Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools

Coalitions for Gender Equity in SchoolsThe Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools (CGES) collaborates with youth, educators, parents, activists and policy makers to raise awareness about the impact of sexual harassment in NYC schools and works towards achieving gender equality in the education of youth in NYC.

In 2012, CGES solidified a dozen active organizational members and on November 26th met at Legal Momentum to carve out priority areas for the coalitions Youth Leadership, Education and Advocacy objectives. Thus far, priority areas include workshop-sharing and train-the-trainers trainings so that all members are able to present anti-sexual harassment workshops to students, parents, educators and administrators. CGES members will also analyze the following federal, state and local policies – Title IX, The Dignity for All Students Act and Respect for All – to monitor uniform implementation in schools.

In addition, CGES is taking intentional steps to create a strong common platform which accounts for our members’ myriad interests related to school safety and gender non-discrimination. We will continue to monitor impact, and findings will be shared with stakeholders and policy makers to inform policies and practice.

Should you get involved?

The Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools (CGES) conducted research during the 2010-2011 school year to find out how many NYC public schools were able to readily identify their A-831 staff designees (Title IX coordinators). When asked if there was a staff person designated to receive reports of sexual harassment, it was found that only 10 NYC public schools out of the 200 that we called – in Districts 1, 6, 12, and 18 in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens – were able to identify this individual. The federal regulations state unequivocally that at least one Title IX coordinator must be named in each school . It is compulsory that the coordinator’s contact information be communicated to all in the school community. Our finding reveal an overwhelming failure to ensure consistent compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 due to a lack of oversight by the NYC Department of Education.

CGES provided specific recommendations to the Office of School and Youth Development, in line with our findings, regarding the improved identification and training of A-831 staff designees. The Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools called for the following:

  •  compile names of A-831 staff designees, list on school websites, and update annually;
  •  increase communication between schools and the Department of Education to ensure compliance with existing federal (Title IX), city (Respect for All, A-831) and imminent
    state (Dignity for All Students Act) regulations and laws;
  •  report to the public regarding the content, frequency, attendance and evaluation of training of A-831 staff designee
    o create a Compliance Task Force that meets monthly to monitor training attendance, content and representation from each district;
  •  include sexual harassment and sexual violence in annual NYC school survey in order to ensure that these issues inform school safety ratings.

After four meetings with the Department of Education, our recommendations continue to be ignored by the administration when it comes to prioritizing the safety of students in schools.

Do you care about gender justice? Do you care about students learning in safe schools? If you do (and hopefully you do!), let’s do something about it! Join the Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools comprised of NYC youth, educators, parents and organizers in our fight against sexual harassment in schools.

  •  Bring a Hey…Shorty! Workshop on sexual harassment to your school, organization or group
  •  Learn how to lead a Hey…Shorty! Workshop
  •  Volunteer in our Campaigns
  •  And more so YES, get involved!!!

CGES Youth Summit on Street Harassment

The Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools (CGES) held a Youth Summit on Street Harassment on March 25, 2013 at the Urban Assembly Institute that exceeded our highest expectations!

We planned for 50 middle and high school students to attend this youth led event, but to our surprise 100 students showed up and convened in downtown Brooklyn for the CGES summit. These remarkable students and youth leaders chose to spend the first day of their spring break with us in a variety of workshops that examined street harassment.

Throughout the summit, youth leaders from Girls for Gender Equity, Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE), Right Rides, Sadie Nash Leadership Project and Girls Inc. emceed, facilitated, and supported their peers in an action packed, thought-provoking day of activities, dialogues and workshops.

The Roots of Street Harassment Tree