As a Nation, we must clean up our act around Children

Greetings from Chicago. The organization American Association of University Women has just released a new study citing the following:

1. Nearly half of 7th – 12th graders experienced sexual harassment in the last school year.

2. 87% of those who have been harassed report negative effects including high absenteeism, poor sleep, and stomach-aches.

3. Girls (56%) compared with boys (40%) reported being harassed more in high school grades, even though it was more evenly divided between girls an boys during middle school grades.

4. 40% of those harassed reported at-least one incident occurred during the 2010-11 school year.

With the overwhelming coverage in the media and in our professional literature about the dangers of bullying, harassment, and credible remedies, training, and technical assistance available for schools and school districts, how do these problems persist? While these reports are largely student-on-student incidents of harassment, where is the outrage? More importantly, where is our resolve to clean up our act around children and where children are concerned? Is our Nation truly concerned about its children? In the schools where my team members work, I see see great evidence of improvements in the learning environments of children. Unfortunately, reports like this one by the AAUW do not indicate improvements are coming quite fast enough.

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