Sexual Harassment

Adoption Date: 2/17/2000
4000 - Personnel

Sexual Harassment Complaint Form (pdf)
4120 Sexual Harassment
Regulation Info: 4120R |

The Board of Education is committed to safeguarding the right of all students within the school district to learn in an environment that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. Therefore, the Board, consistent with State and Federal law, condemns all unwelcome and/or unwarranted behavior of a sexual nature which may impose a requirement of sexual cooperation as a condition of academic advancement, or which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment. The Board specifically prohibits all student-employee relationships of a sexual or quasi-sexual nature, whether or not consensual.

Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome and/or unwarranted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a condition for evaluating the student’s academic progress or the student’s successful completion of any course of study, educational or extra-curricular activity, including the acceptance into or rejection from such course or activity;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic or extra-curricular decisions affecting such student, including the acceptance into or rejection from a course or activity;
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance, evaluation of a student’s academic progress or participation in an. educational or extra curricular activity, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.
  4. Conditions exist within the school environment that allow or foster harassing activities of a sexual nature, including but not limited to obscene pictures, lewd jokes, sexual comments and innuendo, sexual advances.

The Board recognizes that sexual harassment of students can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex; from peers, employees, officers, agents or any individual who might foreseeably come into contact with students on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities.

The Board acknowledges that in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred, the perspective of the complainant and/or victim shall be considered. While the accused’s conduct and/or intention may be considered, sexual harassment may be found even where the accused had no intent to sexually harass another individual.

Complaint Procedure:
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment or any person who believes that s/he has witnessed an incident(s) of sexual harassment shall report all incidents of such conduct to any staff member with whom the complainant feels comfortable (e.g., a teacher, the building principal, school nurse, guidance counselor or the District’s designated Title IX Complaint Officer[s]).   The staff member to whom the complaint is made shall promptly report the complaint to the Title IX Complaint Officer(s), who shall make a determination as to who will investigate the complaint (e.g., building principal in the case of an elementary student, high school principal in the case of a high school student, outside investigator) through informal and/or formal complaint procedures developed by the District. Any staff member who fails to report a sexual harassment complaint may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with law and any applicable collectively negotiated agreements

All complaints of sexual harassment will be held in confidence to the extent practicable to enable the District to conduct a thorough investigation and as permitted by law. While the District respects the privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints brought under this policy, it cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality. At the conclusion of the investigation and at such time when the written report is issued and becomes a final agency determination (30 days after the issuance of the report if no appeal is made or after the issuance of the appeal determination), the report may become public.

If the District has knowledge of or reason to know of the occurrence of any alleged sexual harassment, the District shall, even in the absence of a complaint, cause a prompt and thorough investigation of any such incident to be made.

Upon receipt of any complaint of sexual harassment, the District will cause a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of the charges to be conducted within 30 calendar days of receipt of a complaint. It is the policy of the District that all complaints of sexual harassment shall be taken seriously and that an investigation shall be conducted to the extent possible. The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall be filed with the Title IX Complaint Officer(s). The outcome of any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint shall be related to the student and his/her parent/guardian, as well as to the accused.

If the results of the District’s investigation indicates that sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior has occurred, immediate and appropriate corrective action will be taken. It is the policy of the District to appropriately discipline the offending individual in accordance with law, District policy and any applicable collectively negotiated agreements. If the alleged behavior constitutes or may constitute a crime, the police authorities or District Attorney’s office shall be immediately notified.

If the student, or his/her parent or the accused is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, an appeal of the findings may be made to the Board of Education within 30 calendar days from receipt of the investigation report, for its review and action. Such review shall occur promptly, within 30 calendar days of the filing of the appeal.

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against a complainant for the good faith reporting of an incident pursuant to this policy, as well as against any witness who testifies in a sexual harassment investigation. Follow-up inquiries by the Title IX Complaint Officer(s) shall be made to ensure that the complainant and/or witnesses have not suffered retaliation.

The District shall provide appropriate training to staff and students regarding awareness of and sensitivity to issues involving sexual harassment, including condemnation of such conduct, the sanctions for harassment and preventive measures to help reduce incidents of sexual harassment.

The Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop and implement specific procedures for reporting, investigating and resolving sexual harassment complaints.

A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations shall be distributed to all personnel, students and parents/guardians and posted in appropriate places within the District.

Policy Cross References:
 » 5148 - Sexual Harassment