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Santa Maria-Bonita SD |  AR  5145.7  Students

Sexual Harassment   

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Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (Education Code 212.5)

1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's academic status or progress.

2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual.

3. The conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the individual's academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

4. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.

Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

1. Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions

2. Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions

3. Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body, or overly personal conversation

4. Sexual jokes, notes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures

5. Spreading sexual rumors

6. Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class

7. Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way

8. Purposefully cornering or blocking normal movements

9. Limiting a student's access to educational tools

10. Displaying sexually suggestive objects

11. Any act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of the district's sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.

Notifications

A copy of the district's sexual harassment policy and regulation shall:

1. Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year. (Education Code 48980)

2. Be displayed in a prominent location near each school principal's office. (Education Code 231.5)

3. Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new students at the beginning of each quarter, semester or summer session. (Education Code 231.5)

4. Appear in any school or district publication that sets forth the school's or district's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures and standards of conduct. (Education Code 231.5)

5. Be provided to employees and employee organizations.

Investigation of Complaints at School (Site-Level Procedure)

1. The principal or designee shall promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment. In so doing, he/she shall talk individually with:

a. The student who is complaining

b. The person accused of harassment

c. Any witness to the alleged harassment

d. Anyone who is reasonably believed to have information necessary to complete the investigation

2. The student who is complaining shall have an opportunity to describe the incident, provide other evidence to substantiate the harassment, and put his/her complaint in writing.

3. The principal or designee must discuss the complaint with the people described above. When necessary to carry out his/her investigation, he/she may discuss the complaint with other persons, including the parent/guardian of the student who complained and the parent/guardian of the person accused of the harassment.

4. When the student who complained and the person accused of harassment so agree, the principal or designee may arrange for them to resolve the complaint informally with the help of a counselor, teacher, administrator or trained mediator. The student who complained shall never be asked to work out the problem directly with the accused person unless such help is provided.

5. The principal or designee shall tell the student who complained that he/she has the right to file a formal complaint at any time in accordance with the procedures of Board Policy 1312.1. If the student wishes to file a formal complaint, the principal or designee shall assist the student in doing this.

6. To verify that an incident rises to the level of sexual harassment, the principal or designee may take into account:

a. Statements made by the persons identified above

b. The details and consistency of each person's account

c. Evidence of how the complaining student reacted to the incident

d. Evidence of past instances of harassment by the accused person

e. Evidence of past harassment complaints that were found to be untrue

7. To determine the severity of the harassment, the principal or designee may take into consideration:

a. How the misconduct affected one or more students' participation in or benefit from their education or altered the conditions of the educational environment

b. The type, frequency and duration of the misconduct

c. The number of persons involved

d. The age and sex of the person accused of harassment

e. The subject(s) of harassment

f. The place and situation where the incident occurred

g. Other incidents at the school, including incidents of gender-based harassment that were not involving sexual activity or language

8. The principal or designee shall write a report of his/her findings, decision, and reasons for the decision and shall present this report to the student who complained and the person accused.

9. The principal or designee shall give the Superintendent or designee a written report of the complaint and investigation, including the actions he/she took to end verified acts of harassment, the effects of the harassment on the person harassed, and the actions taken to prevent retaliation or further harassment.

10. Within two weeks after receiving the complaint, or within a reasonable time as necessary for investigation of the incident(s), the principal or designee should determine whether or not the student who complained has been further harassed. The principal or designee shall keep a record of this information and may continue this follow-up at his/her discretion.

Enforcement

The Superintendent or designee should take appropriate actions to reinforce the district's sexual harassment policy. As needed, these actions may include any of the following:

1. Removing vulgar or offending graffiti

2. Providing staff inservice and student instruction or counseling

3. Notifying parents/guardians

4. Notifying child protective services

5. Taking appropriate disciplinary action. In addition, the principal or designee may take disciplinary measures against any person who is found to have made a complaint of sexual harassment which he/she knew was not true.

Regulation SANTA MARIA-BONITA SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: March 10, 1993 Santa Maria, California

revised: April 11, 2001