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Sexual harassment at school: What can young people’s gender based activism tell us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 December 2017

Jessica Ringrose and Hanna Retallack. 
To teachers, students and researchers in the field of gender and education, the findings in the recent report “Sexism in Schools: ‘It’s just everywhere’ were not surprising. The study, commissioned by the National Education Union and the campaign group UK Feminista, found that more than a third (37%) of female students had personally experienced some form of sexual harassment at school and one in three teachers (32%) witnessed sexual harassment in their school on at least a weekly basis.
The study, from Warwick University, also reported that 66% of female students and 37% of male students in mixed-sex sixth forms have experienced or witnessed the use of sexist language in school and a quarter of all secondary teachers say they witness gender stereotyping and discrimination on a daily basis. Only 14% of students who experienced sexual harassment reported it to a teacher; less than a quarter (22%) of female students at mixed-sex schools think their school takes sexism seriously enough and 78% of secondary school students are unsure or not aware of any policies and practices in their school for preventing sexism.
Last year, the government’s first Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry and Report into sexual harassment and violence in schools concluded that children and young people’s experiences of sexual harassment in British schools had reached a crisis point and said (more…)