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ERIC Number: EJ862394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Sexual Harassment Policies in K-12 Schools: Examining Accessibility to Students and Content
Lichty, Lauren F.; Torres, Jennifer M. C.; Valenti, Maria T.; Buchanan, NiCole T.
Journal of School Health, v78 n11 p607-614 Nov 2008
Background: Peer sexual harassment is a significant social problem with consequences for both students and schools. Four out of 5 students report experiencing sexual harassment. These experiences have been linked to poor psychological health and academic withdrawal. Recognizing the seriousness of sexual harassment in schools, Supreme Court rulings have established school liability for known instances of sexual harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Federal guidelines established by the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education mandate schools to develop sexual harassment policies; however, the implementation of these guidelines has not been examined. Therefore, this study assessed the degree to which sexual harassment policies in primary and secondary schools adhered to said guidelines. Methods: This study evaluated 784 primary and secondary school sexual harassment policies across 4 states on 3 key factors: accessibility to students (ie, via the Internet), consistency with federal guidelines regarding their content and the inclusion of 10 key components, and consistency of content across educational levels. Results: Only 14% of sexual harassment policies were available online; the majority of policies incorporated only 5 of the 10 critical components, and elementary school policies contained significantly fewer components than all other educational levels. Conclusions: The Internet is an underused resource for disseminating school sexual harassment policies to students. When policies are available, they rarely incorporate the key elements specified in the federal guidelines. Particularly troubling are the inaccessibility and incompleteness of elementary school policies. Greater attention to policy accessibility and comprehensiveness is needed. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Michigan; Ohio; Wisconsin
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education Amendments 1972; Title IX Education Amendments 1972