Skip to main content

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

What is Sexual Harassment?  It’s unwelcome sexual attention, put-downs such as mean words to torment or threaten another person in a sexual way. Volcano Vista’s specific policy regarding sexual harassment is one of intolerance. Don't put up with put-downs!

Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment.

Victims of sexual harassment often feel:

  • afraid
  • depressed
  • embarrassed or ashamed
  • helpless
  • angry

Sexual harassment can lead to:

  • increased school absences and transfers
  • lower test scores and school standing
  • legal action

Sexual Harassment can take many forms:


  • standing in someone’s way or standing too close
  • bumping into someone or brushing against the person on purpose
  • patting, hugging or kissing
  • grabbing, touching or pinching
  • pulling at clothes


  • threats or insults
  • comments about a person’s body
  • sexual jokes, suggestions or remarks
  • sexual stories or rumors
  • “dirty” notes, letters or graffiti
  • pressure to go out on dates
  • whistles or rude noise


  • staring at someone’s body
  • sexual pictures or drawing
  • gestures or looks
  • sending inappropriate e-mail

Volcano Vista High School’s Harassment Policy:

“Volcano Vista High School does not and will not tolerate any type of harassment.  The word harassment includes, but is not limited to slurs, jokes, and other verbal, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual’s age, race, religion, color, sex (including same-sex sexual harassment), national origin, citizenship, or disability.  Offensive conduct of this nature creates a hostile school environment.”

Isn’t this just normal “kids’ stuff”? No!  Sexual harassment creates fear and anger that can affect people for years.  It’s not harmless fun.

What’s the difference between flirting and harassment? People who flirt are equal in power – and both enjoy it.  Sexual harassment makes one person feel uncomfortable and less powerful.  It doesn’t matter what the harasser intended.

What if I’m not sure I’m being sexually harassed? Talk to an adult you trust and read your school’s policy on sexual harassment.  Remember, if you feel uncomfortable or threatened, it’s probably sexual harassment.

Do male students really get harassed? Yes.  Most harassment happens to females, but young men can be harassed by young women and other young men.

If you feel you've been sexually harassed, take action!

  • Tell the harasser to stop - Otherwise, the harasser may think his or her behavior is OK.  If you don’t feel safe talking to the harasser, seek help from an adult you trust.
  • Talk to a friend - A friend can offer support – and may be able to act as a witness later.
  • Write down what happened - Describe what the person did, when it happened and who (if anyone) saw it.
  • Talk to a teacher or your counselor - Parents, teachers and school counselors and administrators can offer support, guidance and advice. 
  • File a formal complaint.

Help stop sexual harassment before a problem occurs:

  • Offer your support.
  • Help the person get out of the situation safely.  Ask if it has happened before, and encourage the person to take action.
  • Make your feelings clear.
  • A harasser may think you support the harassment if you stay silent.
  • Never join the harasser.
  • Resist peer pressure to take part in abusive behavior.  Ask yourself how you’d feel if you or a family member were the victim.
  • If you feel you are being sexually harassed, talk with your teacher or your guidance counselor.