Although it may not always be visible, sexual harassment has always been a issue in our society. Recently, the situation has been brought to light by the stars of Hollywood and members of the community. However, sexual harassment is not just a problem for the stars of Hollywood, but for everyday people like yourselves.
By talking to others about their own experiences with sexual harassment, people can begin to deal with their experiences and spread awareness to others. School councilor, Mr. Blackburn talks about his past encounters in helping students through their exposure to sexual harassment.
“I have had students (come to me) and obviously I’ll bring it up to administration,” Blackburn said. “Usually I have the student write a statement about what’s happened, bring it up with administration and if need be our resource officers who get involved as well. I end up doing the counseling aspect of whatever the issue is, but as far as disciplinary, I bring it up to administration and/or a resource officer and get them involved as well. They follow up with the disciplinary side of things.”
Other than dealing with the disciplinary aspect of the situation, Blackburn helps the affected students push through their experiences and shine light on the situation day by day.
“I can have a kid come in and tell me about something that’s happened off campus and my place in that is the counseling aspect in regards to what’s going on,” Blackburn said. “I do the same thing whether it’s on or off campus, to notify administration or a resource officer to be involved as well. If it’s a situation that a student is telling me and the situation already has cops involved then I just verify with the resource officer and say ‘Hey this is what the student told me. Just a FIY. Just to make sure you guys were involved in it.’ Often times, I’m just here to support the student weather or not it happened on or off campus I’m just having those conversations with the kids and sometimes the families as well and also, depending on the situation, referring the student to outside counseling. More like ongoing counseling services to an outside agency. I think it depends on the kid and the severity of the situation.”
Students can drop-in to visit and talk to their councilors at break, lunch or after school as well as scheduling an appointment. The counselors are accessible to students so that they can talk about any concerns or issues on and off of campus.
“I have never been sexually harassed, but I feel like the counselors would be good people to talk to because they would know how to handle the situation and how to help the students,” sophomore Lydia Barajas said.
Recently, the issue of sexual harassment has arisen back into the attention of society due to the recent buzz in the media about harassment between the stars of Hollywood. These events have given victims a chance to talk to others about their experiences.
“It is so much in the media right now, so I think it’s brought a lot of awareness to the situation,” Blackburn said. “You begin to talk about it and hopefully people become aware of their actions and the impact it can have on the other person and the impact it will have on themselves. Like all the people in the Hollywood stuff, that it’s come out and the impact it has on them as far as their careers go and personal life. I think (the attention of sexual harassment in Hollywood) has brought a lot of awareness to the topic and the situation. It may not have been there for years and years.”
Awareness of sexual harassment can help prevent future situations and make people more perceptive of the consequences of their actions. Everyone can make a difference just by making the world more aware of this problem that has affected millions.
“I think that a solution is having those conversations about it and having communication, and bringing it to light and bring awareness to the situation and the impact that it has on other people. Without some people just thinking about themselves and how they feel, they have to think about the impact their decision.”