The School Board is committed to a work environment that is free of harassment of any form. The Board will not tolerate any form of harassment and will take all necessary and appropriate action to eliminate it. Any individual in the School District community who violates the policy or administrative guideline shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Additionally, appropriate action will be taken to stop and otherwise deal with any third party who engages in harassment against our employees.
For purposes of this administrative guideline, "School District community" means individuals subject to the control and supervision of the Board including, but not limited to, teachers, staff, volunteers, and Board members. "Third party" means individuals outside the School District community who participate in school activities and events authorized by the Board including, but not limited to, visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, and vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the District.
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on a person's protected status, such as sex, color, race, ancestry, religion, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, or other protected group status, which affects tangible job benefits, interferes unreasonably with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Harassment may occur employee-to-employee, student-to-employee, male-to-female, female-to-male, male-to-male, or female-to-female. Examples of conduct that may constitute harassment include:
Sexual harassment deserves special mention. Depending on the context, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex may constitute sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:
To provide individuals with options for reporting harassment to an individual of the gender with which they feel most comfortable, each school's building principal is advised to designate both a male and a female Complaint Coordinator to receive harassment complaints under this administrative guideline. The Complaint Coordinators may also serve as the District's 504 and Title IX Coordinators.
Any employee who believes s/he has been the victim of harassment prohibited under this administrative guideline is encouraged to immediately report the alleged harassment to a Complaint Coordinator, the building principal, or the Superintendent.
Any teacher, administrator, or other school official who has or receives notice that an employee has or may have been the victim of harassment prohibited under this administrative guideline is required to immediately report the alleged harassment to a Complaint Coordinator, the building principal, or the Superintendent.
Any other person with knowledge or belief that an employee has or may have been the victim of harassment prohibited by the policy or administrative guideline is encouraged to immediately report the alleged harassment to a Complaint Coordinator, the building principal, or the Superintendent.
The School District encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available from the School District office (see Form 3362 F1), but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well. Use of formal reporting forms is not mandated.
However, if the report is given orally, the Complaint Coordinator shall personally reduce it to writing within twenty-four (24) hours. Nothing in this administrative guideline shall prevent any person from reporting harassment directly to the Superintendent. For example, if the complaint involves the Complaint Coordinator, the reporting individual may report the harassment to the Superintendent.
Complaint Coordinators will be available during regular school hours to address concerns relating to this administrative guideline. The principal of each building will also make arrangements for a Complaint Coordinator to be available to handle complaints of harassment that may require immediate attention outside regular school hours.
Upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging harassment prohibited under the policy or administrative guideline, the Complaint Coordinator shall immediately undertake or authorize an investigation of the complaint by another individual designated by the Superintendent (the "Investigator"). Generally, the Superintendent, or his/her designee, will oversee the investigation of the complaint. The Superintendent will also take immediate action, as may be appropriate, to prevent further violations of the policy or administrative guideline while the investigation is being conducted.
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, which may be relevant to the particular allegations.
Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of the policy or administrative guideline requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances. In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of the policy or administrative guideline, the School District may consider, as appropriate:
The investigation should be completed no later than ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the complaint, unless additional time is needed to conduct a thorough and objective investigation. The Investigator shall make a written report to the Superintendent upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint involves the Superintendent, the report shall be filed directly with the School Board. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of the policy or administrative guideline. The Investigator may investigate a complaint regardless of the fact that a criminal investigation involving the same or similar allegations is also pending or has been concluded.
School District Action
Upon receipt of a report that a violation has occurred, the School District 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, warning, suspension, exclusion, transfer, remediation, termination, or discharge. School District action taken for violation of this administrative guideline shall be consistent with the requirements of state and federal law, and School District policies for violations of a similar nature or similar degree of severity. In determining what is an appropriate response to a finding that harassment in violation of this administrative guideline has occurred, the School District may consider:
In accord with state and federal laws regarding privacy and other rights, the Superintendent shall provide the complainant and other parties with a written answer to the complaint within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the Investigator's report.
If the complainant or the alleged harasser disagrees with the Superintendent's answer, s/he may submit a written appeal to the Superintendent indicating the nature of the disagreement. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Superintendent's answer. The Superintendent may schedule a meeting of all the parties to the complaint if s/he deems it necessary. The Superintendent shall schedule a meeting if requested by the complainant.
The Superintendent shall give a written response to the appealing party within ten (10) calendar days of the date the appeal is filed, or ten (10) calendar days after the meeting, whichever is later.
If the appealing party is not satisfied with the response of the Superintendent, an appeal to the Board may be filed. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the Superintendent's response. The Board will set a meeting date and time to review the appeal, and may hold a hearing if it deems necessary. The Board shall give a written response to the appeal.
The above procedures do not limit access to alternative actions available to the complaining party under local, state, or federal law.
Submission of a good faith complaint or report of harassment will not affect the complainant's or reporter's work status or work environment. However, the District also recognizes that false or fraudulent claims of harassment or false or fraudulent information relating to a claim of harassment may be filed. The District reserves the right to discipline any person filing a false or fraudulent claim of harassment or providing false or fraudulent information regarding a claim.
The District will discipline or take appropriate action against any member of the School District community who retaliates against any person who reports an incident of harassment prohibited by this administrative guideline or participates in a proceeding, investigation, or hearing relating to such harassment. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment.
The District shall conspicuously post a notice including the policy against harassment in each school that the District maintains, in a place accessible to the School District community and members of the public. This notice shall also include the name, mailing address and telephone number of the Complaint Coordinators, the name, mailing address and telephone number of the state agency responsible for investigating allegations of discrimination, and the mailing address and telephone number of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Superintendent will ensure that methods are developed for discussing this administrative guideline with the School District community. Training on the requirements of non-discrimination and the appropriate responses to issues of harassment will be provided to the School District community on an annual basis, and at such other times as the Board in consultation with the Superintendent determines is necessary or appropriate.
This administrative guideline shall be reviewed at least annually for compliance with local, state, and federal law.
Approved/Adopted: July 13, 2009
Revised: August 29, 2011
Revised: February 9, 2016