassment and promote healthy relationships? Do young people feel like they have an adult at the school they can talk to about these issues? What more could we do? Download the PDF →

We encourage you to practice the scenarios and complete the audit. Please also check out additional Making Caring Common resources for educators to develop students’ care and respect for others:

See also: Blog Entry