3413 - Anti Harassment in the School District
|Policy: Anti Harassment in the School District||Policy Number: 3413|
|Date of Original Policy: 07/10/2002||Date Revision Adopted: 07/08/2020|
|Reviewed by Policy Committee: 06/17/2020||Date of Next Review: 01/25/2023|
|Replacement of Policy Number:|
Anti-Harassment in the School District
The Board of Education affirms its commitment to nondiscrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment and intimidation. Harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (gender identity) or sex, by employees, school volunteers, students, and non employees such as contractors and vendors, as well as, any third parties who are participating in, observing, or otherwise engaging activities subject to the supervision and control of the district.
Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.
The Board also prohibits harassment based on an individuals’ opposition to discrimination or participation in a related investigation or complaint proceeding under the anti-discrimination statures. This policy of nondiscrimination and anti-harassment will be enforced on school district property; and at all school sponsored events, programs and activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.
It is intended that this policy apply to the dealings between or among employees with employees; employees with students; students with students; employees/students with vendors/contractors and others who do business with the School District, as well as school volunteers, visitors, guests and other third parties. All of these persons are hereinafter referred to collectively as “the named group”.
For purposes of this policy harassment shall mean communication (verbal, electronic, written or graphic) or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability that:
b. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an educational or extracurricular activity, or creates an intimidating hostile or offensive learning environment; or effectively bars the student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit;
c. Otherwise adversely effects the employment or educational opportunities and benefits provided by the District.
The District will act to promptly investigate all complaints, either verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of harassment based on any of the characteristics described above; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment.
In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee, student or other member of the above named group who believes he/she has been a victim of harassment in the school environment or programs, activities and events under the control and supervision of the District, as well as any individual who is aware of or who has knowledge of, or witnesses any possible occurrence of harassment immediately report such alleged harassment; such report shall be directed to or forward to the District’s designated DASA Coordinator through informal or formal complaint procedures as developed by the District. Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, (Complaint forms are located on the District’s Website or hard copies are available in all school buildings) although verbal complaints of alleged harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy. In the event that the DASA Coordinator is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the next level of supervisory authority.
Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, the District will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of an informal/formal complaint, if the District has knowledge of any occurrence of harassment, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges or to notify law enforcement officials as warranted, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that an employee or student has violated the terms of this policy or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted. Should the offending individual be a student, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including suspension, in accordance with applicable laws or regulations, District policy and regulation, and the District Code of Conduct.
Should the offending individual be a school employee, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the offender’s employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). Third parties (such as school volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and /or accompanying regulations or District Code of Conduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law. The application of such disciplinary measures by the District does not preclude the filing of civil or criminal charges as maybe warranted.
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, or other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of harassment. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the harassment complaint have not suffered retaliation.
Finding That Harassment Did Not Occur
At any level/stage of investigation of alleged harassment, if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Complaint Officer will so notify the complainant, the alleged offender and the Superintendent of this determination. Such a finding does not preclude the complainant from filing an appeal pursuant to District policy or regulation or pursuing other legal avenues of recourse.
However, even if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Superintendent or their designee reserves the right to initiate staff awareness and training, as applicable, to help ensure the school community is not conducive to fostering harassment in the workplace.
In all cases, the Superintendent will inform the Board of Education of the results of each investigation involving a finding that harassment did not occur.
Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Employees or students who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of harassment may also face appropriate disciplinary action. Because of the damage that can be done to someone falsely accused, any individual who in bad faith knowingly makes a false complaint or report of harassment or discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).
Development and Dissemination of Administrative Regulations
Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigation, and remedying allegations of harassment based on the characteristics described above. An appeal procedure will also be provided to address any unresolved complaints or unsatisfactory prior determinations by applicable complaint officer(s). Such regulations will be developed in accordance with federal and state law, as well as, any applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).
The Superintendent or their designee will affirmatively discuss the topic of harassment with all employees and students, express the District’s condemnation of such conduct, and explain the sanctions for such harassment. Appropriate training and /or “awareness” programs will be established for staff and students to help ensure knowledge of and familiarity with the issues pertaining to harassment in the schools, and to disseminate preventative measures to help reduce such incidents or prohibited conduct. Furthermore, special training will be provided for designated supervisors and managerial employees, as may be necessary, for the investigation of harassment complaints.
A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulation will be available upon request and may be posted at various locations in each school building. The District’s policy and regulations on anti-harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.
This policy should not be read to abrogate other District policies or regulations or the District Code of Conduct prohibiting other forms of unlawful discrimination, inappropriate behavior, or hate crimes within the District. It is the intent of the District that all such policies and /or regulations be read consistently to provide the highest level of protection from unlawful discrimination in the provision of employment/educational services and opportunities. However, different treatment of any member of the above named group which has a legitimate, legal and nondiscriminatory reason shall not be considered a violation of District policy.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United states Code (USC) Section 621
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000d et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 42 United States Code (USC) 2000e et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.
Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status or marital status.
Military Law Sections 242 and 243