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Edna Manley sex assault victim wants overhaul of sexual harassment policies in schools

PAAC chairman Dr. Wykeham McNeill, reading a letter written by an alleged victim of sexual harassment at Edna Manley College
 
Alleged sexual harassment victim Janelle Blair wants an overhaul of  sexual harassment policies in schools in the wake of controversy surrounding how such reports have been handled at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. 
 
Ms Blair appeared in-camera before Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday to outline what happened when she reported a case of sexual harassment to the school's administration.
 
After her appearance, PAAC chairman Dr. Wykeham McNeill read a letter she wrote to the committee.
 
In it, she said the school's sexual harassment policy was not easily accessible to students and an advisory board set up to receive complaints was not publicised. 
 
"Students are not made aware of who exactly comprises this board and are therefore unaware of who to submit complaints to or how they will be dealt with. Counselling ought to be emphasised for the wellbeing of students who are being sexually harassed at the institution, as outlined by the sexual harassment policy as an integral part of complaint procedures. Without the proper policies in place and enforced, predators are able to prey on victims each and every year," he read. 
 
Ms Blair also noted that the Sexual Harassment Bill was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
 
She called for school policies to be in line with the national policy as happens in the United States. 
 
"Schools must respond quickly to complaints of sexual harassment and must provide counselling for victims of harassment as well as assistance academically if a student's performance has suffered because of sexual harassment at the institution," the letter read by Dr. McNeill said. 
 
 


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