Protecting The Rights Of Students Who Are Victims Of Sexual Harassment
Both federal and state law prohibit sexual harassment in school. Unfortunately, instances of sexual misconduct occur more often than parents may think. Children and teens may feel embarrassed if they experience sexual harassment and may downplay the severity of the abuse. This can lead parents to believe that their child may “only” be the victim of bullying behavior, rather than understanding that their child’s civil rights are being effectively violated.
Gregory Smith, Esq., is dedicated to protecting and asserting the legal rights of students who are victims of sexual harassment in schools. If you believe that your child has experienced sexual harassment, attorney Smith can help you explore your legal options. Call 413-822-3040 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation confidentially.
What Does Sexual Harassment In A School Setting Look Like?
Federal law broadly defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” This type of misconduct may occur during the school day, on the bus, during a school-sponsored event (including sporting events), or on a field trip. It can even take place outside of school. It may involve conduct in person, over the phone or on the internet. Sexual harassment can involve a wide range of behavior, including:
- Inappropriate or unwelcome touching
- Sexual comments or jokes
- Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures or videos
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Any other form of unwanted sexual conduct
The behavior must be “severe and pervasive” to be considered illegal. This can be a somewhat flexible definition. For example, occasional teasing or name-calling may not be severe enough to rise to the level of a civil rights violation. However, some actions, such as sexual assault, need only occur once to meet the legal requirement of sexual harassment. Ultimately, if a reasonable student would find the behavior abusive, it would be considered a violation of a student’s civil rights.
A Dedicated Advocate For All Students
Attorney Smith is dedicated to helping all students who have experienced sexual harassment in school, including transgender students and those tho identify as members of the LGBQ+ community. Mr. Smith keeps up-to-date on standard-setting cases and changes to the law in this ever-evolving area. He will fight to hold the board of education, school administrators, and other adults accountable when they fail to protect school children.
Contact A Lawyer To Discuss Your Case
If your child has complained about bullying or harassment in school, it is important to determine what your legal options are for moving forward. To schedule an initial consultation with attorney Smith, call his law office in Stamford at 413-822-3040. You may also complete the online contact form, and he will respond to your message promptly.