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When It Comes to Sexual Harassment, Schools Are Not Immune

Evie Blad interviewed me for this piece in EdWeek and I'm putting it here as a testament to the #MeToo movement, an initiative of over 17,700,000 women who have reported a sexual assault since 1998. Tarana Burke started it to support survivors and end sexual violence.

Participants march against sexual assault and harassment at the #MeToo March in Los Angeles earlier this month.
—Damian Dovarganes/AP



As women everywhere have been reflecting on their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault, Evie shared the intereview she did with me and showed that school administrators should have a deep understanding of the culture and climate of their buildings and the teachers and staff therein as a place where not only children are educated but that those doing the educating are safe. 

From her piece: 

"Early in Kelly Wickham Hurst’s teaching career, some of her colleagues warned her about an older male coworker. He came in early and sometimes cornered women, telling inappropriate jokes that at times led to uncomfortable physical contact he brushed off as accidental, they said.

The Springfield, Ill., middle school had a wave of young, newly hired female teachers that year, and they believed its administration didn’t take their concerns about the man seriously, Hurst said.

“I paid attention to it but I thought he’d never do this to me,” said Hurst, who retired after 23 years and founded an advocacy group called Being Black at School."

You can read the piece in its entirety here. You must be subscribed to EdWeek.

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