Regulation 5080: Student Sexual Harassment Procedures for Complaints
These procedures will apply to harassment of a sexual nature: student to student, student to District employee, or District employee to student. Conduct will be considered sexual harassment when it becomes severe or pervasive enough to negatively affect the student or his/her learning environment. The following are some examples of sexual harassment experienced in school that may be grounds for complaint:
- comments, jokes, innuendos, gestures or looks of a sexual or lewd nature, references to gender, or name calling;
- unwelcome physical contact such as touching, grabbing, pinching in a sexual way, being intentionally brushed up against or blocked in a sexual way, having clothing pulled at, being forced to kiss someone or do something other than kissing;
- inappropriate exposure, such as flashing or mooning, or being spied on while dressing or showering;
- verbal messages such as sexual rumors or requests for sexual favors: sexually offensive media which is printed, posted, or worn such as such pictures, photographs, illustrations, notes, or graffiti.
Student shall mean a person enrolled in the District's educational program.
Employee shall mean a person, regardless of title, assigned or appointed by the Board. Independent contractors who are on school property or who transport students are subject to this policy and procedures.
Principal shall mean the head of the school in which the student is enrolled or designee appointed by the Principal. Should the principal be the alleged harasser, the compliance officer is to substitute for the principal.
Compliance officer shall mean the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development whose role it is to coordinate compliance in regard to sexual harassment.
A student, parent of a student, or any District employee who believes that a student has been subjected to sexual harassment shall report the incident to his/her principal or to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development. Incidents of sexual harassment may be reported informally or through the filing of a formal complaint.
All reports of sexual harassment will be held in confidence, subject to all applicable laws and any relevant provisions found in appropriate collective bargaining agreements.
Consistent with federal and state law, and all applicable provisions contained in the District's collective bargaining agreements, the following procedures shall be employed in handling any report, investigation, and remedial action concerning allegations of sexual harassment.
Any student, parent of a student, or District employee who believes the student has been subjected to sexual harassment may request that an informal meeting be held with the principal. The purpose of such a meeting will be to discuss the allegations and remedial steps available. The principal will then promptly discuss the complaint with the alleged harasser. Should the harasser admit the allegations, the principal is to take appropriate actions to assure that the unwelcome behavior will stop. Depending on the severity of the charges, the principal may take or recommend further disciplinary action.
Thereafter, the principal is to prepare a written report of the incident and inform the student and/or parents of the actions taken to assure that the unwelcome harassment will stop. The principal's report will be forwarded to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development.
If the student and/or parents are satisfied with the resolution, the incident will be deemed closed. However, the complaint may be reopened for investigation if a recurrence of sexual harassment is reported. The principal will inform the student and/or parent that they should report any recurrence of the harassment or any retaliatory action.
Should the student and/or parents be dissatisfied with the resolution, a formal written complaint may be filed.
Should the alleged harasser deny the allegations, the principal is to inform the student and/or parents of the denial and state that a formal written complaint will be required for further formal investigation. The principal will file a report within five school days with the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development on what has transpired to date. If the student and/or parents submit a formal written complaint, a copy of it should accompany the principal's report with a recommendation for further action.
Formal Written Complaints:
Formal written complaints may be submitted either to initially report any incident(s) of sexual harassment, or as a follow-up to an unsatisfactory resolution of an informal attempt to resolve a complaint. In the latter case, the formal written complaint is to be submitted to the principal, who will then forward it to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development.
Investigating a Complaint:
Upon receipt of a formal or informal complaint, a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of the allegations must follow. The student and/or parents are to be notified of the outcome of the investigation.
Following a finding that sexual harassment of a student by an employee has occurred, appropriate sanctions will be imposed in a manner consistent with any applicable law and collective bargaining agreements. Depending on the gravity of the misconduct, these may range from a reprimand up to and including dismissal from employment.
Following a finding that sexual harassment of a student by a student or an employee by a student has occurred, appropriate discipline will be imposed consistent with applicable law. Depending on the gravity of the misconduct, these may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension/expulsion.
Anyone subjecting complainants or witnesses to any form of retaliation will also be subject to disciplinary action in the manner prescribed by law. If it is determined that any individual intentionally provided false information regarding the complaint, appropriate action may be taken against that individual.
Following a finding that no sexual harassment has occurred, or if the student and/or parents are not satisfied with the remedial action taken after a finding of sexual harassment, the student and/or parents may appeal to the District Superintendent and ultimately to the Board of Education. The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint, all relevant reports, the specific action being appealed, and an explanation of why the student and/or parents are appealing.
Following a finding of sexual harassment, victims will be periodically interviewed by the appropriate personnel to ensure that the harassment has not resumed and that no retaliatory action has occurred. These follow-up interviews will continue for an appropriate period of time. A report will be made of any victim's response.
Investigation in the Absence of Complaint:
The District Superintendent will, in the absence of a complaint, ensure that an investigation is commenced by the appropriate individuals upon learning of, or having reason to suspect, the occurrence of any sexual misconduct.
Approved by Superintendent of Schools: February 15, 1994