Regulation 0120: Nondiscrimination Compliance and Complaint Procedures
The following procedures are set forth to grant employees, students and other individuals with the means to identify and resolve real or perceived instances of discrimination.
- In accordance with Policy No. 0120, Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity Policy, the Board hereby appoints the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development, at the Education Center to act as Nondiscrimination Compliance Coordinator (Compliance Coordinator) to hear all complaints with respect to alleged discriminatory practices and/or actions and to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of such complaints. Such complaints may be heard personally by the Compliance Coordinator or by another individual assigned by the Compliance Coordinator.
The Compliance Coordinator shall ensure that the School District:
- coordinates all efforts to comply with the Board Nondiscrimination policy and regulation;
- establishes a grievance procedure to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of alleged discriminatory practices for all students, employees and applicants for positions with the School District;
- works on an ongoing basis to provide remedial action, voluntary action and self-evaluation when informed of discriminatory practices in programs, applications, employment, etc.;
- ensures that the fact that the School District does not discriminate in admission, access, treatment or employment in its programs and activities, is posted in notices, published in school newspapers and publications or distributed by other written communications;
- works with School District staff to ensure that discriminatory practices do not occur;
- keeps the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education apprised of any and/or all actions that s/he takes in compliance with this program;
- takes any and all actions needed to see that no discrimination exists in the programs, activities, employment practices of the School District;
- makes reasonable accommodation, where necessary and as appropriate, to ensure accessibility to School District facilities, programs and services by individuals with disabilities;
For purposes of the Nondiscrimination policy and these procedures, "harassment" is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, and that:
- has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment;
- has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or education; or
- otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment or education opportunities;
- "Hostile or abusive environment" harassment need not seriously affect an individual's psychological well-being or lead the complainant to suffer injury. Whether an environment is "hostile" or "abusive" can be determined only by looking at the totality of the circumstances which may include (1) the frequency of the discriminatory conduct, (2) its severity, (3) whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance, and (4) whether it unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance. This standard requires an objectively hostile or abusive environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive, as well as the victim's subjective perception that the environment is abusive.
Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to the following:
- epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to race, color, creed, national, origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status; and
- written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status and that is placed on walls, bulletin boards, or elsewhere on the School District premises, or circulated.
The standard for determining whether verbal or physical conduct relating to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile or abusive environment is whether a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would find the conduct intimidating, hostile or abusive. It is not necessary to make an additional showing of psychological harm.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes harassment, the School District will look at the record as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which it occurred.
Step I - Reporting of Complaint
- Any individual who believes that s/he has been discriminated against should inform the Compliance Coordinator of such alleged acts or practices. The Compliance Coordinator will provide the complainant with the Board Policy on Nondiscrimination and inform him/her of the grievance procedure available. The complainant will be requested to complete and sign the Nondiscrimination Complaint Form or submit another writing specifying the date, individual(s) involved and the situation giving rise to the grievance/complaint.
- If the complainant chooses not to sign the complaint form or submit a written statement, the Compliance Coordinator should ascertain why and indicate the reason on the report. In this event, the Compliance Coordinator will attempt to ascertain the details and investigate the complaint based upon the details available.
Step II - Investigation
- The Compliance Coordinator shall immediately conduct an investigation of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. This investigation shall be conducted by the Compliance Coordinator or by a third party designated by the Superintendent of Schools;
- The investigation may consist of personal interviews with affected or involved individuals and other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator;
- Within 10 school days, the investigating party shall issue a written report of his/her findings. The complainant shall be notified of the results of the investigation. If the Coordinator determines that a problem does exist, s/he recommend to the Superintendent of Schools or Board of Education remedial action as is necessary to correct any and all violations;
- The investigation should be kept confidential to the extent possible. Any witnesses who are interviewed shall be directed to maintain confidentiality.
- The School District may take immediate, appropriate and necessary action to protect the complainant pending completion of the investigation of alleged discrimination.
Step III - Decision and Appeal
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the Compliance Coordinator's decision at Step II, s/he may appeal the decision to the Superintendent of Schools within 30 calendar days.
- The School District shall take immediate and appropriate corrective behavior if discriminatory practices are found to have occurred.
- The School District will enforce appropriate sanctions against individuals in discriminatory practices. Any action taken pursuant to this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable law, collective bargaining agreements and Board policy.
- The School District shall clearly and regularly communicate this policy to students and employees.
Approved by Superintendent of Schools: December 15, 2004