‘No more’ when it comes to sexual harassment

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:00am
  • Opinion

It started out as #MeToo, but now it’s become “no more.”

After a New York Times story detailed how movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted women for years as Hollywood turned a blind eye, the two-word hashtag spread virally on Twitter. The idea was to provide a safe space for women to publicize their experiences in order to demonstrate how widespread sexual misconduct and misogyny is within the culture.

Then it became a sad and shocking game of “who will fall next.” A seemingly endless list of celebrities, politicians and executives was accused of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Eyes are opened as the list grows longer: Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor and on and on.

Thanks to his endorsement of Alabama’s accused child molester candidate Roy Moore, people are even starting to take a fresh look at the accounts by women of how they were assaulted by President Donald Trump.

Whidbey Island isn’t without its skeletons. Three years ago, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown fired Detective John Nieder after he repeatedly sexually harassed a female colleague as she was training him to investigate sexual assault cases.

The detective, with the support of the deputy’s guild, appealed his termination to an arbitrator, gave him his job back.

Nieder now works on Camano Island. The accuser has since left the sheriff’s department.

If that case had occurred in the current anti-harassment environment, perhaps the guild wouldn’t have been so quick to support Nieder and his fight to regain his job. Sheriff Brown was right to have a zero-tolerance rule when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in his department.

Every business — and every single one of us for that matter — should follow his example.

Sexual harassment isn’t funny. It’s not harmless. And women are absolutely right in coming forward to say, “no more!”

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