Comment shakes up sexual harassment training at the State House - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Comment shakes up sexual harassment training at the State House

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By: Chloe Leshner

Email: Cleshner@abc6.com

Twitter: @cleshnerabc6

PROVIDENCE (WLNE) — A state representative is under fire after a comment he made at last night’s sexual harassment training.

State Representative Ramon Perez asked a question about sexual favors but tells ABC6 he genuinely wanted to know the answer.

But some other representatives who were there are interpreting it differently, saying it further proves why these trainings are needed.

In response to a discussion about sexual favors, Perez asked “how do you do that?”

The comment was followed by laughter. He tells ABC6 his English is hard to understand and that he genuinely wanted to know more about the issue.

This isn’t the first time Perez has faced controversy, back in June he accidentally gave out materials showing links to porn websites.

Representative Teresa Tazi, whose claims about sexual harassment at the state house helped lead to this training, says the comments show why the training is necessary.

“There are some people who continue to not take the issues seriously,” says Tanzi.

She says the question wasn’t the only off color comment made last night.

“You can look at something as a crisis or as an opportunity. I have no choice in the hand that I’ve been dealt but to see this as an opportunity,” she adds.

Tanzi is hoping House of Representative members will also undergo bystander intervention training.

The senate will be have its sexual harassment training next week. 

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