Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) works with youth organizers to STOP sexual harassment and gender-based violence in schools and on the streets.
Students in New York City and beyond experience sexual harassment from students and school staff in the form of:
- Pressure for sex
- Groping in the hallways
- Stalking to and from school
- Bullying about their sexual or gender identities
- Sexually explicit comments about their bodies
Did you know that under Title IX of the Education Amendment every U.S. public elementary, middle/junior high, and high school is obligated to have a designated school staff person to receive reports on sexual harassment? It is the responsibility of the school to make sure that the entire school community knows who that person is; they can be a guidance counselor, the principal or a teacher.
GGE encourages all students — especially young women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-identified students — to START voicing their experiences with sexual harassment in their school. Once we can name it, then we can STOP it!
GGE youth organizers co-facilitate “Hey…Shorty! Workshops on Sexual Harassment” in New York City and across the country. During these workshops, we do a STOP circle, and we want you to bring this activity to your community!
Now, it’s your turn to say STOP!
Let’s START here!
Directions for “Wanna Be Startin’ Something?”
Materials: Red paper, green paper, black markers, and a group people ready to claim their voices
1. Create STOP and START signs!
- Take a sheet of red paper and cut out the shape of an octagon.
- On one side of the octagon, take a black marker and write STOP in big, bold lettering.
- Take a sheet of green paper and cut out the shape of a circle.
- On one side of the circle, take a black marker and write START in big, bold lettering.
2. Create STOP and START phrases
- Think of a time when a friend, a parent or stranger did something to you that you didn’t like (e.g., you were talking and someone didn’t listen to you)
- Come up with a phrase that describes what you didn’t like, starting with the word “STOP…”
- Write this phrase on the STOP sign.
- Then, come up with a phrase that describes what you would like from the person instead, starting with the word “START…”
- Write this phrase on the START sign.
3. Here are some examples:
- STOP calling me a “Bitch.” START respecting me.
- STOP abusing me. START loving me.
- STOP ignoring me. START paying attention to me.
- STOP being a follower. START being a leader.
- STOP following me home from school/work. START respecting my personal space.
4. Once STOP and START signs are complete, everyone will stand in a circle with their signs in hand.
5. Ask someone to volunteer to be the first read their STOP/START signs aloud.
6. Everyone will go around the circle reading aloud their STOP/START signs. Feeling empowered? Finding your voice? GREAT! Now go out and teach others how to do this activity, but most of all START using your voice to STOP injustice.
Show us how you say STOP!