Sexual harassment takes on many forms and is often overlooked as a minor infraction. Victims of sexual harassment often doubt themselves because the nature of the harassment is often subtle. Sexually charged comments and unwelcomed compliments, as well as discrimination because of gender, are all considered types of sexual harassment. A school board member in Colorado has been accused of sexual harassment during recent months. Recently, the board confronted the accused gentleman in a heated meeting.
According to reports, the board of education president stated that she had repeatedly attempted to meet with the accused. She says he has continually refused to discuss the situation. Board policy and rules dictate that information about the victim in the case is to remain confidential throughout the proceedings. When confronted about the anonymous accusations, the accused became irritated and left the meeting before any conclusions could be drawn.
The board president also confirmed that the Colorado man is suspected of violating not only sexual harassment protocol, but also additional workplace standards including drug use and general misconduct. The board of education was unable to hold a planned executive session on the matter because the man left the meeting prior to any resolution attempts.
Upon leaving the board meeting, he angrily confronted a newspaper reporter. He complained that the newspaper had "smeared" his name and continued with threats that he planned to abase the reporter in his own paper. A police officer heard the exchange and instructed the accused to leave the premises.
Members of the board plan to take the next step in the course of action against the man. Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace is encouraged to come forward. Sexual harassment laws are in place to protect victims from enduring further hardships and to prevent perpetrators from continuing to inflict harassment.
Source: The Tribune, "D6 board member Reese accused of sexual discrimination, harassment and violating drug-free workplace policy," Sherrie Peif, 16 May, 2011