This week is Girls Inc. Week, and this year we’ve chosen to bring greater awareness to bullying and harassment, and how girls can be agents of change.
You’ve probably seen the hashtag #InHerCorner a lot lately from Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis and other Girls Inc.’s as well… but what does that mean exactly? It means that with someone like you being present in a girl’s life to help guide her and support her through her everyday struggles as a girl, she can succeed. This is why we ask you to joins us and sign our pledge; to commit to standing up for girls!
The effects of bullying and harassment can have serious and long-lasting implications both for victims and those who bully. Despite the fact that bullying nearly affects a third of kids in America, there are many misconceptions about it.
Did you know bullying happens most often at school, on school grounds, and/or on the school bus? Did you also know that schools have the obligation to take action? According to Title IX, schools must take action when they notice, or even reasonably suspect cyberbullying, which happens to girls more often than boys.
Here are some more myths (and facts!) about bullying:
MYTH: Bullying is just “kids being kids” and we shouldn’t make a big deal of it.
FACT: Bullying can cause lasting harm. Repeated or severe conduct based on sex or other protected categories is unlawful harassment.
MYTH: To address bullying/harassment, schools have to catch the bully in the act.
FACT: Schools have the obligation to take action to help prevent students from any harm by addressing any conduct that is known about or reasonably suspected, and investigate all allegations of bullying and harassment.
MYTH: Bullying only will stop if the victim stands up to the bully.
FACT: Society doesn’t expect victims of other types of abuse to deal with the situation on their own, so we can’t expect victims of bullying and harassment to fix this alone, either.
MYTH: Sexual harassment has to involve touching or propositioning sexual activity.
FACT: Sexual harassment can take many forms, including name-calling, requests for sexual favors, sexual comments, jokes, gestures, images and graphics.
MYTH: Bullies are problem kids that have aggression issues and should be punished.
FACT: Actually, it’s common for those who bully to be victims of bullying and harassment themselves.
MYTH: If it happens off school grounds, it’s not the school’s responsibility to take action.
FACT: Under Title IX, schools have to address conduct they know about or should know about that leads to a hostile environment or impedes a student’s ability to benefit from the educational program.