We entrust our educational institutions with the responsibility to mold our younger generations into better people who can fend for themselves and build the world of tomorrow. Unfortunately, some bad actors in the education system take advantage of this trust and sexually harass people within the walls of our respected institutions.
Harassment at schools can be against students and teachers alike, and sadly most of it goes unreported. Most victims who don’t come forward are simply afraid or embarrassed, or they don’t want to risk exposing the situation if nothing will come of it.
If you’ve been harassed by a teacher or someone working within an educational institution, know that what you’ve been through is illegal, and you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with an experienced Kansas-based sexual harassment lawyer today to see what your options are.
Are there laws against sexual harassment?
There are laws at the federal level, state level, and even laws that specifically apply to educational institutions.
In the 60s, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed, prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace in all public and private companies with more than 15 employees. Under the Act, sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination.
Over the years, states have written their own laws as padding to the federal law prohibiting sexual harassment. Kansas has The Kansas Act Against Discrimination, which has more or less the same statutes as the federal Act, but applies to all employers with 4 or more employees, which means victims at smaller organizations are better protected.
In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed, which prohibits sexual harassment within state-funded educational institutions in a number of different ways.
What qualifies as sexual harassment?
In early 2021, a football coach from Kansas State University in Lawrence had to pay a settlement to a student intern who claimed that he was hitting on her and acting inappropriately. This incident had happened in 2013 while he was at a different university, but the story resurfaced when he allegedly failed to inform KU about it before being hired.
This incident can be categorized as “hostile work environment” sexual harassment. This is just when the perpetrator acts or behaves in a way that puts their victim in a hostile environment. It can be touching, unwanted sexual advances, rude comments, stalking, or many other things.
The other main type of sexual harassment is known as “quid pro quo” which is where someone tries to bribe someone less powerful than them with sex in exchange for some type of benefit. A professor bribing a student with an A+ on a paper in exchange for sexual favor may constitute quid pro quo harassment.
Were you harassed by your teacher?
Get in touch today with an experienced Kansas sexual harassment lawyer who can help you get the justice you deserve.