Stop Sexual Assault in Schools

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Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
Founded2015
FounderEsther Warkov and Joel Levin
Type501(c)(3)
Area served
Seattle
Key people
Jeffrey R Caffee, Attorney at Law
Websitestopsexualassaultinschools.org

Stop Sexual Assault in Schools is a United States non-profit organization that advocates for K-12 students’ right to an education free from sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual assault and severe or pervasive sexual harassment are types of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in any education program that receives federal funding. SSAIS accomplishes its mission by creating and distributing free education programs, filing pro bono civil rights complaints with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), collaborating with national gender equity organizations, supporting legislative and legal initiatives, working with communities and families to bring schools into Title IX compliance, and educating the media about how sexual harassment and sexual violence in K-12 schools can violate students’ rights.[1]

Founding[edit]

SSAIS is the first national nonprofit organization created solely to address sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools. It was founded in 2015 by two parent educators, Drs. Esther Warkov and Joel Levin, whose daughter was reportedly raped on a Seattle public school fieldtrip in 2012.[2] The parents led a high-profile effort to hold the district accountable for its failure to recognize the victim’s federally mandated Title IX rights.[3] Their Title IX complaint,[4] and the media attention it attracted,[5][6][7][8][9] resulted in community protests[10][11] that compelled the Seattle school district to commission a community task force,[12][13] reform its sexual harassment policy, comply with Title IX directives, and improve its safety procedures on school field trips.[14][15][16] After learning how pervasive sexual harassment is in K-12 schools nationwide, Warkov and Levin launched the SSAIS.org website in September 2015 as a comprehensive resource for K-12 families. President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, wrote an inaugural blog post for the website launch.[17]

History[edit]

Media reports about SSAIS in the Washington Post,[18] Huffington Post,[19] Women’s eNews,[20] Slate,[21] Broadly,[22] NEAToday,[23] and NPR affiliates[24] have increased awareness of the pervasiveness of peer and educator sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools. In 2016, SSAIS joined the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education and contributed to their comprehensive report Title IX at 45.[25] In March 2016, the Office of the Vice President invited SSAIS to advise on strategies to address K-12 sexual violence.[26] In the same year, SSAIS received an American Association of University Women Community Action Grant to create a free comprehensive video and Action Guide, Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! The video and companion materials were released in November, 2016.[27]

Initiatives[edit]

The SSAIS website maintains comprehensive resources for parents and students about sexual harassment and sexual violence occurring in K-12 schools, with free educational materials informing communities about Title IX and how to hold schools accountable for providing safe learning environments for all students.

SSAIS provides families with pro bono support for filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. These efforts have resulted in federal investigations of K-12 schools in Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia, and Texas. SSAIS also offers resources to families whose students have experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault in schools.

SSAIS creates advocacy opportunities for youth, sexual assault survivors, and families. It also unites advocates through its Coalition Against Sexual Harassment K12 (CASHK12).

SSAIS has supported legislative initiatives and amicus curiae briefs that uphold students’ civil rights.

In January, 2018, SSAIS launched the MeTooK12 campaign to promote awareness and inspire action to counteract pervasive sexual harassment and sexual violence in K-12 schools.[28][29][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Work in the Media". Stop Sexual Assault in Schools. 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  2. ^ "In handling rape, high schools are worse than colleges". Al-Jazeera America. Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  3. ^ "Our Family's Story". Stop Sexual Assault in Schools. 2015-01-13. Archived from the original on 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  5. ^ EndPlay (2014-07-25). "Teen's family appeals to U.S. Department of Education to investig". KIRO. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  6. ^ "Seattle Public Schools Under Federal Investigation After Garfield Parents Allege the District Botched a Sexual Assault Investigation". The Stranger. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  7. ^ "Radio - KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, AM 770 KTTH, 710 ESPN Seattle". MyNorthwest.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  8. ^ West, Lindy. "Teen Girl Raped on Field Trip, Treated Horribly by Seattle High School". Jezebel. Archived from the original on 2017-08-06. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  9. ^ EndPlay (2014-08-20). "FBI policy disputes Seattle Schools' version of alleged rape inve". KIRO. Archived from the original on 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  10. ^ "Parents, students confront Seattle school leaders over sexual assault case". Q13 FOX News. 2014-08-21. Archived from the original on 2016-05-30. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  11. ^ Cohen, Lindsay. "Protesters criticize Seattle school's handling of alleged rape". KOMO. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  12. ^ Stokes, Kyle. "Seattle Schools To Convene Task Force To Review Handling Of Sex Assault Claims". Archived from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  15. ^ Stokes, Kyle. "Amid Public Outcry, Seattle Schools Changes Handling Of Sex Assault Allegations". Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  16. ^ "Seattle Schools responds to mistakes made in Garfield High rape investigation". CHS Capitol Hill Seattle. 2014-08-22. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  17. ^ "Fatima Goss Graves: "Beyond the Campus: Protecting All Students From Sexual Assault"–the SSAIS website inaugural post". Stop Sexual Assault in Schools. 2015-10-07. Archived from the original on 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  18. ^ Brown, Emma (2016-01-17). "Sexual violence isn't just a college problem. It happens in K-12 schools, too". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  19. ^ "Activists Take Aim At High Schools For Mishandling Sexual Assault". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  20. ^ "Lawmakers Shift Campus Rape Conversation to High Schools". Women's eNews. Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  21. ^ Caplan-Bricker, Nora (2016-09-19). ""My School Punished Me"". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Archived from the original on 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  22. ^ "New Report Exposes How Schools Dismiss Rape as 'Hazing' or 'Bullying'". Broadly. 2017-05-08. Archived from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  23. ^ "The Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools - NEA Today". NEA Today. 2017-12-04. Archived from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  24. ^ Young, Chris. "Should San Diego, Carlsbad Schools Have Told Parents About Sex-Assault Investigations?". KPBS Public Media. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  26. ^ Warkov, Esther (2016-04-14). "What the White House Asked Us About K-12 Sexual Violence". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  27. ^ "With Trump's Title IX stance unknown, video aims to educate about sexual harassment at school". EdSource. December 4, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  28. ^ "#MeTooK12 Seeks to Spotlight Problem of Sexual Assault in Schools". Education Week. January 2, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  29. ^ "#MeTooK12: A new hashtag for students sexually assaulted or harassed in K-12 schools". The Washington Post. January 3, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  30. ^ "#MeTooK12: New campaign raises awareness about rights at school". Christian Science Monitor. January 18, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.

External links[edit]