Federal Title IX Enforcers Effectively Define Dating and Sex Education as “Sexual Harassment”
by Hans Bader
No one would believe you if you made this up, but it’s now actually happened: The Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights now have effectively defined dating and sex education as “sexual harassment.” The definition is found in a May 9 Title IX Letter of Findings and Resolution Agreement involving the University of Montana.
In a radical departure from Title IX jurisprudence, the federal government declares that “any” unwelcome sexual speech or other conduct is “sexual harassment” regardless of whether it is severe, repeated, or pervasive, and regardless of whether it would offend a reasonable person. In its findings, it rejected narrower definitions rooted in federal court rulings, declaring that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” (The Federal government has also effectively mandated “unconstitutional speech codes at colleges and universities nationwide,” notes the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.)
By contrast, the Supreme Court has ruled that to constitute illegal sexual harassment, sexual advances or other verbal or physical conduct must be severe and pervasive, create a hostile environment, and be “objectively offensive” to a “reasonable person.” See, e.g., Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999). According to the Supreme Court, isolated instances of trivially offensive sexual speech are not illegal, and are not considered “sexual harassment” in even the broadest possible sense: the conception of harassment that applies under federal law’s anti-retaliation provisions, which allow employees to sue when they are disciplined for reporting what they in good faith believe to be sexual harassment, even if does not rise to the level of sexual harassment in a narrow legal sense. See Clark County School District v. Breeden (2001).
The definition of “sexual harassment” that the federal government demands that the University of Montana adopt is far broader than the sexual harassment policies declared unconstitutionally overbroad by federal appeals courts in DeJohn v. Temple University, Saxe v. State College Area School District, and McCauley v. University of the Virgin Islands, which made clear that there is no “sexual harassment” exception to the First Amendment.
The University of Montana applied federal definitions of sexual harassment, that exclude trivially offensive conduct and things that do not offend reasonable people, in its internal sexual harassment policy. The Justice and Education Departments took issue with this, saying that conduct, or speech on sexual topics, is harassment even if “it is” not “objectively offensive”:
Third, Sexual Harassment Policy 406.5.1 improperly suggests that the conduct does not constitute sexual harassment unless it is objectively offensive. This policy provides examples of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature but then states that “[w]hether conduct is sufficiently offensive to constitute sexual harassment is determined from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation.” Whether conduct is objectively offensive is a factor used to determine if a hostile environment has been created, but it is not the standard to determine whether conduct was “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” and therefore constitutes “sexual harassment.” . . .
sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” (Findings at pg. 9)
It also made very clear that this broad rule reaches speech — “verbal conduct” — not just physical conduct:
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature7 and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. (Findings, pg. 4)
In short, sexual harassment is defined to include “any” speech or other verbal conduct even if it would not offend a reasonable person, but rather only is offensive from the subjective viewpoint of a hypersensitive person. Making a sexual or racial harassment policy entirely subjective makes it unconstitutionally vague on its face. See Dambrot v. Central Michigan Univ., 55 F.3d 1177 (6th Cir. 1995) (racial harassment policy void for vagueness where it required “subjective reference”); Cohen v. San Bernardino Valley College, 92 F.3d 968 (9th Cir. 1996) (voiding harassment policy as applied to professor’s speech on vagueness ground; policy must provide fair notice).
Banning all sexual speech that is offensive to any listener would effectively ban sex education and sexual humor, making every sex education class “sexual harassment” when it offends a squeamish student. Some students are made uncomfortable by such topics: for example, sexual harassment charges were unsuccessfully brought after sex educator Toni Blake told a joke while demonstrating a condom. Unlike the Education Department, the courts have rejected the idea that such humor inherently constitutes “sexual harassment.” See Brown v. Hot, Sexy & Safer Products, Inc., 68 F.3d 525 (1st Cir. 1995) (students sued over comments in sex education class; court ruled that since sexual speech must be “severe” or “pervasive” and create “hostile environment” to constitute sexual harassment, the lawsuit should be dismissed; it ruled that sexual humor in the sex education lecture about “erection wear” and anal sex was not enough for liability, since a reasonable person would not have viewed the comments as intended to harass); Black v. Zaring Homes, 104 F.3d 822 (6th Cir. 1997) (jokes about “sticky buns” were not bad enough to constitute sexual harassment, despite being unwelcome.).
Defining “any” romantic overture or sexual speech as “harassment” based purely on subjective reactions has dire implications for dating. It defines a single, unrepeated, civil request to go out on a date as “sexual harassment” even if the requester never makes the request again after learning that it was “subjectively” unwelcome.
That may effectively ban dating (since no one is a mind reader, and the whole point of asking someone out on a date is because you don’t know before asking whether they would be interested without first asking). Such a de facto ban on dating violates freedom of intimate association. Even banning dating between certain people can violate freedom of intimate association; here, the definition would define all offers to go out on a date as potentially sexual harassment unless the offerer is omniscient. See Wilson v. Taylor, 733 F.2d 1539, 1544 (11th Cir. 1984) (appeals court ruled that freedom of intimate association was violated by restriction on public employee dating a single individual, the relative of a criminal suspect.).
Perversely, the government suggests that punishment may be required BEFORE a disciplinary hearing, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland‘s “sentence first, verdict afterwards“:
a university must take immediate steps to protect the complainant from further harassment prior to the completion of the Title IX and Title IV investigation/resolution. Appropriate steps may include separating the accused harasser and the complainant, providing counseling for the complainant and/or harasser, and/or taking disciplinary action against the harasser.
Homeland Security funded exercise portrayed homeschoolers as terrorists
Taken on its own, the KOMO 4 News report below out of Seattle paints a stark and frightening picture of police battling “angry parents” in a simulated shooting at a school. The practice of police training to take on everything from homeschoolers to patriots and constitutionalists – “rightwing extremists” in government parlance – is anything but a rarity. Such exercises are now a prominent feature of the expanding police state.
In 2002, Alex Jones covered school shooting police exercises targeting homeschoolers, a topic included in his film, Police State Trilogy. Since that time, the effort to malign homeschooling parents as extremists and terrorists has only increased.
Police State Exercises Now Part of Public Education Landscape
In 2004, cops in Muskegon, Michigan conducted a “mock attack” on a school bus as part of a terrorism response exercise. The terrorists portrayed in the exercise were not fanatical Muslims or even phantom rightwing extremists – they were said to be fanatical homeschoolers.
According to the Muskegon Chronicle, the exercise was a simulated “attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled,” Homeschool World reported in September, 2004.
The simulated attack was funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Prison Planet.com reported:
"The mock attack was funded by a Homeland Security grant and required the participation of students to act bloody and injured, also involving hospitals, morgues and mannequins painted up to look like dead children, as parents were ordered to dash to emergency rooms frantic in the belief that their child had perished.
The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District later had to apologize for characterizing homeschoolers as terrorists after hundreds of complaints poured in.
Stereotypes consistently propped-up by the media demonize homeschoolers as hicks, retards and extremists, despite the fact the local and national spelling bees are routinely won by homeschooled children.
The ceaseless attack on homeschooling is an attempt to neutralize any alternatives parents have to placing their children in the state run re-education gulags known as the “public school system.”
“Michigan is the epicenter of the agenda to mould all schools into youth internment centers, indoctrinating all children to accept the presence of surveillance cameras, biometric scanning to access buildings and buy food, ID tracking cards and men in uniforms pointing guns at them as normal,” Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones wrote on November 6, 2008. “Allied to this is the openly stated agenda not to educate but to dumb down students and brainwash them with bizarre humanist rhetoric about the evils of the family, all in preparation for their smooth acquiescence into enslaved adulthood as a downtrodden worker bee under the control matrix of the elite.”
But it is not simply homeschoolers who are portrayed as terrorists in government school exercises.
In 2011, Pottawatamie County, Iowa, and Homeland Security conducted an exercise simulating a school shooting. The shooter was portrayed as a “white teen boy, whose family is involved in anti-illegal immigration rallies” and supports the Second Amendment. The father of the shooter was portrayed as a member of an “underground white supremacist group,” according to an email sent to Infowars.com.
School children are now routinely subjected to unannounced exercises. In a Michigan school in 2006, militarized cops took students “from the classroom into the halls, patted down by officers and asked what they had in their pockets.” The Associated Press reported that some of the children “were so scared, they just about wet their pants.”
“In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more ‘realistic’ and much more intense,” writes Michael Snyder. “Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people. Do we really need to have ‘active shooter’ drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them?”
Snyder documents numerous instances where school officials, in coordination with local militarized police often operating with Department of Homeland Security grants, have relocated children during mock terror drills and active shooter scenarios. Schools also routinely engage in lockdown drills, an activity that naturally acclimates young minds to accept an ever-encroaching police state.
“Schools have become hi-tech prisons,” Steve Watson wrote in 2007. “Children all across America and the UK are being conditioned to accept that they are not free and that they must submit to draconian laws and measures for their own safety… Everyday we post reports from mainstream news sources documenting this disturbing trend.”
Homeschooling: Part of Domestic Terror Construct
The demonization of Americans who are opposed to interning their children in public reeducation facilities predates the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the attacks of September 11, 2001.
According to Time Magazine, the rhetoric that supposedly contributed to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City came from “well known-elements of far-right thought: tax protesters, Christian homeschoolers, conspiracy theorists… and self-reliant types” in opposition to the federal government.
Lew Finch, the superintendent of schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, went further and directly placed the blame for the bombing on homeschoolers. “There is a dedicated, very well organized, very well financed movement in America that is very anti-public schools, very anti-government,” he told the Des Moines Register on May 4, 1995. “The ultimate example of that sentiment is the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.”
“We will continue to see armed men terrorize our children, aim guns at their head and indoctrinate them to accept living under tyranny unless parents and teacher organizations band together to file huge lawsuits against those responsible and we vehemently denounce the insidious Sovietization of the public school system,” Watson and Jones noted.
Homeschool parents and organizations, as well, would be wise to combat insidious government propaganda that likens them to terrorists. Left unopposed, this massive brainwashing effort will convert an entire generation into believing that homeschooling is not only evil and socially harmful, but it breeds terrorists.
The goal is to completely eradicate parent directed education and the threat it poses to public indoctrination mills that train children to passively participate in their own destruction while simultaneously worshipping government.
British Catholic primary calls in Stonewall to eradicate 'homophobic bullying' after pupil calls another student's shoes 'gay'
Gay rights activists have been called into a Roman Catholic primary school to give staff lessons in 'homophobic bullying' after a five-year-old boy was heard saying another boy’s shoes were 'gay'.
The jibe, sometimes used by children to mean 'bad' or 'rubbish', was made by a pupil in the infants’ playground of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wimbledon, south London.
It was reported by an adult supervisor to Sarah Crouch, the head teacher, who decided that it amounted to homophobic abuse.
She then invited Stonewall, the gay rights group, into the school to teach staff how to educate children in sexual equality.
The training day went ahead with the consent of all but one of the governors and with the blessing of the authorities of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.
The school is now the first and only Catholic primary school in the country to be listed as a Stonewall 'Primary School Champion' of gay equality.
Stonewall resources for primary schools are based around a pack called 'Different Families Same Love', which imparts the message that same-sex couple households are equal to those founded on marriage between heterosexuals.
Children are taught not to use the word 'gay' derisively because it would upset children who might be gay or might have gay parents.
But the decision to allow Stonewall into a Catholic primary has shocked campaigners who believe that the gay rights group should not be allowed to impose their views on young children.
They claim that such minor incidents were being used as a device to enter schools to teach 'gay propaganda'.
One Catholic close to the school said she was deeply concerned that the teachers were being trained to undermine a family based on a marriage between a man and a woman.
'I don’t think that teaching 'mummy and mummy' is equal to mummy and daddy is right in a Catholic primary school because Catholic Church teaching doesn’t agree with that,' said the woman, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals.
Miss Crouch said she called the campaign group into St Mary’s simply to train staff 'on how to tackle homophobic language and bullying'.
'As a school, and as Catholics, we are opposed to prejudice of any kind and felt it was important to tackle the issue of homophobic language and bullying.
'The training was very successful and we feel confident that if any incidents of this kind of language occur our staff have the means to address them appropriately.'
But Dr Patricia Morgan, a leading sociologist, said the decision to allow Stonewall into a Catholic primary school was 'completely wrong'.
'Hasn’'t the Catholic Church got more sense?' she asked. 'Everyone is kow-towing to these pressure groups which want to get access to children to promote their cause.
'I think it is incredible that they are interfering in casual insults hurled around by small children.
'We are now using the use 'gay' as a pretext for the introduction of children to sexual minorities at an innocent stage. Is it important for children to know about sexual variety at the age of five?'
Antonia Tully, national co-ordinator of the Safe at School campaign, said that the presence of gay activists in primary schools would alarm parents.
She said: 'Many parents will be very concerned that a gay rights organisation is considered to be an appropriate source of advice on how to deal with children using inappropriate language in the playground.
'If a primary school takes on Stonewall’s agenda young children will be exposed to homosexual issues which they are too young to understand properly,' she added.
'Parents expect a school to provide an education, not subject their children to gay propaganda.'
Stonewall itself has been a severe critic of the teaching of the Catholic Church, which holds that homosexual sexual acts are objectively disordered, although it is neutral about sexual orientation.
The gay rights charity is driving the campaign for same-sex marriage and is diametrically opposed to the Catholic Church’s resistance to it.
It claims that homophobic bullying is a common phenomenon in primary schools that had to be eradicated.
A Stonewall 'Teachers' Report' found that three quarters of primary school teachers hear children use the phrases 'that's so gay' or 'you’re so gay' and two in five primary school teachers say children experience homophobic bullying.
'Fear of bullying can stop children from talking about their families and from doing what they enjoy,' said a spokesman.
'All schools have a legal obligation to respond to homophobic bullying and by celebrating difference they can prevent it from happening in the first place.'