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In school

Photo of teens in a school hallwaySchool should be a place where we feel safe from harm. Many students attend schools that are very safe and comfortable places to learn. There still may be a time when you feel unsafe because other students use violence, or bullying, to harm you. Sexual harassment can also make you feel unsafe. Someone is sexually harassing you if he or she says or does anything sexual to make you feel uncomfortable. Some ways this can happen include:

  • making sexual comments or jokes
  • touching you in a sexual way
  • blocking your way or cornering you in a sexual way
  • forcing you to kiss him or her or do other things that make you uncomfortable

While it is very rare for an adult at school to harass or threaten students in a sexual way, you should let a parent or guardian know right away if an adult at school makes you feel uncomfortable. You have the right to feel safe and to be respected by your classmates and adults at school. If you ever feel afraid or threatened, tell a teacher, school counselor, parent/guardian, or other adult you can trust.


Have you ever felt unsafe at school? Have you ever been afraid to go to school? If someone has threatened you, tell a parent/guardian or teacher immediately.

Some students are starting to take safety into their own hands. The School Crime Watch is based on the Neighborhood Watch idea: It helps youth watch out for each other to make the entire school safer. It’s a student-led effort that helps young people take responsibility for their own school community.

acrobat icon Learn more about School Crime Watch and how to start one in your school!

What should you do if someone brings a weapon to school?
Learn more about what to do if someone brings a gun, knife, or other weapon to your school.

Content last updated September 22, 2009

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.