Title 9 class useful to students

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Sexual harassment should not be allowed to happen.

Alamo Colleges is providing a 45-minute online course on awareness and prevention of violence and sexual assault that will be required of all students beginning July 1 to comply with federal Title 9 requirements.

Title 9 protects students from discrimination based on sexual harassment, gender and relationship violence.

The training, Haven, is needed because everything it goes over is important information on which students are not adequately informed.

The training discusses relationship violence and ways to speak up to stop it or report it.

A healthy relationship is good for a student already burdened with the pressures of school, work and home life.

When experiencing an abusive relationship, Haven teaches students to speak up to that person or inform a person of authority.

The course also covers consensual and non-consensual sex.

The training uses an example of a man getting a woman drunk to have sex and explains that anyone aware of that should report it. The reverse is also a reportable offense that happens more often than you might think.

Hostile environment harassment is making verbal or written comments, making gestures, displaying photos, sending text messages and using social media to harass someone, according to the course.

Slurs such as “slut” and “whore” are used commonly — sometimes vindictively, sometimes jokingly — but using those words is a form of sexual harassment.

All of which can interfere with a student’s ability to participate successfully in school.

Stalking in person or through social media also is discussed in the course.

The course gives examples and signs of when a student can be stalked, valuable information for students.

If a person tells you they have been sexually assaulted, the course says to listen to them, believe them and support their decision.

Whether it’s teaching students about the wrongfulness of this crime or reaffirming the fact, this class will help many people.

Students already enrolled in classes should still take the class to be informed on sexual assault.

Alamo Colleges is taking sexual assault seriously, and so should students.

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