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There are some things you can do to keep teasing from becoming harassment:

Your school probably has a sexual harassment policy -- find out what it is.

Get other kids on your side -- kids usually pick on someone who is isolated.

Don't repeat rumors about other people.

If someone touches you in an improper way, tell him or her to stop it, loudly.

If someone you know is harassing another student, don't laugh. Tell him to stop. Or talk to him later about it, and let him know why you don't think it's funny.

If your school has a peer mediation program, use it. Sometimes harassers doesn't realize how much their words hurt. Talking about it together helps them see their victims as people with feelings.

Respect yourself and your friends. When vulgar terms are used often, kids will find they have to say even uglier things to get attention.

And if you're thinking about blurting out something crude to a girl or boy, consider how you would feel if it were you or someone you cared about.
-- Melinda Miller

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