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You, The Jury On Sexual Harrassment

Brief Description/Purpose

To highlight the fact that the meaning of sexual harrassment laws are established by the courts and not by what any individual believes is, or is not harrassment. 


Group activity

Age Appropriate


Ideal Group Size

15-20 people

Time For Exercise

20 to 25 minutes


Sexual harrassment, diversity

Detailed Instructions If Needed

You'll need to do some homework in advance to prepare some reference materials. First, identify some legal cases that have gone to the courts and where a judgement has been rendered. You may be able to find cases online, and try to make sure that the court is relevant to your location. Take note of the actual complaint -- what is alleges to have happened, and the judgement, including the explanation.

Prepare the first part -- the case information, the complainant's case, what was alleged, and so on.

Present the case to the group, and ask them to come to a consensus as to whether the harrassment allegations were, in fact, instances of harrassment -- i.e. whether the defendant should be guilty.

This can be done in small groups or the larger group.

Once that's done, present the court's actual findings.

Debrief by focusing on the legalistic nature of the laws, and how one's individual sense of what should constitute harrassment is irrelevant when it comes to courts determining liability.

Additional Information if Available

If you like break into sub groups and have each sub group work on a different case, and try to come to a unanamous decision.


Discussions can be quite volatile, and there can be a lot of criticism of the court's decisions, but highlight the liability aspect, and how sexual harrassment claims can cost companies large amounts of money, not to mention that careers can be ruined by not understanding what constitutes harrassment.