Harassment Is Not Okay

When the topic of harassment comes up, many people learn towards the answer such as, “Harassment is bad!” or “It should be stopped!” as well as “I would tell a teacher and/or help the person being harassed.”


But do people in our school really enforce these beliefs when they see others being harassed or when being harassed themselves?


Ms. Melican and her classes were the source of these educating and helpful harassment awareness posters. Melican is the School Climate Coordinator who is in charge of the “Be The Change” program, which aims to make school a better place.


She also helped organized “Rachel’s Challenge” last year and produced the “Impact” motivational posters around school that say things like; “Don’t let people rain on your parade,” with uplifting cute doodles.


Melican has a class about Teen Literature, and harassment is one of the topics in the lesson plan.


All of her classes came together during one and a half class periods to produce around 25-30 posters for the hallways.


Her classes greatly enjoyed the project and it even helped them think to themselves about solutions to help stop harassment.


Melican believes that her classes’ posters might not end harassment completely, but it will at least help people think about it more and what they can do to help.


With tips to help stop harassment such as posters stating, “Be a pal, step in like a homie, and don’t tweet it!” is a quirky, yet educating way to show people how to deal with harassment effectively.


Folasade Wolfe, a freshman here at A.J. Dimond, thinks very strongly about harassment. She said, “It’s not nice and you can hurt someone’s feelings and make their self esteem go down. Not cool.”


Wolfe has had a first-hand account of how some people react to harassment in our school.


She has personally witnessed harassment as having someone have their binder knocked to the floor on purpose; unfortunately, people just walked on by with no regards for the poor teen.


This is a sad example of why the harassment posters are needed in the first place. It seems many students are indifferent to harassment, and that needs to change.


Another student, junior Haily Redmond also has similar feelings towards harassment. She said, “I think it should be stopped.”


Redmond herself has sadly experienced harassment on the bus, so she especially has strong feelings toward harassment.


Redmond says the way she would deal with harassment would be to tell the school about it and tell the harasser to stop; however, she also stated she would ignore the harassment.


Dimond counselor Mr. Mandel gave a very enlightening viewpoint on harassment.

Before he became a counselor, he was an Equal Opportunity Officer at the Job Core Center along with being a counselor there, so he is very aware about harassment both in school and out.


Mandel believes that, “It definitely is prevalent, and a big problem for whoever it happens to.”


Being a counselor, Mandel knows that many students who are being harassed are scared to report it for fear of retaliation, but Mandel says, “It won’t get better if they ignore it.”


Mandel has had to personally intervene several times with harassment and even pulled people into the office to talk and notifiy authorities if need be.


Mandel also thinks the harassment awareness posters are “wonderful.” Much like the other people interviewed, he also thinks they educate people about how to deal with harassment.


Ultimately, harassment is “Something that’s accepted” using the words of Dwayne Wolfe, an officer in the Anchorage Police Department who shows that school isn’t the only place where harassment occurs.


“People need to have a zero tolerance for harassment. People need to band together. People need to build up a culture that has a collective thought against harassment or else those who speak out against it will be the minority,” said Wolfe.