DEFINITIONS

A. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of a student or any individual consists of unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

1. a school employee or student or any individual causes a student or any individual to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity, or when an employee or third party agent of the school district causes a student to believe that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct; or

2. the unwelcome sexual conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects a student’s or any individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational or employment environment.

Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include:

  • sexual advances
  • touching, patting, grabbing or pinching another person’s intimate parts, whether that person is of same sex or the opposite sex
  • coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone’s intimate parts
  • coercing, forcing or attempt to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another
  • graffiti of a sexual nature
  • sexual gestures
  • sexual or dirty jokes
  • touching oneself sexually or talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others
  • spreading rumors about or rating other students as to sexual activity or performance
  • unwelcome, sexually motivated or inappropriate patting, punching or physical contact. The prohibition does not preclude legitimate, non-sexual physical conduct such as the use of necessary restraints to avoid physical harm to persons or property, or conduct such as teacher’s consoling hug of a young student, or one student’s demonstration of a sports move requiring contact with another student
  • innuendoes sexual in nature
  • other unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, when accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s educational or employment status or implied or overt promises of preferential treatment

B. Harassment Because of Race or Color

For purposes of this policy, racial harassment of a student consists of verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race or color, when

1. the harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects a student’s or any individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment;

2. the harassing conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance; or

3. the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s learning opportunities; or

4. the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment.

Examples of conduct which may constitute harassment because of race or color include:

  • graffiti containing racially offensive language
  • name calling, jokes or rumors
  • threatening or intimidating conduct directed at another because of the other’s race or color
  • racial slurs, negative stereotypes, and hostile acts which are based upon another’s race or color
  • written or graphic material containing racial comments or stereotypes which is posted or circulated and which is aimed at degrading individuals or members of protected classes
  • a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to race or color
  • other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property which is motivated by race or color.

C. Harassment Based upon National Origin or Ethnicity

For purposes of this policy, ethnic or national origin harassment of a student consists of verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race or color, when:

1. the harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects

2. a student’s or any individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment;

3. the harassing conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably

4. interfering with an individual’s academic performance; or

5. the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s learning opportunities; or

6. the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment

Examples of conduct which may constitute harassment because of race or color include:

  • graffiti containing racially offensive language
  • name calling, jokes or rumors
  • threatening or intimidating conduct directed at another because of the other’s race or color
  • racial slurs, negative stereotypes, and hostile acts which are based upon another’s race or color, written or graphic material containing racial comments or stereotypes which is posted or circulated and which is aimed at degrading individuals or members of protected classes
  • a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to race or color
  • other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property which is motivated by race or color.

D. Harassment Because of Disability

For purposes of this policy, harassment because of the disability of a student or any individual consists of verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual’s physical or mental impairment when:

1. the harassing conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects a student’s or any individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abuse educational environment;

2. the harassing conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably

3. interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s learning opportunities; or

4. the harassing conduct otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment.

Examples of conduct which may constitute harassment because of disability include:

  • graffiti containing offensive language which is derogatory to others because of their physical or mental disability
  • threatening or intimidating conduct directed at another because of the other’s physical or mental disability
  • jokes, rumors or name calling based upon an individual’s physical or mental disability
  • slurs, negative stereotype and hostile acts which are based upon another’s physical or mental disability
  • graphic material containing comments or stereotypes which is posted or circulated and which is aimed at degrading individuals or members of protected classes
  • a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, an individual’s physical or mental disability
  • other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property which is motivated by an individual’s physical or mental disability.

E. Bullying

Bullying is deliberate or intentional behavior using words or actions, intended to cause fear, intimidation or harm. Bullying may be repeated behavior and involves an imbalance of power.

  • Physical (e.g. assault, hitting, punching, kicking, theft, threatening behavior)
  • Verbal (e.g. Threatening or intimidating language, teasing or name-calling, racist remarks)
  • Indirect (e.g. Spreading rumors, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion and sending insulting messages or pictures by mobile phone or using the internet – also known as “cyber bullying”

REPORTING PROCEDURES

Any student or individual who believes he or she has been the victim of harassment or bullying by a student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel of the District, or by any person who is participating in, observing or otherwise engaged in any activity under District supervision, is encouraged to immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate District official designated by this policy. Any teacher, administrator, or other school official who has or receives notice that a student has or may have been the victim of harassment or bullying by a student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel of the District, or by any other person who is participating in, observing, or otherwise engaged in any activity under District supervision, is required to immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate School District official designated by this policy.

Any other person with knowledge or belief that a student or an individual has or may have been the victim of harassment or bullying, is encouraged to immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate District official designated by this policy.

The District encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report forms available from the District office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well. Use of formal reporting forms is not mandated. Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting harassment or bullying directly to the principal or District Administrator.

1. The principal or designee is the person responsible for receiving oral or written reports of harassment or bullying. The designee shall inform the principal immediately.

Upon receipt of a report, the principal or designee must notify the District Administrator immediately, without screening or investigating the report. The principal or designee may request but may not insist upon a written complaint. A written statement of the facts alleged will be forwarded as soon as practicable by the principal to the District Administrator. If the report was given verbally, the principal or designee shall personally reduce it to written form within 48 hours and forward it to the District Administrator.

Failure to forward any harassment or bullying report or complaint as provided herein will result in disciplinary action against the principal. If the complaint involves the principal, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the District Administrator by the reporting party or the complainant.

2. The Board has designated the District Administrator as the School District Human Rights officer with responsibility to identify, prevent, and remedy harassment and bullying. These duties may be delegated as appropriate. The District Human Rights officer shall:

• receive reports or complaints of harassment or bullying

• oversee the investigative process;

• be responsible for assessing the training needs of the District’s staff and students in connection with the dissemination, comprehension, and compliance with this policy;

• arrange for necessary training required for compliance with this policy;

• ensure that any investigation is conducted by an impartial investigator who has been trained in the requirements of equal educational opportunity, including, harassment, and who is able to apply procedural and substantive standards which are necessary and applicable to identify unlawful harassment, recommend appropriate discipline and remedies when harassment is found, and take other appropriate action to rectify the damaging effects of any prohibited discrimination, including interim protection of the victim during the course of the investigation; and

• may delegate these duties when appropriate.

The District shall post this policy against harassment and bullying in a conspicuous place, accessible to students, faculty, administrators, employees, parents and members of the public. This notice shall include the name, mailing address and telephone number of the Human Rights officer, (the name, mailing address and telephone number of the state agency responsible for investigating allegations of discrimination in educational opportunities), and the mailing address and telephone number of the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

3. A summary of this policy shall appear in the student handbook and the policy in its entirety shall be made available upon request of parents, students, and other interested parties.

4. The District Administrator will develop a method of discussing this policy with students and employees. Training on the requirements of non-discrimination and the appropriate responses to issues of harassment will be provided to all school personnel on an annual basis, and at such other times as the School Board in consultation with the District Administrator determines is necessary or appropriate.

5. This policy shall be reviewed by the District Administrator periodically for compliance with state and federal law.

6. The District will respect the privacy of the complainant, the individuals against whom the complaint is filed, and he witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the District’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations.

INVESTIGATION

Upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging harassment or bullying, the District Administrator shall immediately undertake or authorize an investigation. That investigation may be conducted by the Principal or designee and reported back to the District Administrator.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual against whom the complaint is filed, and others who have knowledge of the alleged incident or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of the evaluation of any other information or documents that may be relevant to the particular allegations.

In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the District shall consider:

  • the nature of the behavior
  • how often the conduct occurred
  • whether there were past incidents or past continuing patterns of behavior
  • the relationship between the parties involved
  • the race, national origin, sex and age of the victim
  • the identity of the perpetrator, including whether the perpetrator was in a position of power over the student allegedly subjected to harassment
  • the number of alleged harassers
  • the age of the alleged harasser
  • where the harassment occurred
  • whether there have been other incidents in the school involving the same or other students
  • whether the conduct adversely affected the student’s education or educational environment
  • the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.

The investigation shall be completed no later than fourteen days from receipt of the report. The District Administrator shall make a report upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint involves the District Administrator, the report may be filed directly with the Board President. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of this policy. The School District Human Right’s officer’s (District Administrator) obligation to conduct this investigation shall not be extinguished by the fact that a criminal investigation involving the same or similar allegations is also pending or has been concluded.

SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION

1. Upon receipt of a report that a violation has occurred, the Principal or designee will take prompt, appropriate formal or informal action to address, and where appropriate, remediate the violation. Appropriate actions may include but are not limited to counseling, awareness training, parent-teacher conferences, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination or discharge. District action taken for violation of this policy shall be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, state and federal law, and District policies for violations of a similar nature of similar degree of severity. In determining what is an appropriate response to a finding that harassment in violation of this policy has occurred, the Principal shall consider:

  • what response is most likely to end any ongoing harassment
  • whether a particular response is likely to deter similar future conduct by the harasser or others
  • the amount and kind of harm suffered by the victim of the harassment
  • the identity of the party who engaged in the harassing conduct
  • whether the harassment was engaged in by school personnel, and if so, the District will also consider how it can best remediate the effects of the harassment

2. The results of the Principal’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant and other parties by the District in accordance with state and federal laws regarding data or records privacy, and consistent with the privacy rights of the alleged harasser.

3. If the results of the Principal’s evaluation of a complaint of harassment results in a conclusion that an individual has engaged in unlawful harassment in violation of this policy, or that school personnel have failed to report harassment as required herein, that individual may appeal this determination by use of established School Board procedures for appealing other adverse personnel and/or education related actions. If the results of the District’s evaluation of a complaint of harassment results in a conclusion that no unlawful harassment has occurred, an individual who was allegedly subjected to harassment and believes that this conclusion is erroneous may appeal this determination by use of established Board procedures for appealing other adverse personnel and/or educated related actions.

4. Copies of all complaints and the investigations conducted pursuant to them shall be maintained for a minimum of three years at the main administrative offices of the District.

REPRISAL

Submission of a good faith complaint or report of harassment or bullying will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, learning or working environment or work assignments.

The District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports an incident of alleged harassment or bullying; or any person who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such harassment or bullying. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.