Importance of Teaching Respect Early On:

I’ve come to the conclusion that the earlier you educate students about respect, the better. If you are able to teach children at an early age, that respect towards others is extremely important, the better off they will be. Most schools really focus on teaching respect in kindergarten, but the key is to continue through elementary school and beyond. That way, when students get to middle school and high school, they have a very clear picture of how to treat one another. The reason why this ties into informing students about sexual harassment, is that if you are able to instill in students that respecting one another is of absolute importance, you are creating a positive environment about respect. If we can teach students that they should always respect each other’s boundaries, they will carry that with them through the rest of their education. By the time they get to middle school and high school, they will understand that they should ALWAYS respect each other’s boundaries. Once students are aware of that, they are less likely to harass one another because they are knowledgeable of the fact that harassing someone would be disrespecting someone’s boundaries. It is crucial that we educate our students on respect to create awareness about sexual harassment. Also for elementary students, teaching them to make personal boundaries for themselves  and to enforce those boundaries is essential.  We should also encourage students to report any incidents of such inappropriate behavior, to a trusted adult. Making students aware  of inappropriate behavior and what effects that can have on other classmates if they engage in that behavior is also important. For students in higher grades such as middle school, it is important to focus on what sexual harassment is, and what constitutes it. By doing this, they will be more knowledgeable about it and have a clear idea of what behaviors would create a hostile environment for harassment.

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