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Department of Education Spells Out Sexual Harassment Guidelines

The Department of Education has released guidelines to all schools and colleges on what constitutes sexual harassment. The department called on school officials to use “judgment and common sense” when fighting harassment. The guidelines say that, “In order to give rise to a complaint, sexual harassment must be sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it adversely affects a student’s education or creates a hostile or abusive educational environment.” The guidelines give some examples of what does and does not constitute harassment. For example, a basketball coach hugging a player after a good game does not constitute harassment, but persistent and inappropriate hugging does. Students who tell homosexual students they are not welcome at a lunch table does not constitute harassment, but male students who target lesbian students for sexual advances are harassing the students.

Sources:

The L.A. Times - March 14, 1997

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