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Home >  Student Services >  Unlawful Discrimination Reporting >  Discrimination and Harassment (Protected Categories/ Types of Harassment)

Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination Categories Protected under Title 5:

Age Ethnic Group Identification Physical Disability Retaliation
Ancestry Mental Disability Race Sex (includes Harassment)
Color National Origin Religion Sexual Orientation
Other

Types of Harassment:

Bullying
Harassment that can occur on the playground, school, in the workforce or any other place. Usually physical and psychological harassing behavior perpetrated against an individual, by one or more persons.

HB 1576 defines "bullying" to mean recklessly or intentionally endangering the health or safety of a student by exposing the student repeatedly and over time to physical aggression or intimidation, whether through direct physical contact or through the use of information or communication technology, resulting in bodily injury or other harm to person or property. This definition does not supersede or limit any definition of bullying developed by the Board of Education or the actual codes of student conduct adopted by school boards pursuant to § 22.1-279.6. Bullying is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse; offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; work interference - sabotage - which prevents work from getting done

Psychological harassment
This is humiliating or abusive behavior that lowers a person's self-esteem or causes them torment. This can take the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures. Falling into this category is workplace mobbing.

Racial harassment
The targeting of an individual because of their race or ethnicity. The harassment's include words, deeds, and actions that are specifically designed to make the target feel degraded due to their race of origin or ethnicity.

Religious harassment
Verbal, psychological or physical harassment's used against targets because they choose to practice a specific religion. Religious harassment can also include forced and involuntary conversions.

Sexual harassment
Harassment can happen anywhere but is most common in the workplace, and schools. It involves unwanted and unwelcome, words, deeds, actions, gestures, symbols, or behaviors of a sexual nature that make the target feel uncomfortable. Gender and sexual orientation harassment fall into this family.

Stalking
The unauthorized following and surveillance of an individual, to the extent that the persons privacy is unacceptably intruded upon, and the victim fears for their safety.

Mobbing
Violence committed directly or indirectly by a loosely affiliated and organized group of individuals to punish or even execute a person for some alleged offense without a lawful trial. The 'offense' can range from a serious crime like murder or simple expression of ethnic, cultural, or religious attitudes. The issue of the victim's actual guilt or innocence is often irrelevant to the mob, since the mob relies on contentions that are unverifiable, unsubstantiated, or completely fabricated.

Hazing
To persecute, harass, or torture in a deliberate, calculated, planned, manner. Typically the targeted individual is a subordinate, for example, a fraternity pledge, a first-year military cadet, or somebody who is considered 'inferior' or an 'outsider'. Hazing is illegal in many instances.

Backlash
Backlash or 'victim blaming' occurs when the harasser or other people in the environment blame the victim for the harassment, or the resulting controversies and conflicts after the harassment is reported or discovered. Backlash results when people erroneously believe the victim could stop the harassment if they really tried, or that the victim must have done something to cause the harassment. The victim may be accused of trying to get attention, covering for incompetence, or in cases where the harassment is proven, lying about the extent of the effects. "Old school" attitudes about certain kinds of harassment remain and there are in many circumstances social pressure for victims to "keep their mouths shut" about abuse or suffer the consequences.