California – December 11, 2021
A recent walkout of hundreds of students at San Francisco high schools occurred in protest against officials whom they say are ignoring claims of sexual harassment and even assault. Sexual harassment in education, or workplace is nothing new, but the protections from its continued growth continue to be expanded to be more inclusive as noted in 2020 Supreme Court of the United States ruling in favor of gay, lesbian, and transgender employee rights from discrimination based on sex. An experienced California attorney can assist victims with proper reporting to the specific institution where the harassment occurred.
Many sexual harassment encounters go unreported. This includes, among other things, charges of unlawful harassment on the basis of sex, race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color, and religion. Victims of sex-based harassment often deny, or tone down an egregious situation to avoid, or ignore the negative behavior. Third parties can report actions of harassment, and in some instances this type of “third-party reporting” reduces the stigma on the first accuser, or victim of the abuse. An estimated three out of four employees who have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work do not even report it to their supervisor, or human resources department. Victims and/or witnesses to sexual harassment in San Francisco can report it. It is best to check with the institution’s policy manual to ascertain steps to follow at the specific venue where the incident occurred and speak with legal counsel.
Identify sexual harassment.
- Uninvited physical contact.
- Sexual assault.
- Displaying sexually explicit media, or objects.
- Intimidation through rude remarks that are gender-related.
- Offering promotions, special treatment, or limiting advancement and threatening termination based on requests and submission of sexual favors.
- Understated flirting, or sexually suggestive conversation.
The issue of sexual harassment and assault is not new according to the students. It was happening before the pandemic, through distance learning online and has continued as students returned to in-person learning in August. The students from many of the district’s high schools have organized using social media and online message groups to coordinate and support each other’s efforts. The walkouts have renewed a youth “me too” movement, spreading from one high school to another, offering students not only a sense of empowerment to address the ongoing crisis of sexual assault and harassment, but arguably giving teens a unifying purpose after months of isolation. Victims of sexual harassment or abuse should speak to experienced legal counsel.
Seek legal counsel.
Victims of sexual harassment have legal options against sexual harassment, and seeking legal counsel at the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternack in San Francisco is the first thing a victim, witness, or third-party should do after reporting the abuse through the proper channels.
Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak
354 Pine St, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
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