Harassment in our hallways

For our “Harassment in our Hallways” spread, we interviewed a student who experienced  sexual harassment at Sequoia and shared her story

“He was in one of my classes the year before, and we were just friends. He would say something in Spanish that he would think that I wouldn’t understand, and I would just ignore it. He would say, ‘Oh I wonder what she would do if I kissed her?’

One time I was at my locker and he was passing by, and then he gave me a kiss on the cheek super fast and just kept walking and I thought, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’ I wasn’t really sure and I couldn’t really do anything. I remember I looked back and he was smiling.

A couple days later, he did it again on my neck, and I thought, ‘That is not OK, you need to stop.’  The first time I kind of just laughed it off I thought ‘What are you doing?’ and the second time he did it I looked at him and looked mad and thought, ‘No’.  When I was at my locker I was worried; I would always be looking around. I remember I would [say to my friends,] ‘Come to my locker with me’.

I told my sister about it and she told me I needed to tell one of my teachers. I told my teacher and she was really surprised about it, and she told me I should tell one of the vice principals because it was sexual harassment. I didn’t really know that would be considered sexual harassment, and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t say anything.

I ended up telling Mr. Kuliga. I had to file a report and write down what happened, and they went back to look in the cameras to see what had happened. I told him exactly where my locker was so he could see what had happened besides what I had told him. After it happened, Mr. Kuliga told me, ‘Don’t worry, we will take care of it, he won’t come up to you, you won’t have to see him,’ and stuff like that.

I was still scared and for the next couple weeks I was cautious and always looking around.”