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Hayward USD |  BP  5145.9  Students

Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment For Students   

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The Hayward Unified School District is committed to providing programs and activities that are free from discrimination based upon sex, person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, identity/expression, ethnic group identification, race, color, national origin, age, marital status, religion, or mental or physical disability, physical size or characteristics. Harassment may be formal or informal, verbal, visual, written or physical. Members of the school community are expected to treat each other with dignity and mutual respect and to accept the rich diversity that makes up the community. Disrespect among members of the school community is unacceptable behavior which is disruptive to the learning environment and potentially damaging to self-esteem.

This Policy provides guidelines for school site staff and administration to create a safe learning environment for all students, and to ensure that every student has equal access to all components of the educational program. This Policy shall further provide guidance on the following matters;

1. Investigation of Complaints

2. Prohibition of Gender-Based Discrimination in Public School under California law

3. Gym and Sport Class Policy

4. Dress Code issues

5. Gender Segregation

6. Retaliation

7. Discrimination Harassment Complaint Procedure

8. Accountability

9. Definitions

10. Legal References

1. Investigation of Complaints

The Hayward Unified School District is legally required to investigate all student complaints of discrimination and harassment and to discipline or take other appropriate action against any member of the school community who is found to have violated this policy.

2. California Law Prohibits Gender-Based Discrimination in Public Schools

The California Education Code states that "all students have the right to participate fully in the educational process, free from discrimination and harassment." California Education Code Section 201(a), Section 220 of the Education Code provides that no person shall be subject to discrimination on the basis of gender in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The code further provides that public schools have an affirmative obligation to combat sexism and other forms of bias, and a responsibility to provide equal educational opportunity to all students. California Education Code 201(b).

The California Code of Regulations similarly provides that "No person shall be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any local agency's program or activity on the basis of sex or person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, identity/expression, ethnic group identification, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, or mental or physical disability in any program or activity conducted by an ‘educational institution' or any other ‘local agency' that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance." 5 CCR 4900(a).

The California Code of Regulations defines "gender" as: "a person's actual sex or perceived sex and includes a person's perceived identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with a person's sex at birth." 5 CCR 4910(k).

HUSD Board Policy 5145.9 requires that "All educational programs, activities and employment practices shall be conducted without discrimination. Board Policy 5145.9 requires that "students should treat all persons equally and respectfully and refrain from the willful or negligent use of slurs against any person".

3. Sports and Gym Class

Transgender students shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in physical education, nor shall they be forced to have a physical education outside of the assigned class time. Generally, students should be permitted to participate in gender-segregated recreational gym class activities and sports in accordance with the student's gender identity that is exclusively and consistently asserted at school. Participation in competitive athletic activities and contract sports will be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

4. Dress Code

School sites can enforce dress codes that are adopted pursuant to Education Code 35291. Students shall have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity that is exclusively and consistently asserted at school, within the constraints of the dress codes adopted at their school site. This regulation does not limit a student's right to dress in accordance with the district and/or site Dress/Appearance standards.

5. Gender Segregation in Other Areas

As a general rule, in circumstances where students are separated by gender for school activities (i.e., class discussions, field trips), students shall be permitted to participate in accordance with their gender identity exclusively and consistently asserted at school. Activities that may involve the need for accommodations to address student privacy concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. In such circumstances, staff shall make a reasonable effort to provide an available accommodation that can address any such concerns.

6. Retaliation

It is a violation of district policy to retaliate against any person who reports incident(s) of alleged harassment or testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to such alleged harassment. An alleged harasser may be found to have violated this anti-retaliation provision even if the underlying complaint of harassment is subsequently not found to be in violation of this policy.

Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, an adverse action, intimidation, threats, reprisal or harassment, against a complainant or someone acting on the complainant's behalf, who complained about or otherwise protested about harassment. Retaliation may be readdressed through application of the same reporting, investigation and enforcement procedures as for harassment.

Retaliation against the complainant, the alleged harasser, and/or any witnesses, by breach of confidentiality or otherwise, is strictly prohibited, will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with by appropriate disciplinary consequences including expulsion and/or referral to legal authority.

Any person who knowingly makes a false report may be subject to the same action that the district may take against any other individual who violates this policy. The term "false report" refers only to those made in bad faith and does not include a complaint that could not be corroborated or which did not rise to the level of unlawful harassment.

7. Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Procedures

Any school employee who observes, overhears or otherwise witnesses harassment, or to whom such harassment is reported, must promptly report the incident to the site administrator or designee.

Any school employee, who observes, overhears or otherwise witnesses' harassment of a student(s) while it is ongoing or in progress shall intervene to cause the harassment to stop, and then make the report specified above.

Any student member of the school community who believes that s/he has been the target of unlawful harassment/discrimination as defined in this policy may make a complaint. The Uniform Complaint policy will be followed regarding complaints about harassment/discrimination.

Uniform complaint Procedures starts at the site level, then district level, and if not resolved may be filed with the Department of Education. Uniform complaints must be resolved within 60 days upon receipt of the complaint.

8. Accountability

At the beginning of each school year, students shall receive notice of this district policy. It is the district's goal to promote acceptance of diversity and to mitigate or eliminate all types of unlawful harassment. In furtherance of that goal, the district may employ all necessary steps including training, distribution of literature, and providing appropriate sanctions to those found in violation of this policy up to and including expulsion and referral to legal authority.

9. Definitions

a. School Community: Includes, but is not limited to, all teachers, support staff, administrators, students, coaches, volunteers, school board members and agents of the school site or district.

b. Unlawful Harassment: Includes verbal, visual or physical conduct based on a student's sex, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity/expression identification, ethnic group, race, national origin, age, marital status, religion, color, mental or physical disability, or physical size or characteristics which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance or otherwise creating an intimidating,

hostile or offensive educational environment. Harassment can include any verbal, visual or physical conduct that offends, denigrates or belittles any individual because of any of the actual or perceived characteristics described herein:

c. Racial/Color Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived skin color, race or ethnic characteristics.

d. Religious/Creed Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived religious practices, beliefs, clothing or other religious expression.

e. National Origin Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived national origin, body features, clothing or other expression or display reflecting national origin.

f. Marital Status Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived marital status including a women's pregnancy or parenthood of family members.

g. Age Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived chronological age, including appearance or abilities.

h. Disability Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived disability, mental or physical, including mode of ambulating, intelligence, or abilities.

i. Size Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived physical size, including height, weight, abilities, or perceived physical characteristics.

j. Sexual Orientation Harassment: Includes any of the above unlawful acts on account of a person(s)' actual or perceived sexual orientation, including mannerisms or family composition including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

k. Gender Identity/Expression: Includes any of the above unlawful acts based on an individual's gender identity/expression, which includes mannerisms and/or atypical gender roles. In addition to all of the above actual or perceived characteristics, transgender and gender non-conforming students must be protected from discrimination and harassment in the public school system.

l. Harassment of a General Nature: Includes any comments or actions towards others that lead to embarrassment, a feeling of inferiority or personal discomfort.

Staff must respond appropriately to ensure that schools are free from any such discrimination or harassment.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

32282 School safety plans

48900.3 Suspension for hate violence

48900.4 Suspension or expulsion for threats or harassment

PENAL CODE

422.55 Definition of hate crime

422.6 Crimes, harassment

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

4600-4687 Uniform Complaint Procedures

4900-4965 Nondiscrimination in elementary and secondary education programs

Management Resources:

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LEGAL ADVISORIES

California Student Safety and Violence Prevention - Laws and Regulations, April 2004

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS & NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL PUBLICATIONS

Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools, 1999

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PUBLICATIONS

Preventing Youth Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools and Communities, 1997

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Association of Human Relations Organizations: http://www.cahro.org

California Department of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov

National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center: http://www.safeyouth.org

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr

U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service: http://www.usdoj.gov/crs

Policy HAYWARD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: June 22, 2005 Hayward, California

revised: December 11, 2013