The Pandemic and the Rise of Sexual Harassment and Bullying in School

Recently, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, released a report that highlighted heightened risks of sexual harassment, abuse and online harassment in grades K-12 and especially with post-secondary students who are transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming. Online bullying and harassment has been rampant in recent years, but the COVID-19 global pandemic seems to sharply increase incidents. Many schools struggle with how to address the problem. Recently, a spike in racially motivated attacks and an increase in bullying and harassment against Asian-Americans has led many parents to not return their students to in-school learning. Many have also worried about an uptick in sexual abuse and harassment when students do not have private access to school teachers and counselors to voice complaints and concerns. The full impact of the pandemic on students sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination is not known, but it is known what the school’s role is in these incidents. Complying with federal and state regulations can help keep kids safer from harassment, bullying and discrimination. The number one place to start is making sure that you are proactive with harassment, misconduct, bullying and discrimination compliance training. It can reduce the likelihood of these incidents happening at your school by making every student, parent, teacher, and staff member aware of how to spot, file, and handle incidents. Proactive training also helps close vulnerable areas like one-on-one time with teachers or staff that could lead to sexual misconduct. Proper supervision will not only protect your school from lawsuits, but it will help to ensure that students are receiving the best support intellectually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

As educators, you may not always be in the position to protect your students well-being, but with proactive training you may be able to help combat some of the struggles students are facing in a post-COVID world. We’re proud to partner with schools and school districts all over the United States to help train their staff to be in compliance with the Title IX regulations -- if you’d like us to help your school please contact us.

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