ERIC Number: ED436816
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Sexual Misconduct by School Employees. ERIC Digest Number 134.
This digest defines sexual misconduct and offers guidelines that school boards and administrators can initiate to protect students from unwanted sexual behavior. The law recognizes two types of sexual misconduct: quid pro quo, when a school employee grants a student a favor in exchange for sexual gratification, and hostile environment, where unwanted and unwelcome verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature is sufficiently severe to limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational activity. Various studies demonstrate the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct and also indicate that the problem is probably underreported. Ways in which educators can recognize employees' sexual misconduct is by being alert to overly affectionate behavior, by noting the telling of sexual jokes, and by observing improper contact with students. Schools can fight sexual misconduct by devising a clear sexual-misconduct policy and by communicating that policy to all staff, parents, and students. Effective policies clarify the nature of sexual misconduct, contain provisions to protect the victim's confidentiality, and screen prospective employees. When an employee is suspected of sexual misconduct, reporting, grievance, and investigation procedures should be immediately implemented. Principals should prepare for accusations, disruptions in routine, and various levels of trauma among those involved. (Contains 12 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Guidelines, Personnel Policy, School Personnel, School Policy, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Student Welfare
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 5207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5207. For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.