When sexual harassment incidents increased at our school last spring, we knew we had to create a comprehensive education program that would challenge our students' attitudes and assumptions about sexual harassment. We agreed that we needed to design a program that would personalize the issue and give students opportunities for open-ended discussion.
As we planned the program, we came to realize that sexual harassment is one of a constellation of issues that affect our school culture—from racism and sexism to religious intolerance and homophobia. We decided, therefore, to create a daylong event that would allow students to explore the importance of appreciating and honoring one another's differences. Respect Day was born.