Each year, millions of school-aged children are victims of in-school violence, and approximately 81 percent of students experienced some form of sexual harassment during their school years. The epidemic of violence in schools isn’t just tragic, it’s also a civil rights issue. When students suffer violence and harassment, they are deprived of equal and free access to an education.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding. Title IX is a powerful tool for students who want to combat gender-based violence. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, rape, and sexual assault.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and this week the ACLU in conjunction with some of our youth clients and V-Girls, a global network of youth activists and advocates empowering themselves and one another to create the change they imagine for the world, is presenting a blog series. “Your School Your Rights — Ending Sexual Violence” is designed to highlight the many voices impacted by sexual violence and harassment in schools and the tools students, teachers and parents can use to fight back. The girls, expressing themselves in both poetry and prose, underscore the fact that kids have a RIGHT to be protected against gender-based violence in schools.
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