Is it bullying or sexual harassment?

Date: November 19, 2014
Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Location: Webinar
Contact: Janet Olsen: or Karen Pace:

Sexual harassment and gender violence in schools and other youth settings are often hidden by the use of other terms. “Bullying,” a popular and more comfortable term, is frequently used to describe these sexually harassing, sexually violent incidents. Within formal and non-formal educational settings, adults often use the term “bullying” – whether innocently or as shorthand – to describe sexual harassment and gender violence behaviors that are prohibited under either civil or criminal law. Doing so obscures the serious nature of these incidents, deflects the organization’s responsibility and potential liability, and moves us away from the discourse of rights that schools and other youth organizations must provide to all young people. In this webinar, you’ll learn more about Federal Civil Rights law Title IX – which requires that schools and other educational programs that receive federal funding provide environments free from sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Participants will explore ways to create environments that are safe and equitable for all youth.  

Webinar participants will also learn about the Michigan State University Extension Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environment initiative, which provides a variety of educational resources to help communities reduce and prevent bullying and bias-based behaviors while promoting healthy social and emotional learning and development.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn the legal distinctions between federal law Title IX (which covers sexual harassment and discrimination) and state laws on bullying.
  • Learn strategies for intervening in schools and youth settings.
  • Explore ways to share information with educators, clinicians and youth workers on the magnitude of sexual harassment and gender violence in schools, and ways they can help to reduce and prevent its occurrence.
  • Explore resources for working with young people to create settings that are safe, affirming and fair.

Audience: Teachers, administrators, social workers, youth workers and others who work with youth

For more information about MSU Extension resources and events related to bullying prevention,

Please visit the Is It Bullying or Sexual Harassment? registration page for more information.

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