District Administration March 2018 - 16

BeyondtheNews

BULLYING

In Oakland USD, girls who were chronically absent and suspended frequently
told researchers in a 2015 study that sexual assault and harassment were among
the biggest barriers for them at school.
Every Friday, for example, boys in
fourth and fifth grade and in middle
school would make a game of slapping girls' butts. But those students
rarely faced repercussions, says Emma
Mayerson, the executive director and
founder of Alliance for Girls, a national
nonprofit that conducted the research in
partnership with the district.
"The seeds of these issues are planted
early in our children's lives, as early as
elementary school," she says. "We have
to look there if we're going to change
the tide of sexual harassment and assault
in our country."
Spreading the word
To raise awareness about sexual assault
and harassment, a new organization
called Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
has launched the #MeTooK12 hashtag.
The goal is to bring attention to the
problem in the same way the Me Too
movement has exposed sexual misconduct in the professional and political

GETTYIMAGES.COM: JAOUAD.K

#MeTooK12 hashtag combats
sexual harassment in schools

realms, says Joel Levin, the nonprofit's
co-founder and director of programs.
"It's very pervasive-more pervasive
than people realize," says Levin, referring to sexual harassment in schools.
Young women now use the
#MeTooK12 hashtag to tell stories about
sexual misconduct and describe school
environments that marginalize women.
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools also
offers resources on its website
(stopsexualassaultinschools.org) that can
help schools combat the problem, particularly when it comes to hiring a Title
IX coordinator to investigate reports of
gender discrimination.
"When a female reports being sexually harassed or groped, and she hears,
'It's just boys being boys' or 'The boy is
doing that because he like you,' the mes-

WAIT, WHAT?
Denver Public Schools now posts how-to cooking videos on its
Facebook page to show parents what goes into district meals that
are made from scratch. Tagged with #DPSDelicious, the videos detail
the ingredients and techniques involved in preparing student-friendly
dishes, such as chicken gumbo. The goal of the videos is to show
parents that the district is creating healthy, fresh meals for students.
To see one of the district's videos, visit DAmag.me/dps
Source: Chalkbeat

16 March 2018

sage the female student is getting is this
is normal male behavior," Levin says.
"When the female student grows up and
goes into the workforce, she assumes
sexual harassment is normal."
Developing supports
In Oakland USD, Alliance for Girls
recruited students and community
experts to assist the district in crafting a
new sexual harassment policy. Administrators must now investigate each individual report of sexual harassment and
also determine whether the incident is
part of a more widespread problem.
Students now have a greater voice in
how their complaints are resolved and in
deciding how schools can be made safer
for girls. The Alliance also offers a toolkit that guides educators and communities in creating respectful environments.
Valerie Sedivy, a senior manager at
the Healthy Teen Network, says that
in many of the districts she works with,
administrators feel ill-equipped to deal
with the wider issue of sexual misconduct. Organizations such as Sedivy's
offer PD to help teachers integrate into
instruction topics such as healthy relationships, sexual harassment and consent. Schools can also use anti-bullying
programs to emphasize the danger of
sexual harassment, she says.
"Sexual harassment is a type of
bullying that hasn't been given proper
attention up to this point," Sedivy says.
-Matt Zalaznick
District Administration


http://www.GETTYIMAGES.COM http://www.stopsexualassaultinschools.org http://www.DAmag.me/dps

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

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