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Sonoma COE |  BP  5145.7  Students

Sexual Harassment - SP   

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The Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools is committed to maintaining a safe school environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The County Superintendent prohibits sexual harassment of students at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities. The County Superintendent also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who files a complaint, testifies, or otherwise participates in Sonoma County Office of Education complaint processes.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in County Office Programs and Activities)

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 - Sexual Harassment)

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

(cf. 6142.1 - Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Instruction)

Instruction/Information

The County Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all County Office students receive age-appropriate instruction and information on sexual harassment. Such instruction and information shall include:

1. What acts and behavior constitute sexual harassment, including the fact that sexual harassment could occur between people of the same sex and could involve sexual violence

2. A clear message that students do not have to endure sexual harassment

3. Encouragement to report observed instances of sexual harassment, even where the victim of the harassment has not complained

4. Information about the County Office's procedure for investigating complaints and the person(s) to whom a report of sexual harassment should be made

5. Information about the rights of students and parents/guardians to file a criminal complaint, as applicable

Complaint Process

Any student who feels that he/she is being or has been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity (e.g., by a visiting athlete or coach) shall immediately contact his/her teacher or any other employee. An employee who receives such a complaint shall report it in accordance with administrative regulation.

(cf. 1312.1 - Complaints Concerning County Office Employees)

(cf. 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting)

The County Superintendent or designee shall ensure that any complaints regarding sexual harassment are immediately investigated in accordance with administrative regulation. When the County Superintendent or designee has determined that harassment has occurred, he/she shall take prompt, appropriate action to end the harassment and to address its effects on the victim.

Disciplinary Actions

Any student who engages in sexual harassment or sexual violence at school or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity is in violation of this policy and shall be subject to disciplinary action. For students in grades 4-12, disciplinary action may include suspension and/or expulsion, provided that, in imposing such discipline, the entire circumstances of the incident(s) shall be taken into account.

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

Confidentiality and Record-Keeping

All complaints and allegations of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential except as necessary to carry out the investigation or take other subsequent necessary action. (5 CCR 4964)

(cf. 4119.23/4219.23/4319.23 - Unauthorized Release of Confidential/Privileged Information)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

The County Superintendent or designee shall maintain a record of all reported cases of sexual harassment to enable the County Office to monitor, address, and prevent repetitive harassing behavior in the schools.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex

48900 Grounds for suspension or expulsion

48900.2 Additional grounds for suspension or expulsion; sexual harassment

48904 Liability of parent/guardian for willful student misconduct

48980 Notice at beginning of term

CIVIL CODE

51.9 Liability for sexual harassment; business, service and professional relationships

1714.1 Liability of parents/guardians for willful misconduct of minor

GOVERNMENT CODE

12950.1 Sexual harassment training

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

4600-4687 Uniform complaint procedures

4900-4965 Nondiscrimination in elementary and secondary education programs

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

1681-1688 Title IX, discrimination

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 42

1983 Civil action for deprivation of rights

2000d-2000d-7 Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964

2000e-2000e-17 Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 34

106.1-106.71 Nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in education programs

COURT DECISIONS

Donovan v. Poway Unified School District, (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 567

Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, (2003, 9th Cir.) 324 F.3d 1130

Reese v. Jefferson School District, (2001, 9th Cir.) 208 F.3d 736

Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, (1999) 526 U.S. 629

Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, (1998) 524 U.S. 274

Oona by Kate S. v. McCaffrey, (1998, 9th Cir.) 143 F.3d 473

Doe v. Petaluma City School District, (1995, 9th Cir.) 54 F.3d 1447

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for All Students, Policy Brief, April 2010

OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS PUBLICATIONS

Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence, April 4, 2011

Sexual Harassment: It's Not Academic, September 2008

Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance, January 2001

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

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

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

Superintendent Policy SONOMA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

approved: September 16, 2013 Santa Rosa, California