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NEA Legal & Employment Guidance

How Should Educators Handle Harassment?

Educators have reported an increase in verbal and online harassment in recent years. Here is what faculty, staff, and administrators can do if they are being harassed by students, parents, or other community members.
school board protest Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
Protesters against a COVID-19 mandate gesture as they are escorted out of the Clark County School Board meeting at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas.
Published: April 5, 2023
This resource originally appeared on

Over the past few years, some politicians who are bent on dragging their culture wars into our public schools and onto our campuses have fueled an increase in violence and harassment directed toward educators.

These politicians want to censor the truth, ban books, whitewash history, and keep educators from doing their jobs in order to undermine trust in our educators and public education—even by stoking violence, fear, and intimidation.

This harassment often takes the form of verbal threats, online harassment, intimidation, and sexual harassment, and it can escalate to physical violence. American Psychological Association, Violence Against Educators and School Personnel: Crisis During COVID, Policy Brief 2 (2022). Go to reference Educators have reported a recent increase in online harassment, including doxxing—the practice of publicly revealing another’s private or identifying information on the internet.

Much of this harassment has been directed toward LGBTQ+ educators and educators who promote an honest and inclusive education. See Tim Walker, The Culture War’s Impact on Public Schools, NEA Today (Feb. 17, 2023). Go to reference

This page is intended to provide general information. For specific advice, you should always contact your local union or attorney. 

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