Many parents are confident that their children will be safe in schools. They should be because ideally there should be no imminent harm in schools for their children. Unfortunately aside from the incidents of bullying in many schools nowadays, 44% of school children are experiencing sexual harassment.
It cannot be denied that sexual harassment nowadays pervade in many unexpected places – even in schools. Even with the wide discussion of this topic in mainstream media, the issue still persists almost in every corner of this society. Its widespread occurrence in schools can result to many problems simply because of the fact that schools are supposed to be their avenue for learning and development. Unfortunately, these processes of development and learning are impeded by experiencing sexual harassment.
These 87% of these kids who are experiencing sexual harassment are suffering from disturbing effects like stomachaches (could be due to stress), absenteeism, fatigue, and poor sleep. The effects can be seen through the change of social behavior and their attitude towards school. The 37% of girls being harassed are begging their parents not to go to school. The male population of children being harassed in schools seems to be more tolerant with only 25% saying they don’t want to go to school after the harassment.
There are also times that children, due to their innocence, poorly recognize that they are being taken advantage of and ignore the acts against them. This is why parents should be educating their children little by little about the topic of sexual harassment. This should be given ample attention and care since the topic may be too advanced or matured for their age.
Sexual harassment as, commonly defined, is the “unwelcome sexual attention that targets a person based on sex, is intimidating, offensive and has the ability to create a hostile” environment for a child. There are many forms of sexual harassment. The two most common school sexual harassments in school are classified in to two categories: 1) Sexual harassment by the teachers 2) Peer Sexual Harassment. These harassments may be sexual remarks about the body, lingering touches, sexual insinuations and other things.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to monitor your children. This may be an almost impossible task because there is no way that you can be updated with your children’s activity every second. However, this can be achieved with the right approach of communication with your children. There are many unreported cases of sexual harassment in schools. The most common reasons are the following: a) the victim thinks that they are at fault b) fear that they might be harmed by their harasser, and c) they think that nobody will believe them if they tell what is happening to them.
Teachers who are sexually harassing their students have greater effects to victims even though they comprise only 12 percent of total number of recorded school children sexual harassment incident. You should train your children to distinguish friendly gestures from teachers between those which are not.
As a parent you should teach your children how to defend themselves most of the time. There are chances that you will not be there to protect them from people who want to take advantage. Strong foundation at home should be your priority. There is no way better way to protect your children than prevention. That is why you have to build effective communication with your children. You’ll know if you are doing well if your child shares everything about him/her at school.
Online-distance-learning-education.com (2011) Sexual Harassment. [online] Available at: http://www.online-distance-learning-education.com/sexual-harassment2.html [Accessed: 10 Dec 2012].
Ramirez, X. (1997) National Study Reveals Striking Findings on School Sexual Harassment. [online] Available at: http://www.care2.com/causes/national-study-reveals-striking-findings-on-school-sexual-harassment.html#ixzz2EasFere9 [Accessed: 10 Dec 2012].
www.care2.com (2012) National study reveals striking findings on school sexual harassment. [online] Available at: http://www.care2.com/causes/national-study-reveals-striking-findings-on-school-sexual-harassment.html> [Accessed: 10 Dec 2012].