Course Description

Our educational institutions are, ideally, places where faculty and students are able to work and learn in a setting that is free from intimidation and offensive, hostile behavior. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Harassment, specifically sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation, effectively prevents this type of environment. As a result, all members of the academic community have a constant and meaningful interest in eliminating all forms of harassment. Schools have a de facto obligation to provide all persons with the promise of being able to develop professionally, intellectually, personally, and socially in egalitarian and humane surroundings. Sadly, harassment in schools is more prevalent than we would like to imagine. It is estimated that 80% of middle school students have suffered from sexual harassment. A 2001 AAUW study found that 58% of 8-11th grade girls reported being sexually harassed often or occasionally. Startlingly, 39% of 8-11th grade girls reported that they were sexually harassed on a daily basis. Project PAVE (2008) in Denver, CO reports that 5 million elementary and junior high students are impacted by bullying in the U.S. With the advent of social networking sites on the internet, sexual harassment and bullying have also moved into cyberspace. An i-SAFE America survey of more than 20,700 5th to 8th graders found that 37% reported that someone had said or done mean or hateful things to them online. A study of teenagers found that 70% of those who reported being a victim of sexually harassing behavior experienced it over the internet (Kelsey, 2007). The risk that all public and private school environments face is high in terms of diminished productivity, lost time, and profound legal ramifications and financial liability for both the harasser and the administration. The increasing prevalence of all forms of harassment has generated increased awareness and involvement of courts, legislatures, society, school districts, students, parents, and staff. This increased awareness has lowered tolerance for harassment and inappropriate behavior in schools. It is essential that institutions and workplaces confront and address harassment, as it constitutes a violation of an individual?s legal rights. Harassment also threatens the physical and emotional well-being and performance of staff and interferes with the learning experience of students. This class will discuss definitions and the personal, social, and legal ramifications associated with sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation. The following sections will address what we know about these troubling areas. The final section will explore preventative strategies as well as how school staff can address these issues when they occur. A clear understanding of what constitutes harassment and the harmful effects of harassment on people and institutions is essential to providing a safe and inclusive school environment for all.
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Section Title
Harassment and Bullying
Section Schedule
Date and Time TBA
Course Fee(s)
TP0003 credit (2 units) $319.00
Available for Credit
2 units
Reading List / Textbook
Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools
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