The Board of Education affirms its commitment to provide an environment free from sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence and intimidation. The Board, therefore, prohibits all forms of sexual harassment against District personnel by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees, such as contractors and vendors, which occur on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, programs, or activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes harassment on the basis of sex when:
a) Submission of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals; or
c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual violence. For the purpose of this policy, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from students, supervisors, co-workers, or third parties such as visitors and school volunteers.
Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. Examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Verbal abuse or ridicule, including innuendoes, stories, and jokes that are sexual in nature and/or gender-related. This might include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features.
b) Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity.
c) Asking or commenting about a person’s sexual activities.
d) Unwelcome and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, physical acts such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
e) Displaying or distributing pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, pictures, internet material, cartoons, etc.
f) The use of profanity and/or other obscenities that are sexually suggestive or degrading in nature.
g) Unwelcome staring, leering, or gesturing which is sexually suggestive in nature.
h) Unwelcome and/or offensive public displays of sexual/physical affection.
i) Clothing that reflects sexually obscene and/or sexually explicit messages, slogans, or pictures.
j) Engaging in sexual conduct with an individual who is unable to consent due to his/her age, use of drugs or alcohol, intellectual disability, or other disability.
k) Any other unwelcome and unwanted sexually oriented and/or gender-based behavior which is sexually demeaning, belittling, intimidating, or perpetrates sexual stereotypes and attitudes.
Investigation of Complaints and Grievances
In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee who believes he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the work environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, immediately report such alleged harassment to the District’s designated Civil Rights Compliance Officer. In the event that the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated an additional individual to serve in such capacity, or to the Superintendent.
The School District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether verbal or written, of sexual harassment, and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment. All such complaints will be handled in a manner consistent with the District’s policies, procedures, and/or regulations regarding the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints.
Additional information regarding the District’s discrimination and harassment complaint and grievance procedures, including but not limited to the designation of the Civil Rights Compliance Officer, knowingly making false accusations, and possible corrective actions, can be found in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. In the event the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated another individual to serve in such a capacity, or to the Superintendent.
Where appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that sexual harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of sexual harassment have not suffered retaliation.
Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 USC Section 1981(a) 29 CFR Section 1604.11(a)
Civil Service Law Section 75-B Executive Law Sections 296 and 297
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC Section 2000e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Section 1681 et seq. 34 CFR Section 100 et seq.
Adopted August 16, 2016