Sexual Harassment FAQs

Sexual Harassment Program FAQs

What is McGrath Sexual Harassment Investigation Training?
The McGrath Sexual Harassment Investigation Training Program is mandatory for on-site complaint managers and other key district personnel who receive sexual harassment and abuse complaints. Participants are educated in applicable laws and procedures while inquiring into the psychodynamics of victims, perpetrators and witnesses. The training is designed to walk participants through the complete investigative procedure and to explore the interview process through role playing and discussion.

Specifically, participants in the McGrath Sexual Harassment Investigation Training Program will receive the following comprehensive training in the unique methods required for legally sound investigations in sexual harassment cases:

  • Review current legislation, recent case law and law and legal procedures related to sexual harassment;
  • Discuss legal liability for the district and the individual;
  • Analyze the psychodynamics of victims, perpetrators and witnesses;
  • Learn steps to take when an incident occurs;
  • Practice interview techniques appropriate to the sensitive nature of sexual harassment cases;
  • Utilize legally sound forms and templates for fact acquisition and report preparation.

Who should receive this training?
All managers and administrators at the site or district level who may receive complaints of sexual harassment by students, certificated or classified personnel. We recommend training at least one male and one female from each site. A comprehensive training for your district should include:

  • Superintendents and Personnel Directors
  • Principals and other key administrators
  • Managers of Classified Personnel
  • School Safety & Security Officers
  • Affirmative Action Officers
  • Gender Equity and Title IX Coordinators
  • Risk Managers, Counselors and Curriculum Coordinators
  • Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free Schools Coordinators

Why is this training so essential?
Sexual harassment may cost you and your district more than you ever imagined.

Recent court rulings in sexual harassment suits have left you exposed to tremendous personal liability. That’s because students and employees can now seek financial damages not just from the district, but from administrators as well. This is alarming considering these suits typically seek at least $1,000,000 in damages and their filing rate has quadrupled in recent years. What’s more, if you didn’t know the problem existed, or even if you had an official policy in place, it may not matter in your defense. What does matter is if you’ve taken clear and appropriate action to stop sexual harassment in your schools. If you haven’t, the cost to your district, your students, and yourself can be devastating, both financially and emotionally.

Safe Schools:
The best reason to prevent sexual harassment is not merely to avoid liability, but rather to ensure that students are able to pursue their education in a safe environment that fosters cooperation and respect. This is proven not only to raise the morale, confidence and performance of students, but also that of teachers and other personnel.

Will this training protect my district from liability?
An analysis of applicable laws, federal guidelines and case law demonstrates the complexity and sensitivity of the issues surrounding sexual harassment. It is an area of law that is continually growing as the courts and the administrative agencies attempt to further define sexual harassment and hammer out the scope of the liability issues.

While it is impossible to cover all bases on which liability may attach, minimizing the risks of sexual harassment of employees and students, as well as protecting an employer from liability, comes from: Having and following an explicit written policy; Providing regular training and education to all employees and students; Expressing disapproval of sexual harassment and explaining the sanctions for such conduct; Maintaining a procedure for complaints that encourages victims to come forward; Ensuring privacy, providing effective remedies, and protecting witnesses and victims against retaliation; Prompt and thorough investigation of all reports or complaints of possible sexual harassment; Immediate corrective action; Appropriate consequences if allegations are substantiated; Prompt reporting of suspected child abuse.

The McGrath Sexual Harassment Investigation Training Program leaves your district fully trained and prepared to implement all of these procedures, providing the best possible protection for all.

I live in another state. Will your program still apply?
Yes, we conduct our training with administrators throughout the United States and Canada, and our programs are designed with this audience in mind. We take into account both applicable federal law and legal precedents as well as directing you toward compliance with state and local laws and regulations. We also ask that you provide us with a copy of your district sexual harassment policy in advance so that we can tailor the training for your district.

Who is program designer Mary Jo McGrath?

Mary Jo McGrath, Attorney at Law, is the founder of McGrath Training Systems with nearly 30 years experience specializing in employee performance issues and legal mandates in the workplace. She is acknowledged as a national expert in labor relations and discrimination law, supervision and discipline of employees, and leadership skills.

Ms. McGrath has been the featured legal expert on CBS’ Eye to Eye, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, and 48 Hours on the issue of sexual harassment, and on ABC’s 20/20 on the issue of teacher quality and performance. She is the featured legal expert in a number of print publications including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Redbook Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Seventeen Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The School Administrator and several other nationally circulated professional journals.

Ms. McGrath is the author and developer of the McGrath Training Systems’ professional development programs and curricula that include live trainings, video trainings, and web-based distance learning on a variety of topics including: leadership, accountability, constructive communication, employee supervision and evaluation, gender equity, athletic liability, cultural and racial diversity, bullying, educator sexual abuse, and sexual harassment prevention and intervention. In 2007, her new book was published by Corwin Press, School Bullying: Tools for Avoiding Harm and Liability..

Do you deliver Sexual Harassment Awareness Workshops for Teachers and Staff?
We are available for half day or full day McGrath Sexual Harassment Awareness Training sessions. We particularly recommend this type of in-depth, on-site training for vulnerable employees. The McGrath Training for Vulnerable Educators and Employees is designed for coaches, health educators and directors, transportation, food service, and other special services’ staff. These groups are particularly at risk because of the nature of their work with students.

It is imperative that vulnerable educators and employees have specialized training regarding the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in the school. The degree to which site staff understand their own roles in properly handling and reducing potential issues will greatly minimize the risk of injury and liability for the school district, schools, students and personnel.

What about training students?
We provide both live, on-site student training as well as a complete video training system for use with pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students. We will be happy to send you a free video preview. We can also include in your Investigation Workshop, training on implementation of our student video training program within your district.

What are the fees and how do I schedule a workshop in my district?
Costs vary depending on length of training, location, and class size. For more information, or to schedule a workshop, please Contact Us or call McGrath Systems, Inc. at (800) 733-1638 Thank you.