By Carolyn Garfein
From our nation’s top college campuses to small towns in Florida, Texas, Minnesota, and, yes, Georgia, the painful stories of children and teens experiencing bullying and sexual harassment have filled the news, leaving parents, educators, and community leaders with many questions and few answers.
Last year, in an attempt to shed some light on the issue, the American Association of University Women surveyed students in grades 7–12 and published the results in a report confirming many of the headlines we’ve been reading.
“Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School” revealed that nearly half of all surveyed students reported that they had been sexually harassed during the 2010–11 school year. Of that number, an overwhelming majority, 87 percent, said that being harassed had a negative effect on them. About a third of all girls and a quarter of boys said they had witnessed sexual harassment at school.