Book Review

Students Harassing Students

The Emotional and Educational Toll on Kids

by Janice Cantrell, Rowman and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2008, 144 pp., $24.95 softcover

Thousands of child-ren and young people return to school each fall filled with fear. They fear sexual harassment from their peers. Many students will refuse to go to school, participate less in class, or even or drop out of school altogether.

Students Harassing Students


Teachers, parents, staff members and school administrators are rightfully concerned about sexual harassment of children by adults. However, many of us are not aware of the frequency and impact of harassment by students on other students. This is a significant problem with disturbing implications.

Jan Cantrell’s book, Students Harassing Students: The Emotional and Educational Toll on Kids illuminates the problem of peer harassment. It’s a truly eye-opening text.

In a 2001 study by the American Association for University Women, 83 percent of the girls and 60 percent of the boys had been sexually harassed by their peers. An amazing 39 percent reported being sexually harassed every day. Eleven percent of the students reported they had been forced to do something sexual other than kissing while attending school. A third of the girls in the study reported not wanting to go to school, not wanting to talk in class and finding it difficult to pay attention.

The author presents ideas to help adults prevent these problems. Each chapter includes scenarios for study and discussion by educators and students.

Reviewed by James Redfield, adjunct professor, Rush City, Minn.