Of Note: Ready or Not

Submitted By:
Jessica Flaxman, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

“When Students Say #MeToo, Schools May Be Unprepared to Help” by Evie Blad
Education Week, September 26, 2018

“#MeToo influencing schools to teach consent in sex ed” by Amelia Harper
Education Dive, October 2, 2018

“Let’s Take a Stand Against Sexual Harassment in Schools” by Richard Weissbourd
Educational Leadership, October 2018

In the context of #MeToo, already present concerns about school readiness to address topics such as consent, power, and sexual assault were amplified recently by Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and subsequent approval for the United States Supreme Court. In her article, “When Students Say #MeToo, Schools May be Unprepared to Help,” Education Week’s Evie Blad reminds educators that “under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, students can ask schools to address the fallout of a sexual assault, even if it occurred off campus.” Schools are responsible not only for the sexual safety and well-being of their students but also, to varying degrees, for their sexual and legal education. According to Amelia Harper of Education Dive, the  #MeToo movement has resulted in a growing number of schools adopting curriculum around affirmative consent (“yes means yes” rather than "no means no"), civics, and current events.  Also, as students are becoming more aware of their rights and are bringing to school administrators complaints regarding sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault, schools are moving to clarify policies and procedures and to bolster social-emotional learning programs. In his Educational Leadership article, “Let’s Take a Stand Against Sexual Harassment in Schools,” Richard Weissbourd of Harvard University’s Making Caring Common lists seven ways schools can take advantage of teachable moments and proactively ensure greater student safety and understanding of complex topics, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. “Few things are more important,” Weissbourd says, “than to prevent or reduce misogyny and sexual harassment.” 

Student Wellness & Safety
Current Events & Civic Engagement