That’s right: Sexual harassment is any unwanted attention that creates a hostile or offensive atmosphere because of a person’s sex. There’s a federal law, known as Title IX, which is supposed to protect students from sexual harassment: It says that a student can’t be denied the opportunity to learn simply because of his or her sex.
Most experts agree we’d all be better off stopping this sort of behavior right where it happens, in our hallways, classrooms, and gym locker rooms. This goes for everyone—even kids who have never harassed anyone or been targeted this way. “We believe that sexual harassment is a community problem,” says Esther Warkov, founder of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS). “If there’s just one instance, it creates a domino effect: Other students are going to witness it and talk about it. That creates anxiety and changes the tone in the entire school.”
The good news: If we’re all affected by it, then we can all work to change it. How do you know what behavior crosses a line? Do you know how to respect healthy boundaries, and the meaning of the word consent? Take our quiz, based on real-life incidents, and ask yourself what you’d do.