home what'snew resources ask amy news activism antiviolence events marketplace aboutus
Ask a Question!
Meet Amy!
Amy's Resource Guide
Ask Amy Main
Most Asked Questions
Reproductive Rights
Sexual Harassment
Violence Against Women
Women's History
Girls/ Children


I have a question- our head basketball coach was quoted in the paper saying this year's basketball team was the dumbest team he had ever coached.

That comment upset me, and I wrote to the editor of the paper asking how they decide what to print. I said I felt the only dumb one on the team was the head coach for saying that about young, impressionable kids. A week later when my letter ran in the paper, the head coach came up to my daughter (who had no idea about the letter), and asked her if she knew who helped me write the letter. My daughter told him she had no idea what he was talking about. He proceeded to tell her about the article and said “Don’t worry I think I know who helped.” As she was walking out he said “Hey give your mom a kiss from me”. Is that considered sexual harassment against her and I?




Melissa -

That coach sounds ridiculous. Oddly, the newspaper probably printed that quote not because they were endorsing him, but because they wanted to make him sound foolish.

I don't think your situation qualifies as sexual harassment, as sexual harassment actually refers to a very specific act. It either means that you were directly threatened, quid pro quo (i.e. do this or you will be fired); or that you had to withstand a hostile environment (i.e. repeated butt pinching or something like that). Sadly, while there are many instances like the one you and your daughter experienced, which are rude, ridiculous and unfair, they don't qualify under any legal definition of harassment. 

I would however report this to the school board, rather than reporting it to the actual school, which has little authority over hiring and firing. This along with his actual comment in the paper should certainly be documented at a minimum, and potentially something more could be done. Good luck.