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Rep. Reick says he will refuse to take sexual harassment training

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017

* Rep. Steve Reick (R-Harvard)

Nothing has rocked Springfield in the past months more than an open letter describing an environment of sexual harassment “ranging from daily microaggressions to acts of pure viciousness”.

Before I go any further, let me say that I have no doubt that sexual harassment goes on in Springfield (though I wouldn’t know a “microagression” from a microwave. It sounds to me like a subjectively insignificant action that would be better handled with a puppy or a juice box). I have no sympathy for it, and if guys want to walk around acting like cave men with a club, count me out.

Last night on Chicago Tonight, four legislators were interviewed and talked about the letter and the need for legislation to address the problem. Carol Marin did her best to get them to describe their experiences and name the person who was the source of the harassment. When it came to naming names, she failed.

Representative Sarah Feigenholtz said that she herself hadn’t been harassed and didn’t know who the perpetrators are. If that’s true, then Representative Feigenholtz doesn’t get around much, because one thing that’s certainly more widespread in Springfield than sexual harassment is gossip. She then went on to put some of the blame on Donald Trump for the recent spike in harassment claims. That’s sure to advance the conversation.

Senator Heather Steans eschewed naming her harasser because it happened in the past. When asked if that let the guy off the hook, she dodged the question and said that witnesses need to be “trained” so they can jump in and object to the activity. She went on to say that training wouldn’t be enough, but we need training nonetheless.

Representative Robin Gabel said that “everyone can make their play, doesn’t go anywhere”, sounding as if everyone is entitled to one freebie. So what is it: harassment from the get-go or establishing flexible guidelines? You can’t have it both ways.

Representative Chris Welch said he heard from a male former staffer who said he’d been propositioned by a female legislator, which at least gives us the perception of gender-neutrality.

I said above that I have no sympathy for those who think that they’re entitled to act like boorish clods. The reason I have no use for it is that I was brought up that way, I had parents who taught me that human nature is imperfectible and it was my job to resist the baser instincts to which we’re all subject. In that regard, Senator Steans is right, training won’t be enough. Nothing will be enough until human nature bends toward androgyny.

But if my colleagues want me to sign on to this, they’re certainly not doing it the right way. I’m not saying I’m blameless, but I’m damned sure not going to allow myself to be painted with their broad brush, nor will I subject myself to whatever “training” is imposed. By implying that I’m part of the problem simply by occupying a seat on the House floor or through the accident of birth of having been born male, they’re giving me every reason to say “no”. I assume the culture extends beyond Ira Silvertein. If they want my support, then name names.

…Adding… This is important to remember when certain blowhards demand that victims go public with names

…Madigan’s counsel and former ethics officer Heather Weir Vaught testified that in her [ten] years on the job, “I’ve never had a complainant who would allow me to take their complaint public. We’ve had to work behind the scenes.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

77 Comments »
  1. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:14 am:

    Oh for the love of God and all that is holy…

    Just take the course/seminar. Staff had/have to take it. We were FORCED to take it.


  2. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:15 am:

    Rep. Reick has spent too much time sitting around the Fox News campfire.


  3. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    Reick is making a very strong case FOR this type of training. As I’ve stated before, training done well can really open eyes that have been closed wide shut for years as to what is and is not sexual harassment, as well as the manners (legal and social) to confront it when it occurs. This was a very angry manrant.


  4. - illini97 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    Is everyone who takes the training on Sunshine laws a grifter? No?

    Take the training already.


  5. - MSIX - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:18 am:

    So why does every state employee have to take ethics and harassment training? Can’t they make the same claim? If legislation paints you and everyone else with a broad brush, what gives you the right to refuse to comply and not suffer the penalty? Don’t want to take the training? Fine. Resign your seat.


  6. - TopHatMonocle - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:18 am:

    Amazingly tone deaf. His “androgyny” comment is essentially saying “boys will be boys”.


  7. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:19 am:

    I agree with this. Wholeheartedly. If what was done was so egregious, and in some cases I have no doubt that it was egregious, then the perpetrators do not deserve to hold public office, and not naming their names is enabling the perpetrators.


  8. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:20 am:

    Someday this letter could be put to music. The old white guy anthem is what it should be called. Throw in a few Robert E. Lee/Civil War/Compromise quotes and it is ready to go.


  9. - JoanP - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:20 am:

    Oh, honestly. Because training itself is “not enough” is not a reason to not have it.

    An engine alone is not enough to get my car moving. It needs gas and oil, too, among other things. So should I not bother with the engine because it’s “not enough”?

    What a ridiculous statement.


  10. - LakeviewJ - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    This from a dude who started talking about genitalia during debate over the minimum wage bill.


  11. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    Whoa man. He’s playing chess and we’re all playing checkers. He just gets it, you know.

    Spell my colleagues’ names correctly? Get a juice box, snowflake, I’m busy over here getting it!


  12. - Realist - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    There are a lot of people that would agree wholeheartedly with Reick. He isn’t saying there isn’t a problem, he isn’t saying do nothing, he seems to be saying you have to do more than just window dressing and feel good legislation. The people responsible for these actions should be held accountable as a deterrent for any would-be offenders.


  13. - Downstate - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    To volunteer in my children’s school, I had to take a course entitled, “Serving God’s Children.” It burned up 4 hours of an evening….just for me to volunteer at the school.

    I went to the event kicking and screaming.

    But, what an eye opening experience. Part of the program dealt with identifying the practices of child molesters, etc.

    The program offered critical insight in knowing how these perps operate, and how to keep them at bay.

    A comparable program in the state capitol for identifying and reporting inappropriate behavior might not be so bad.


  14. - Iggy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    For those of you screaming that the rep needs to just take the training are informing the bigger picture. Installing some new blanket policy or training will not address the problem at hand. It’s a lazy CYA for the future that does nothing to call out and remove the legislators that have treated lobbyists, staff, and liaisons as their personal play things.


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    Realist - deterrence is fine, but think this through. When the government creates ‘deterrence’ by sending a few hospital executives to jail for Medicaid fraud, what do you think the first thing every other medical provider does? Get training and require their employees to get training. Training is prevention - it’s as simple as that.


  16. - Swift - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    tl;dr summary: “I’m a white protestant male rules don’t apply to me and harassing women is part of the game.”


  17. - One hand //ing - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Steve - it might be a nice sign of respect to your female colleagues to learn how to spell their names right before writing about them online. “Sara” Feigenholtz and “Robyn” Gabel. Information is literally just a google search away, moron.


  18. - Realist - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    I don’t think training is a bad idea, but Springfield is notorious for taking a few easy do nothing measures and then patting themselves on the back and pretending everything is fixed.


  19. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    Behold Privilege
    The privilege of being
    White
    Male
    Wealthy

    This is why we need
    The training
    And why
    All
    Must take it.


  20. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    What a nutjob. Sexual harassment training leads to androgony?

    This precious snowflake needs to retreat from public office and join his local he-man woman haters club before its too late.

    I have had some form of sexual harassment training in every private sector job I have had as an adult, going on almost two decades now.

    I also had to go through sexual harassment training just to extern with the state. Yet this selfish clown draws a taxpayer salary and thinks he is too special to sit through some educational videos and handouts explaining the way sexual harassment occurs, how to report it, or how to avoid it when every other state-paid public servant goes through this?

    What a nutjob.

    I hope anyone who refuses to complete sexual harassment training faces public censure by their fellow lawmakers.


  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    Employees of the IL Secretary of State’s Office have been required to take harassment training for several years now.

    I don’t think any amount of work place training will eliminate the problem of sexual harassment, but at least we can hope that it puts some fear into would-be or have-been harassers.


  22. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Agency staff are forced to take all kinds of training — most of it absolutely wretched.

    Recent session:

    Training consists of 30+ power point slides. The trainer literally reads the words off the slides. Then the trainer asks us to “talk” about it. We do. We do. There is absolutely no complexity to the talk. It’s mostly just “What’s an example of … ?”

    Trainer waits for hands to raise. People give examples. Trainer gives praise. Trainer goes on to next slide. Trainer reads slide, word for word. Trainer says, “Now, what’s a good example of …?”

    A few hands raise. Trainer says, “If I don’t see more hands, I’m gonna start pointing.”

    More hands dutifully raise. Trainer agrees with all points. Trainer agrees with all examples.

    Next slide. Word for word. Trainer says, “Now, in this case, what’s an example of ..”

    Hands. Chuckles.

    That’s it. That’s the training. It drones on for two hours. We sit quietly. We do our self evaluation exercises when we’re told to. We listen. We chuckle at the appropriate moments. We nod in agreement when it gets serious.

    Trainer looks at the clock. Two hours is up. “Thanks everybody!”


  23. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Fine. Let him sign a paper stating he is opting out of the training, but still accountable for understanding what constitutes sexual harassment. The people of his district can decide if he’s arrogant or not.


  24. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    BTW:

    “Nothing will be enough until human nature bends toward androgyny.”

    What a bizarre comment. What does he even mean by this? What would “bending toward androgyny” get us? Is it some kind of sexist joke?


  25. - Shytown - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    This guys is cuckoo for coco puffs. Training is essential and a first step. A lot of folks don’t even recognize what all forms of sexual harassment are to begin with, so let’s start there. I also haven’t read or heard anyone on the leadership side say this is the only thing they’re doing. There’s a task force that’s going to look at an array of issues. Most seem to agree this is a start and more needs to be done and will be done. Not going to happen overnight, but I’m guessing there will be a lot less of this behavior going down next week during veto.


  26. - Too cute by half - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    All state employees are required to take sexual harassment training currently, so I don’t see why the GA should be any different. They passed the law to require it for the rest of us. And, when done correctly, it is an important tool to combat the problem. I was a House staffer in the late 90’s. I was in my first job out of college and totally naive about the world. Perhaps if I would have had the training I would be better equipped to deal with being given hotel room keys and asked to sit on the laps of older, male Representatives, among other things. Sadly, I have my doubts if anyone would have believed me at the time. All these years later, nothing has changed.


  27. - Jocko - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    ==it was my job to resist the baser instincts to which we’re all subject==

    Steve fails to understand there’s a lot of room between banter, harassment, and assault. Just because you don’t do the latter, doesn’t mean you might (intentionally or unintentionally) do the former.


  28. - fed up - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Is this what a bully sounds like?


  29. - Perrid - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    “though I wouldn’t know a “microagression” from a microwave. It sounds to me like a subjectively insignificant action that would be better handled with a puppy or a juice box”

    Ironically, I think dismissing other people’s, especially minorities or women’s, concerns out of hand like this, trivializing them, probably counts as a microaggression.


  30. - Dr X - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Just a thought - maybe change the eavesdropping law to allow the recording of fundraisers, when legislators are around opposite sex, other situations? Then there would be solid proof. Name names? Well, it will come down to your word. Name names with a cellphone video or recording? Then we’ll see some punishment.

    My 8th grade coach gave me the best training - leave other people alone and mind your own damn business.


  31. - SAP - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Presumably, training would include teaching victims how to report, which would be beneficial.


  32. - Montrose - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Nothing makes the case for the need for training like people refusing to go through training.


  33. - Swift - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Here’s the catch with this, what happens if he doesn’t take the training? The courts are not going to look too fondly on any attempts to prevent him from representing his district in the GA as long as he is otherwise constitutionally qualified.


  34. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Well said.


  35. - Logan Squared - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Macbeth @ 9:36 am described the training perfectly. At least the recent ones stopped having the awkward ice breakers.


  36. - ??? - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Rep Reick says, “I’m not saying I’m blameless, but…”

    Okay, then shut up and take the training. And it’s not like only males are being required to take it. Get over yourself, man.


  37. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Why not take the training?
    Does he not want to examine his own behavior?
    For Gods sake
    He makes it sound like a Maoist “Struggle Session”
    Which is why I’m calling him out.
    Yes sir, I impugn your honor


  38. - Montrose - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    “By implying that I’m part of the problem simply by occupying a seat on the House floor or through the accident of birth of having been born male, they’re giving me every reason to say “no”.”

    Also, how insecure do you have to be to take this position? Really, your masculinity is so fragile that you can’t handle the idea that you have some level of responsibility in fixing the problem?


  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Way to take a stand for ignorance. Must be the unber-mensch, the next-stage of evolution, nothing under the sun for him to learn.


  40. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    ==I have no sympathy for it==

    You clearly have a ton of sympathy for it since you wrote a whole damn letter mocking the victims of it.


  41. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    I’m in IT, yet I have to take the “Cyber Security Awareness Training.” I’m as ethical as they come, yet I have to take the “Ethics Training” every year. Just shut up and listen. Sheesh.


  42. - Miss Marie - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    On one hand, I hope he gets inundated with angry calls, because hopefully that will get through his thick head how insensitive, judgmental, bullying, and moronic his comments are. On the other hand, I feel bad for his staff.

    I also said this yesterday, but Senator Steans is not obligated to do anything. She’s a victim, too. She has to work to pass bills, just like the other women who don’t want to come forward. She has to work with her colleagues.

    I love it that all these men are demanding women to name names. Rep. Reick, since you’re so holier than thou, why aren’t you naming names? Or better yet, why aren’t you telling your colleagues when they’re acting inappropriate? You certainly have no problem calling out people who are brave enough to come forward to try to fix a problem. Wouldn’t your time be better spent on those who lurk in the shadows and continue to be the problem?


  43. - Cleromanticon - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    “[microaggression] sounds to me like a subjectively insignificant action that would be better handled with a puppy or a juice box”

    Imagine someone dumps a giant pile sand on your driveway. Your car is blocked in your garage until you shovel the sand away. When you try to explain to people why you were late, they ignore that you had a giant pile of sand to shovel and instead point to the single grain clinging to your shoe. “That grain of sand is so small. It’s insignificant. Why didn’t you just drive over it?”

    That’s how we dismiss microaggressions. We refuse to see the giant pile, the fact that they’re individually insignificant but have a collective effect, and instead insist on looking only at individual grains pulled out of their larger context.


  44. - Responsa - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Not exactly sure what Rep. Reick was hoping to achieve by this very strange letter but I’m pretty sure he probably didn’t.

    BTW, I did think the Chicago Tonight panel discussion that was referenced was surprisingly weak and useless. God love her, Carol tried, but—. Sara in particular was surprisingly blah and restrained and politician-y. Robyn’s story came across as most believable and shocking. Yet she had said nothing and those she claims overheard some of it said nothing at the time either.

    Here is link to the WTTW piece for those who missed it or are out of broadcast range.

    http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/10/30/state-lawmakers-speak-out-sexual-harassment-springfield


  45. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    ==Here’s the catch with this, what happens if he doesn’t take the training?==

    Assuming the law mandating training passes, I think a judge could force him to go to training or be held in contempt.


  46. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    ==because one thing that’s certainly more widespread in Springfield than sexual harassment is gossip==

    Then why aren’t you naming names, Representative Reek?


  47. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    re: Agency training

    The other issue with the training — at least the “training” agencies received via (I assume) DHS is that *it’s the same trainer* for every training session, no matter the topic.

    We’ve had diversity, tolerance, generational awareness, and sexual harassment training. And it’s all been taught by the same person. For three or four years running.

    We’re told that, yeah, this training is mandatory. We’re warned a week in advance, then a day in advance. Then we file in the conference room, sign our name on the sign in sheet, print our name, and then give the time we signed in.

    The trainer — this same person — is standing at the head of the room. Power point is up and running. Welcome slide is showing: “Sexual Harassment Training” or “Diversity Training” or whatever.

    The absurdity of this state-sanctioned, state-mandated training is hard to miss. I mean, I don’t mind training. Don’t get me wrong. But I’d like a little *content*. A little complexity. And — for the love of god — some expertise. Not some dusty PowerPoint stack that can barely pull itself along from agency to agency, year to year.

    I hope the folks at DHS — or wherever this nightmare of simple-mindedness originated — are listening.

    You’re not training anyone by ignoring the complexities of the issues. And you’re not “training” everyone when every single opinion in the training is “good” and “interesting”. Happy relativism doesn’t work when the issues are complex. And, please, bring in some subject matter experts. People that can share real, relevant experience.


  48. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    –Not exactly sure what Rep. Reick was hoping to achieve by this very strange letter but I’m pretty sure he probably didn’t.–

    Clearly, he wants to be a leader in the backlash vanguard. See the sad little men in the so-called “alt-right.”


  49. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    ==BTW, I did think the Chicago Tonight panel discussion that was referenced was surprisingly weak and useless==

    Yes it was. Invite guests who will advance the ball. There are at least 2 that we’ve been reading about in CF who are and who have. There’s no point to inviting guests who want to keep a secret, or in Feigenholz’s case, don’t have one to keep. Let’s hear from the brave ladies who really have had enough and are willing to testify for a better outcome.


  50. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Having worked for the state many years, there were many excellent management training sessions to which we were obligated to attend. I’m certain there are many commenters who would agree with my thought during those sessions: “Where the hell is my boss - he/she is the one who needs this
    training”, Only the peons needed it, I guess. Take the training
    Reick, you aren’t nearly as smart as you think you are.


  51. - Century Club - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    Jeez, after a letter like this, I can’t imagine why women don’t go public when they experience sexual harassment. /smh


  52. - BigDoggie - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    While his overall message is off base, he does make a good point about the person trying to lay partial blame for this at Trump’s feet. Any attempt to politicize this in any way will be counterproductive to the process and the end goal.


  53. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Best wishes to Rep. Reick’s district and Springfield staff on navigating the flood of national interview requests about to come in.


  54. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    So I’m going with the assumption that he knows he needs the training, he just likes harassing women and doesn’t want to stop.


  55. - Not It - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Does Reick take the ethics training?


  56. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    Agree this is a strange letter. It’s so defensive it’s almost as if he’s trying to make sure no one names names. I wonder why he’d do that? Maybe sunlight wouldn’t be his friend.


  57. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    lol, his twitter has 70 followers

    What a jamoke


  58. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Thanks, Rep. Reick! You just gave me a handout to use during a course unit on sexual harassment. It’s a prime example of authentic legislator gibberish and male denial, all too frequently heard in this day and age. I’m sure the students will find it enlightening.


  59. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Cheryl - not sure I (quite) agree with that assessment.

    To me this is along the lines of the “Why do I need ethics training if I consider myself to be an ethical person?” thinking/reasoning. I hear that quite often - and along those same lines I heard the same thing from some contemporaries when we were required to attend sexual harassment training.

    Well…too bad. If everyone - including staff and contractual employees - need to take training or attend a seminar or both then you do as well.


  60. - Lost in Chicago - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    Most of the state agency and constitutional office training on sexual harassment deals with what not to do, which is good. But very little time is spent on how one should properly bring forward a complaint, whether it be the victim or a witness. Going to HR is not be enough if that HR person is a supporter of the office holder or the agency leadership. Retribution or blowback can come from various people, not just the one doing the harassing.


  61. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    Not surprisin’ the bozo comes from the same county aw sweaty palms Cal.
    BTW likely he has already taken some training and signed a form that sez he has a harrassment policy. Maybe he can recant.


  62. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    Let’s see, where will Rep. Reick’s clueless comments appear first? John Oliver? Samantha Bee? He is a textbook case of why this kind of training is necessary. Please, please Rep. Reick, do answer yes if anyone comes to you with a video camera. Popcorn starting.


  63. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    So this mope has obviously never volunteered to be a Scout leader, a Sunday School teacher, a care provider, a state worker or fed needy children?

    Dude, you are an embarrassment.


  64. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Representative, it doesn’t matter what you think of the training. You are supposed to be a leader and an example for others. If your subordinates are required to do it because the body you are a member of has mandated it, you go too to demonstrate the importance of the issue and to not look like a hypocrite. If the issue is as you acknowledge rampant in Springfield, you do what you can to make it less rampant. Also, your comments do make you look like a boorish clod, even if you proclaim not to be one.


  65. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    I suggested it before. Do it during session, make it mandatory, and don’t excuse any absences (beyond medical emergencies) Make them vote their switch that they understand. There are some things that can be compelled. If he takes a walk during the training, censure him, and embarrass him. He’ll catch on. If he doesn’t, everyone else will, and he’ll be gone.


  66. - Happy Retiree - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    In a way, I agree with the senator. Sexual Harassment training has been around for decades in State agencies, but it’s always addressed to employees and only discusses what is or is not harassment. It’s presented as “don’t do these things”, but there is little if any discussion about what to do if you’re the victim other than to state their discomfort and tell their supervisor. In its current form the training has done very little, if anything, to reduce occurances, or deter harassers. Yet every time an agency has a serious harassment case come to light, they schedule mandatory training for -everyone else- who isn’t involved. It’s ridiculous.

    The better deterrent would be for State management to be trained on the appropriate steps to take when a complaint is received, and then hold THEM accountable to taking action. If management staff don’t take appropriate action, or retaliate against the victim, or dismiss the claim on their own, they should be considered complicit, with meaningful disciplinary consequences.

    Additionally employees should be empowered and made aware that they can take their complaint to ANY member of management so that they aren’t limited to having an embarassing, uncomfortable conversation within their chain of supervision that may consist entirely of the opposite sex.

    Until MANAGEMENT is made accountable for protecting employees, nothing will ever change.


  67. - Around the rail - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Last spring I remember standing outside the House doors, where I was attempting to flag down members before an upcoming committee hearing. Rep. Reick was on my list. When I saw him walking out of the chamber, I called out his name and asked if he had a minute to talk about a bill I was working. “She was 18, officer, I swear!”’ he joked as he turned around to greet me.

    I don’t know the man very well, but it seems to me like a training could be useful.


  68. - In 630 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Oh Rep Reick. Your post is bad and you should feel bad.


  69. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    The other day I asked my wife if she thought trainings would lead to any real improvement on this issue, and she rolled her eyes. But surely, with all the trainings done in the past 20-30 years, there must be data that either supports them or doesn’t.


  70. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    –But surely, with all the trainings done in the past 20-30 years, there must be data that either supports them or doesn’t.–

    The point of training is you can’t you use the old dodge: “I didn’t know. I’m sorry IF I offended anyone…”


  71. - justpeachy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    Absolutely more than training is needed but there should be mandatory training for anyone in public office period. This guys a joke.


  72. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==though I wouldn’t know a “microagression” from a microwave. It sounds to me like a subjectively insignificant action that would be better handled with a puppy or a juice box==

    Dear Rep Reick: If you went to the training, you would find out. That’s what training is for. Maybe then, you will be able to stop with the microaggressions.


  73. - Seriously? - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    Ok. Let’s pretend he’s all knowing and would never ever make an inappropriate comment or gesture. How about he look at this from an employer point of view and he should be responsible for knowing whether or not something his staff is doing or experiencing is sexual harassment? What an arrogant moron.


  74. - anon - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    This defensive rhetoric is what is wrong with the political world. The whole notion that if you don’t engage in what you deem is inappropriate behavior - then you should be absolved of any wrong doing is absurd.

    Let’s not forget “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    Everyone and anyone who says “If they want my support, then name names” - are you ready to call out your colleagues for their actions when you see inappropriate behavior first hand? Or are you going to put your head down and mind your own business like you have been doing this entire time?

    Everyone wants to get defensive - instead of taking the time to learn and understand where these women are coming from you are too occupied with your own emotions. If this discussion makes you feel uncomfortable, imagine how survivors of sexual assault feel. Take a second to stop thinking about yourself. I guarantee you - there is someone in your work or personal life who has experienced sexual harassment in one way or another. If you don’t care about these women coming forward - at least care about people who directly impact your life.

    Take responsibility. Be more aware. Don’t insult those who are brave enough to come forward.


  75. - Welp - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===Until MANAGEMENT is made accountable for protecting employees, nothing will ever change.===

    As a legislator with his own staff, Rep. Reick is, in fact, in management. (Not to mention that he’s a member of a governing body for the entire state of Illinois.)


  76. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Nov 1, 17 @ 9:32 pm:

    Honeybear that the answer to everything Whit Male Privlidged get a life and change that broken record already


  77. - Jerry - Thursday, Nov 2, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rep. Steve Reick shows his ignorance a real lack of empathy.


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