Behaviour Management – Sexual Harassment

Behaviour Management - Sexual Harassment

Submitted by Erin;

Behaviours I am most concerned about (and to this day have not had an experienced teacher be able to tell me how to deal with these behaviours) are as follows (Please note that I am a K-6 teacher and would like advice on how to deal with these behaviours with both the young and older students – These behaviours listed below I have observed with kids with no diagnosed condition – many in their first couple of years of schooling!):

Exposing private parts (particularly boys) and touching other students private parts, lifting girls’ dresses (would like advice for both a male and female student as the culprit!).

Hi Erin,

Thanks for your submission. There is definitely a process for handling this type of behaviour and while it may differ from state to state, the key responses are the same.

There are also a couple of specific behaviour management issues for relief teachers but I don't think it matters whether the culprit is male or female. Anyway, below are behaviour management suggestions from our expert panel.

Behaviour Management Suggestions.

Behaviour Management Suggestions - From a deputy principal.

This is most definitely a case for immediate office referral. The relief teacher should immediately contact the school administration and clearly, without all the dramatics, explain what happened. By dramatics I mean the usual statements of indignation. I understand that this is most definitely a case for referral but the more FACTS that are explained the more thoroughly this can be investigated.

All schools will have the type of incident under sexual misconduct somewhere in their responsible behaviour plan.  At our school we have a statement which includes " ... unacceptable antisocial behaviour – including bullying and harassment, unacceptable moral behaviours..." These types of behaviours are required to be reported immediately to the office.

The appropriate behaviour management strategy for relief teachers would be to report this to the office immediately and follow up with a written report on the appropriate behaviour report form. Although, a written statement about when, where and the circumstances behind the event would be sufficient.

What happens at the office will depend on a whole range of factors including past history. It may be a matter of reporting this behaviour to the Dept of Child Safety for their investigation.

I would suspect that an immediate suspension would occur to enable the admin team to alert the district behaviour management support group for support.

I hope this helps.

Behaviour Management in the Classroom


Behaviour Management suggestions - From an experienced teacher.

This is a tough one because I can imagine the class going nuts, particularly if it is an older class.

This would make the behaviour management strategies you put in place very important.

Here are a couple of strategies.

1. Don't freak act. Act calmly. This is more to show the rest of the class that you have control of the situation.

Say something like, "Henry. Your behaviour is totally unacceptable and the seriousness of what you have done requires me to alert the principal (or deputy principal or whoever you have to report to). Your actions have opened you up to serious consequences. Class could you continue to write down ..." (here you need to set some independent work while you either phone the office or contact the office for support)

We have a telephone system where we can contact the principal directly but I usually contact the admin officers at the front office because they usually know where the principal is.

You would have to sit the offender in the class and wait for someone to collect them. At this point you would have to completely ignore them.

That is the hard part but you have to calmly repeat the same message.

"Your behaviour is far too serious. You are at risk of having serious consequences, possibly criminal consequences applied."

If the student exposed themselves to another student, you might ask them to write down the sequence of events.

You need to prepare a report for admin as well. Just keep it to the events and avoid flowery language.

If that is not possible, and unfortunately that happens, you might have to take them to the office yourself. I would guess if you let the office know that the student has exposed themselves in class they would send someone pretty quickly.

If it is a younger student, the behaviour management strategies would pretty much be the same but the language might need to be changed.

It would make any difference if it was a male or female student.

The case I dealt with like this went to Family Services as there was something happening at home.

Good luck.

I hope this helps.

If you have any comments and behaviour management strategies for this situation leave your comments below.

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