Organizations are required to show that they have responded appropriately. What does it mean to “respond appropriately”? Here are some guidelines for schools and the work place:

    • People in charge must investigate immediately
    • All inquiries must be prompt, thorough, and impartial
    • Interviews must include: those targeted, those accused of offending and any witnesses.
  • Leaders must communicate with those targeted regarding all the steps being taken to end the harassment
  • Leaders must check in regularly afterwards with those targeted (and, in the case of    children, their families) to ensure that the harassment has stopped
  • Once an investigation reveals that harassment has occurred, an organization needs to take steps to: end the harassment, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent harassment from recurring, and inhibit any retaliation against those who were targeted or did the bullying.

To find out about your state’s laws and policies compared to other states and to see what kind of harassment constitute a federal violation go to:

* I am always glad to work with schools, nonprofits and companies who are facing civil lawsuits for bullying. Sadly, it’s a big part of my consulting business. However, how much better to prevent harassment! If you know someone who is part of an organization that wants to focus on prevention, would you send this article to them or tell them about O’Halloran Diversity Productions? They can reach me at: susan@susanohalloran.com and we will set up a short conversation to see if I can be of help to them. Thanks in advance!


Sue O’Halloran is a diversity consultant working for more inclusive schools, businesses and faith-based organizations. High school teachers, Sue will be offering a free webinar in 20183 Common Mistakes High School Teachers Make that Have Them Unintentionally Offending Students & Parents of Different Races. Watch for announcements!