Some junior high school (JHS) students have confirmed that sexual harassment actually takes place in schools.
The harassments, they said, were often carried out by both teachers and students, stressing that teachers were usually the worst culprits.
In separate interviews with the Junior Graphic, the students said teachers often took advantage of their vulnerability as children to harass them.
A JHS student, 18, whose name has been withheld stated thus: “I was once harassed by my Social Studies teacher.
He warned that if I did not go out with him, he will fail me in the subject”.
She explained that she felt so uncomfortable anytime the teacher came to class because he called her unexpectedly to answer questions and when she failed to answer correctly, he would punish her.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
“This continued for a while until I reported him to the school authorities after which he was dismissed,” she said.
Another female student, 16, said due to her stature, she was always harassed by the teachers in her school and now she wants to stop schooling.
“I was once sent by a teacher to buy fruits for him and when I brought them, he asked me to send them to his office. Immediately I entered, he followed and locked the door.
I screamed and some students came to my rescue,” she added.
A male student, 17, also said he was most of the time harassed by some girls in his class because they claimed he was handsome.
“Some girls often come to me at home to do their homework with me just to get close to me.
Sometimes,they touch me and say I am very handsome,” he stated
Meanwhile,a Counselor and a Lecturer at the Wisconsin University College, Dr(Mrs.) Akua Frimpong said, school authorities must undertake thorough investigation into reports of sexual harassments by pupils and students and take action to serve as a deterrent to others.
She pointed out that sexual harassment was a serious problem for students at all educational levels.
“The problem is very common but many students are scared or too embarrassed to report cases,” she said, adding that sexual harassment could be verbal (comments about your body), physical (grabbing,) and visual (display of naked pictures of sex- related objects).
“Sexual harassment is different from flirting. It can be requests for sexual favours that are bad enough to make you feel uncomfortable, scared or confused,” she added.
The Proprietor of the Resurrection Hope School in Accra, Mr Boakye Yiadom, said, ‘’I make sure that when such cases are reported to me, I investigate thoroughly and then call the people involved and dismiss them from the school,” he said.