Iowa Supreme Court Defines Harassment

Nov 21, 2014

The Iowa Supreme Court has clarified what constitutes harassment in the state. The court says a harasser must purposely seek out the victim to commit the offense.  

The case in question involves two 15-year-old girls who were walking home from their bus stop. The girl who brought about the case thought she heard her classmate call her an impolite name, but was mistaken.

When the first girl confronted the second girl, she claims the second girl called her fat, and said, “Go die in a hole.”  

The Supreme Court says under Iowa law, harassment only takes place when the harasser initiates the interaction. Because the defendant (or second girl who made the comments) did not purposely seek out the first girl, the high court says harassment didn’t occur.