After you have read the “We Are Chauvinists” article (available on electronic
reserve), answer one of the following questions. Your essay should be two
to three typed pages long (double-spaced) and is due at the beginning of
lecture on January 28, 2003.
1. How do the issues connected with sexual harassment as a question
of school climate compare and contrast with the issue of sexual
harassment as objectionable behavior directed toward individual students
or teachers? How might the interventions taken in each case differ?
2. What is the schools’ responsibility to create and protect a particular
learning environment? Is the issue of “climate” especially salient for
schools, or are the issues of freedom of speech and sexual harassment the
same for schools as they are for businesses, communities, government offices,
and other public settings?
3. Why is the principle of freedom of speech important? How is it related
to the flourishing of individuals in a democracy? How is it related to
notions of truth, inquiry, and communication? How important is the issue
of freedom of speech in the Roosevelt High School case?
4. Why is the principle of respect for all individuals important? How
is it related to the flourishing of individuals in a democracy? How is
it related to beliefs about ethics, inquiry, and education? How important
is the issue of respect in the Roosevelt High School case?
5. If individual girls claim not to mind being treated with disrespect,
is the issue of sexual harassment in schools moot? Do schools have an obligation
to insure inclusiveness, so that all students are treated with respect
regardless of their stated preferences, or should sexual harassment be
judged on a case-by-case basis, depending on how students and teachers
feel about how they are treated?
6. How should input from parents be weighed? If some parents are more
outspoken than others, if some parents have better access to the media
or are more influential with administrators, or if a particular group of
parents is more involved on boards and councils, for example, what weight
should administrators give to their views?
7. If schools adopt clear sexual harassment guidelines and enforce them themselves, how might the results of intervention differ from cases in which sexual harassment is monitored by parents, the public, and the press, and enforced through litigation? How might the climate of inclusion be affected, for example?
Back to 4111 Syllabus.