Student's Sexual Harassment Claim Is a Bit Unreasonable

booksThere's a college student in Nevada who's very upset with one of her professors. Karen Royce has filed a harassment claim against Western Nevada College because she feels the curriculum in a class she willingly signed up for was too inappropriate. The class, a freshman level course on Human Sexuality, required its students to report on such personal experiences as their masturbation routine, draw illustrated interpretations of their orgasms, and submit a 12- to 14-page final term paper that was a sexual case study of themselves. Racy stuff, racy stuff indeed. But does Karen have a case?

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We'll have to wait and see how the judge comes down on this, but if you ask me, she doesn't. The college defends their course saying that Royce had all the details of the class before she signed up. And to me, that's all she needed. Usually there's a drop/add period too, so I don't see why she didn't just drop the class after she saw the, shall we say, zestful syllabus. No one was forcing her to stay. It's not even a core class. It's an elective -- I would venture to guess there were other social science courses she could have chosen.

She argues that the professor should've offered her different assignment options since she felt uncomfortable, but ... I don't know about that. It's a class intended to broaden the mind and help students discover an untapped part of themselves. There's a purpose to the class, much like there's a purpose to a Calculus class. Had she found the math assignments too difficult, would the professor in that class been obligated to change them?

Obviously there are some gray areas when it comes to this case, it's not as black and white as math, but I think Royce had some outs that she didn't take. And at 60 years old, yes, 60, you'd think she'd know how to get herself out of a situation she's uncomfortable in without taking the lawsuit route. Sexual harassment constitutes unwelcome sexual conduct. I don't think it's unwelcome if you sign yourself up for the course.

Do you think Royce has a case?

 

Photo via hashmil/Flickr

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