YWCA to teach classes on sexual harassment

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - We've seen the issue of sexual harassment plastered all over TV screens for the last several weeks.

The Tennessee House of Representatives is now making sure that state representatives and their staffs are acting appropriately.

Earlier in 2017, Mark Lovell resigned his seat amid allegations of sexual misconduct. That happened before the wave of sexual assault allegations against celebrities happened taking down Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and many others.

"It will give our legislators a better understanding of sexual harassment," said Marquiepta Odom with YWCA of Greater Memphis.

Soon the YWCA will teach sexual harassment training classes to try to stop this from happening

"I think if it makes the workplace better and more comfortable for everyone who's in the workplace then I think it's a good idea," said state representative Antonio Parkinson.

The only previous requirement for legislators was watching a 15-minute video.

The classes will teach participants what legally defines sexual harassment. Then it will go into the root causes of sexual harassment and the culture that supports it.

It will end with a call to action, involving steps to turn what they've learned into reality.

"If there's a measure that would be preventative in nature and this is their measure, I think it's a good idea," Parkinson said.  

"They are our leaders," Odom said. "They are supposed to represent how we think and how we should conduct ourselves. So, it starts with leadership."

The classes will start in December.

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