Mexico: Hundreds of adolescents denounce sexual harassment by teachers

Mexico sexual harassment by teachers

Some 300 adolescent students from the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, left the classrooms this Friday (03.10.2023) to denounce sexual harassment and gender violence by some of their teachers, who -despite having been pointed out continue to teach them daily.

Motivated by the mobilizations that took place in Mexico for International Women’s Day, the adolescents left their schools to take to the streets.

In upper secondary level institutions, such as the College of Bachelors of the State of Oaxaca number 1, and in two Industrial and Services Technological Baccalaureate Centers (CBTIS), as well as La Salle University, the students evidenced the names of the professors who They have been sexually harassed.

In civic squares and the entrances of these schools located in the city of Oaxaca, the students placed “clotheslines” with cardboard where they wrote messages addressed to the management personnel of these institutions dependent on the State Institute of Public Education of Oaxaca.

“I am a CBTIS student. This man has invited me out and insists that if I want to pass his subject I must do things that he asks me to do: Anonymous”, was one of the complaints that are read at the main entrances of these schools.

The protests have motivated the suspension of classes arguing for the safety of the teachers, who have been designated by their nicknames such as Bello and Melo to protect themselves from reprisals, because, according to the testimonies of the students, the accused teachers continue to teach.

In addition, the students -whose ages are between 15 and 18 years old- evidenced their own classmates who have exercised gender violence by creating instant messaging groups to circulate photographs of them.

The director of CBTEIS number 26, Justa Zárate García, told the media that she was unaware of the accusations, but there is a case of a teacher who raped the students in 2022. “I do not have a formal complaint yet. Yes, there is a case and it was dealt with. The teacher is still here in accordance with the protocols, although he is not in front of groups, he is still here,” he said.

The National Survey on the Dynamics of Household Relations 2021 (ENDIREH) from INEGI estimates that, in the state of Oaxaca, 33.6% of the female population aged 15 and over have experienced situations of violence at school over the course of life. 

The Unlocated Persons Search Unit, dependent on the Oaxaca Prosecutor’s Office, reports that -so far in 2023- there are 18 disappeared Oaxacan women between the ages of 12 and 18, and their search files continue to spread on social networks to help locate it.

Regarding the figures for femicide, the Rosario Castellanos Women’s Studies Group reported that 30 women were murdered in Oaxaca in the same period.