Meeting for female students sheds light on school’s policies of sexual harassment


Aurora Phillips

Kennedy Brown, staff writer

Kennedy Brown, Staff Writer

At nine forty-five, on March 12th all high school girls were called to the Sun Theater to view a movie on sexual harassment. The movie included talk not just on male to female or female to male sexual harassment but harassment of the LGBTQ+ community as well. However, sexual harassment towards the trans community was not discussed. Each section of the movie had people in it sharing their own personal experiences. This included information on verbal harassment including jokes or discussing fantasies, unwanted touching, and unwanted sexual advancement such as explicit or implicit harassment. Before the movie was played, head of school Ashley Olson gave a quick brief over what they were hoping to accomplish through showing the movie.

“This video, I hope, will help you kind of understand the different types of harassment and the different ways it manifests. And the things that you can do first and foremost, making a very clear message when something is unwanted. You have to be very clear about what you are willing to accept, and be clear and say ‘No that’s not okay with me’. And everyone’s ‘No that’s not okay with me’ is different, so that’s also important to realize… Now I know we’re all females in this room, and it might be easy to think that this is a guy issue and not a girl issue, but it falls on all of us so I think it’s important that we all just listen with an open mind,” Olson said.   

I feel like the film had a lot of good points on sexual harassment that isn’t necessarily always talked about, and I thought it was helpful in the sense of letting us know our options if something were to happen to us or a friend. I don’t think the video necessarily covered enough information regarding other versions of these experiences, and it left out things such as sexual harassment that trans teens may go through. Though our school has had  many problems with sexual harassment this year, I am glad they ended the school year with an opportunity for us to ask our much needed questions after observing the film.

I feel that this was a good chance to give students information on how the school personally handles sexual harassment. There were questions regarding  how they deal with different levels of sexual harassment, whether that be student on teacher sexual harassment or teacher on student sexual harassment. However, during the discussion I was disappointed to find that our school doesn’t have a Title Nine coordinator, to train not only students, but staff and faculty on their rights and obligations under Title Nine, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This also means that we don’t have a Title Nine coordinator to receive and oversee the schools complaints on harassment, violence and the school’s response to each complaint. Instead of a Title Nine coordinator, the school leaves the decision up to the Dean of discipline, the head of school and the high school principal;  and then leaving the final say on how the school will respond is up to the high school principal.

Overall, I think the movie had a lot of helpful information that some of us already knew but some might not of, and though it was cheesy and the clothing was dated, it allowed for a bigger discussion and consideration to ensue.