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Sheri Heitker Dixon said, "I would never leave my daughter at a school where these banners were displayed without immediately discussing my concerns and expectations with the school administrators."
ORLANDO, FL, August 31, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- At some colleges and universities, drop-off includes a welcome to freshmen that could make parents want to take their daughters and head back home. This year the photos posted on social media included banners with these messages: "Does Your Daughter Have a Gag Reflex?" at the University of Cincinnati, "You Taught Morals, We'll Teach Oral" at Ohio University, and "Daughter Drop-Off" at Ohio State.
Administrators released statements indicating their schools did not condone the messages or allow the signs to remain posted. According Keep Her Safe, an organization mobilizing parents to stop campus sexual assault, this is not enough. Executive Director Sheri Heitker Dixon said, "I would never leave my daughter at a school where these banners were displayed without immediately discussing my concerns and expectations with the school administration. As parents, we are making a large investment in education and can make sexual assault a consumer issue."
Keep Her Safe helps parents press administrators to create and implement effective sexual assault prevention programs. It recommends parents who encounter the banners take the following actions.
1. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students immediately.
Parents should speak with the dean and tell her they are calling because they are very upset about the signs, concerned about what the school is doing to prevent campus sexual assault, and are uncomfortable leaving their daughter in this environment. The dean should know that parents are concerned because some men on campus feel safe and comfortable sexually harassing female students.
2. Contact the Title IX Coordinator.
File a formal complaint.
3. If the offender is a fraternity or other club, contact the Student Activities office.
Parents should confirm the office is aware of the incident and ask what the repercussions will be for the students and group involved. They should tell the office they expect offending students to be penalized.
4. Parents can make it off limits to join a fraternity which posts such a banner.
Joining a fraternity known to sexually harass and objectify women sends the message that this behavior is tolerated. Support young men in standing up to those who would harm their friends and sisters. Notify the national office of this decision.
5. Research a sorority before allowing a daughter to rush.
Avoid any sorority that has a close relationship with the offending fraternity. Communicate this decision to the local and national leadership of the sorority.
6. Share pictures of the banner on social media.
When this issue is exposed, it can motivate administrators to create and implement effective prevention practices which they can promote.
7. Hold the college or university accountable.
Make sure all questions are answered and that the departments contacted follow up regarding actions taken.
8. Continue to follow up with the school to encourage them to create and implement effective prevention programs.
As a consumer investing a significant sum in tuition, parents have influence. They can continue to talk with contacts made at the college so it is clear administrators are expected to create and implement prevention programs that can stop sexual harassment and assault. Keep Her Safe recommends the sexual assault prevention program be delivered in multiple ways, be mandatory for all students, and be ongoing throughout a student's years at the school.
Keep Her Safe mobilizes parents to stop campus sexual assault. The Keep Her Safe Parent Guide helps parents engage and local Keep Her Safe Chapters allow parents to target the schools where many students in their communities will apply.
Contact: Sheri Heitker Dixon
For more information, visit www.KeepHerSafe.org
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