May 12, 2021
Fallon said the first step in combatting sexual harassment is creating an environment in which all members feel comfortable engaging in open conversation.
“Having conversations about, first of all, what men can do to help women feel safer and also helping educate people who haven’t necessarily gone through these experiences about what it is, what they can do to help and what needs to happen to change this issue,” Fallon said.
Jaworski said forging a partnership between men and women as well as having discussions with men is crucial to combatting sexual harassment.
“One of the most important things is to make sure we are engaging boys and men in this conversation and saying that we’re partners in this together,” Jaworski said. “A lot of the negativity and toxic masculinity actually breeds in spaces where women aren’t, so that’s why men have to be empowered to call each other out when they make sexist remarks.”
One of the most important things is to make sure we are engaging boys and men in this conversation and saying that we’re partners in this together.”
— Assistant Principal Natalie Jaworski
In addition, Eichenberger said encouraging victims to seek help and report cases of sexual harassment is imperative.
“With the police system and the justice system, we need to start taking this issue seriously and it needs to be normalized to report sexual harassment and assault,” Eichenberger said. “We need to stop frowning upon it.”
Fallon said that regardless of gender or background, it is crucial to “believe the victim because disregarding them is just bringing on a whole new level of shame and guilt for all women.”
Anderson said despite the type of sexual harassment, it is crucial to listen to the experiences of women and “take them seriously.”
“It’s really important to recognize that almost every single woman has gone through something like this,” Anderson said. “If boys just keep making jokes about it, the problem is just going to get worse.”
Moreover, Yurin said “attacking the root and not the symptom” is critical when tackling sexual harassment.
Thus, Colette said educating younger generations should be a priority.
“The only way we can fix this issue is just to keep the younger generations informed and ourselves informed because we are the future,” Colette said.
Ultimately, Thompson said tangible change is stirring among younger generations, and that we should continue to foster a “culture of accountability.”
“Your generation gives me so much hope because young people are saying, ‘It’s not okay’ and ‘It’s not enough,’” Thompson said. “Between social media and social justice, I see this real movement. There’s a very real, very clear desire by a growing number of young people to make a substantive change, and it is so encouraging.”