This kind of harassment can occur in educational institutions thus hindering the educational performance and the victim’s right to equal educational opportunities within the school system. This is according to Stein (2000), who has analyzed the occurrence and extent of sexual harassment in schools. Such acts can be perpetrated by people the victims are familiar to such as friends and teachers. For instance, in the Davis case, the fifth grade girl was assaulted by a classmate she knew well and had sat next to for months (Wright’s Law, 2012).
Naval Academy Policy
In the academy, there is a Commandant of Midshipmen Instruction 1752.1E addressing the issue of sexual assault in detail. It issues the policy that seeks to prevent and respond to cases of assault. The policy provides a clear definition of what sexual harassment entails and its consequences. This provides students with information on how to handle assaults and also prevents those with wrong intentions from carrying out their sexually inappropriate behavior. This is in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
The policy caters for all midshipmen within the Brigade of Midshipmen thus, any of them who falls victim of the attacks is eligible for advocacy services according to the guidelines. In the analysis of the policy’s contents, it explores all aspects of sexual assault. First and foremost, it strives to develop its students into selfless leaders who value diversity, moral behavior and personal integrity. This ensures all midshipmen adopt responsible qualities and shun acts of violence such as sexual assault. The policy has zero tolerance for assault which it states only serves to destroy the academy’s discipline and good order.
When such cases arise, it is mandatory to carry out a comprehensive investigation and acquire enough evidence to justify the assault and ensure the victims receive justice. According to the policy, the offenders receive notification on the charges brought up against them, and they are subject to trial. It outlines incidences that constitute sexual assault including; sodomy, indecent assault, rape and any attempts to carry out these acts. This results in physical damage and psychological trauma for the victim. Most victims feel shock, anxiety, and inability to defend themselves which may in some cases lead to denial of the occurrence of the assault (Hill & Kearl, 2011).
Most of the reports are made by women; however, the men are also subjected to sexual assault. A study by Connecticut Department of Education shows that female reports were at 92%, whereas their male counterparts were at 57% (Stein, 2000). The policy provides for the protection and immediate treatment of victims. Assault results in physical injuries and emotional trauma that needs to be dealt with through medical attention and counseling. Legal action is also taken as this is a criminal act (Department of Navy, 2011).
The policy discourages drug use among midshipmen. One of the major contributors to sexual assault is the influence of drugs and alcohol which affects an individual’s reasoning abilities. It has established the Alcohol and Drug Education program in conjunction with the SAPR to sensitize the students on the role drug abuse plays in sexual harassment.
Evaluation of policy
This policy has been effective in maintaining a high standard of discipline and responsible behavior through the prevention of assaults and the effective handling of the few cases that occur. It is in line with the Association of American Educators provisions for ethical behavior in educational institutions (Association of American Educators, 2013).
It attempts to create a safe learning environment nurturing the students. It does this through the provision of guidelines to protect students from sexual harassment, which interferes with their performance and health. On the basis of these guidelines, all students and teachers should behave in a manner that upholds the school’s high ethical standards.
The policy is also based on the main principles of the AAE. It ensures educators handle all students in a just and responsible manner to help them develop ideal qualities. They also carry out their practice according to educational provisions and not personal interests. They interact with their colleagues in a respectful and responsible manner to avoid violation of individual rights.
The academy has succeeded in the formation and implementation of effective policies against sexual harassment of its students and employees. This has been achieved through the clearly outlined guidelines, punishment of the perpetrators and the help provided to victims of assault. Though much has been done there is still a need for improvement. This will ensue the cases of sexual harassment are a thing of the past.
Association of American Educators. (2013). AAE Code of Ethics for Educators, Retrieved April 5, 2013 from http://www.aaeteachers.org/images/pdfs/aaecodeofethicsforeducators.pdf
Stein, N. (2000). Sexual Harassment in Schools. National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, Retrieved April 3, 2013 from http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/sexharass.shtml
Hill, C., and Kearl, H. (2011). Crossing the Line: Sexual harassment at school. AAUW, Retrieved April 5, 2013 from http://www.aauwmi.org/state/High%20School%20Girls/CrossingTheLine.pdf
Wright’s Law (2013). Davis versus Monroe Board of Education. Wright’s Law, Retrieved April 4, 2013 from http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/case_Davis_Monroe_SupCt_990524.html