Sexual Harassment Prevalent in Schools: Study

Nearly half of teens say they have seen or been sexually harassed

By Danya Bacchus
|  Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 10:02 AM PDT
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Out of the nearly 2,000 students surveyed, almost half say they either been harassed, harassed someone else or witnessed harassment.

Out of the nearly 2,000 students surveyed, almost half say they either been harassed, harassed someone else or witnessed harassment.

A new survey reveals sexual harassment between students in middle and high school is common. Nearly half of 7th through 12th graders said they've experienced some form of sexual harassment.

The numbers come from a survey done by the American Association of University Women. It asked nearly 2,000 students from public and private schools if they've encountered unwelcome sexual comments, jokes and gestures.

Teens in San Diego said the statistics are true.

“It happens all day, everyday,” said San Diego High School senior Andrew Weatherspoon.

“There’s touching, talking, saying nasty things even during class,” said a Chula Vista High School student. “People say things during class and I’m shocked.”

The survey found girls were more likely than boys to be sexually harassed.

“Most definitely, like around friends or something, even though some people are just playing around and saying it as a joke,” said San Diego High School student Valerie Valdovinos.

But the statistics are no laughing matter.  It shows half of the targeted students did nothing about it.
Only nine percent reported harassment to a teacher or guidance counselor.

"It's happened where I actually told a superior or something and they got rid of it and  made sure it was looked at our something and sometimes I just let it go,” said Valdovinos.

The survey said girls were more likely than boys to be negatively affected. The sexual harassment caused them to have trouble sleeping and not want to go to school.

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