October 17, 2019 3:03 pm
Misconceptions and misunderstandings at school about sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity leave students needing support. In this scene from the documentary PUSHOUT, Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity discusses life in schools for girls, cis-gender and non-binary youth ages 12 -24. She explains how students need support, but are instead met with bullying from peers, teachers, and administrators leaving them disconnected and discouraged. Girls, trans youth, youth with different gender identities, and sexual orientations are impacted the most by sexual harassment. This can normalize the abuse according to “The Schools Deserve,” a study by Girls for Gender Equity. The study also revealed that students struggled to identify sexual harassment because there were not enough resources for them. The existing policies hurt the students who came forward about the sexual harassment they had experienced, which facilitated a path toward school avoidance, suspensions and expulsions.