Sexual harassment at school

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Sexual harassment at school

I have been victim of sexual harassment by students at our school. We are an intentionally small boarding school for high school boys in Connecticut. The most recent, and most stunning example, occurred in March and April this year, where one student aggressively sexually harassed me, making physical advances groping, telling me he wants to have a 1 night stand with me. He has done some of this in the presence of administrators and teachers of the school who did not deal with the issue. When the student groped me 3 weeks ago, in front of other students, I first brought it to the attention of the head of staff, who convened a meeting of administrators. I do not know what the outcome was, as I was never advised. When the student acted again, I emailed the head of school, dean of students and the head of staff, and notified them all in writing. I expressed genuine concern about my safety and well-being with the student, and indicated that he has all of the ingredients for another school catastrophe in this country allegedly molestation, rape, ongoing relationship with a male uncle, social awkwardness, self-described hate, self mutilation, etc. I also emailed the head of curriculum, and told her that the student told me he wanted to take a class with me, but begged her to not assign him to my roster, on account of not wanting to alone with that student anywhere. She responded coldly and indifferently. None of the other administrators have briefed me on what was decided, if anything, thus far. While on a school field trip to Europe, the same student bit a male teacher’s ear and told him he bit it because he was horny. I feel that the school administrators are not taking aggressive or immediate action to deal with this and are not showing to me sincere concern about the issue, either. What do I do? On our teacher salary, I cannot afford legal fees.

Asked on April 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If your employment is physically located or based in the U.S., then you are covered by U.S. anti-discrimination laws. Those laws bar, among other things, the sexual harassment of or discrimiantion against employees--such as subjecting employees to unwanted advances and contact. While these laws do not directly affect the student, who is not an employee of your school, they do require employers to take reasonable steps to prevent or stop *any* sexual harassment at work of which they are made aware--so the school has an obligation to prevent this student from harassing you, once they were made aware of it.
The federal Equal Employent Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the workplace anti-discrimination laws. You should contact them about filing a complaint. Good luck.


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