Unlawful Harassment Defined

Unlawful harassment includes all forms of unwelcome verbal, physical and visual conduct and displays that are based on any of the above mentioned protected characteristics and which interfere with performance and/or create an offensive or hostile environment. Harassment can take many forms.  Following are some examples that may constitute harassment:

  • Verbal harassment such as jokes, epithets, slurs and unwelcome remarks about an individual’s body, dress, clothing, race, physical appearance or abilities, derogatory comments, discussions of a sexual nature and/or harassing remarks;

  • Physical harassment such as physical interference with normal activity, impeding or blocking movement, assault, unwelcome physical contact or touching, staring at a person’s body, and threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to a protected characteristic; and

  • Visual harassment such as offensive or obscene e-mails, instant messaging, web blogs, photographs, calendars, posters, cards, cartoons, drawings and gestures, displays with sexually suggestive or lewd objects, unwelcome letters or notes or any other graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of the individual’s protected characteristics.

The conduct can occur in any school program or activity and can take place in classrooms, school facilities, dorms, or at off-campus locations.