QHHS on Sexual Harrasment


Picture by Sierra Gutierrez

By Sierra Gutierrez and Anayis Francis

Anyone who has been following the news in the past few months is aware of the startling fervency at which powerful members of the entertainment industry are crumbling under allegations and accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment. In a society where they would have once been ridiculed or swept under the rug, victims of sexual harassment are now coming forward and sharing their stories. Often using the Twitter hashtag “MeToo,” these people are affecting positive change in society by making it more socially acceptable to speak up against sexual harassment in the workplace.

With everything that is going on, it is important that students at Quartz Hill are aware of how our school handles these situations.

English teacher Mr. Jenison gave his thoughts on the matter: “Unfortunately, sexual harassment among students does happen at our school. It is sometimes very hard for a teacher to see.” According to Mr. Jenison, teachers are often required to take mandatory training courses on how to spot sexual harassment and how to deal with it in the correct way.

“As far as I’ve heard – and in my own experience – the school takes things like this very seriously… both student to student and especially teacher to student… The consequences are really serious for that sort of thing.”

Although students pass them every day, some may not have noticed the posters outlining consequences for sexual harassment at school. As the bright red stop-sign posters say, “The Governing board is dedicated to maintaining an educational environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and bullying.” The poster also outlines actions that could be considered sexual harassment, including “Unwelcome leering,” “Spreading sexual rumors,” “Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body,” and “Touching an individual’s body in a sexual way,” among other things. Wisely, it also prohibits “retaliatory behavior” against victims or witnesses who take part in reporting or investigating these instances.

This district-wide policy poster is often accompanied by the Quartz Hill High School discipline chart, which states that the maximum punishment for sexual assault as “suspension for five days, recommendation for expulsion, and referral to sheriff,” which is the same punishment that is listed for carrying a firearm, selling controlled substances, and possessing explosives. Of course, it does not technically list a punishment for sexual harassment or misconduct, but also admits that it is “not an exhaustive list.”

Quartz Hill Junior Allison Glatfelter said, “I’m really glad sexual harassment cases are being taken more seriously now on a larger scale… Our security guards are pretty good and the teachers are trustworthy… I don’t know how much regular sexual harassment actually is here, but I personally feel very safe at this school.”

It seems that, in general, Quartz Hill’s staff takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and have set up a system to deal with the matter quickly. The Stop sign district policy poster adds this final piece of advice: If you or someone you know is being harassed sexually, contact a trusted teacher or administrator right away or call the AVUHSD Director of Student Services at (661)-729-2321.