S., in response to three harassing e-mails she received on her school e-mail account as a freshman at Hastings-on-Hudson High School over the course of ten days by a male student in March of 2005. printed out the e-mails and showed them to her guidance counselor who brought the matter to the attention of her supervisor and the school's principal.The male student, also using his school e-mail account sent S. messages based on topics such as her weight and sexual activity. The plaintiff brought this claim against the defendant school district asserting that the harassing e-mails constituted student-student sexual harassment under Title IX. Accordingly, the defendant school district was not held liable.Gender harassment can be communicated in both verbal and graphic forms.It is often described as "unwelcome verbal and visual comments and remarks that insult individuals because of their gender or that use stimuli known or intended to provide negative emotions." refers to offensive sexual messages aimed towards a victim that are initiated by a harasser.
Additionally, the company's Internet service provider (Compu Serve) created a forum available to employees which enabled them to virtually exchange ideas and information.
The Court noted that the conduct at issue arose out of employee relationships and was therefore relevant, regardless of where the harassment occurred.
Furthermore, the Court held that an employer may not disregard offensive messages posted on a company website when the employer is aware or should be aware of the messages.
Sexual harassment has been a prevalent issue in our society and in the legal system for over fifty years.
The ever-increasing use of the Internet in the past twenty to thirty years has served as a medium for sexual harassment that has, until recently, gone relatively unnoticed.