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Sweetwater Un HSD |  BP  5145.7  Students

Sexual Harassment   

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The Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free of sexual harassment of any student by any employee, student, or other person at school at any school-related activity. The Board prohibits, at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities, sexual harassment targeted at any student by anyone. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who reports, files a complaint or testifies about, or otherwise supports a complainant in alleging sexual harassment.

Criminal or civil charges may be brought against the alleged harasser. Sexual harassment may be considered a violation of laws relating to child abuse.

The district strongly encourages 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 by another student or an adult, or who has experienced off-campus sexual harassment that has a continuing effect on campus, to immediately contact his/her teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee. Any employee who receives a report or observes an incident of sexual harassment shall notify the principal or a district compliance officer. Once notified, the principal or compliance officer shall take the steps to investigate and address the allegation, as specified in the accompanying administrative regulation.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

(cf. 1312.1 - Complaints Concerning District Employees)

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

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

The Superintendent or designee shall take appropriate actions to reinforce the district's sexual harassment policy.

Instruction/Information

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all district students receive age-appropriate 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 under any circumstance.

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

4. A clear message that student safety is the district's primary concern, and that any separate rule violation involving an alleged victim or any other person reporting a sexual harassment incident will be addressed separately and will not affect the manner in which the sexual harassment complaint will be received, investigated, or resolved.

5. A clear message that, regardless of a complainant's noncompliance with the writing, timeline, or other formal filing requirements, every sexual harassment allegation that involves a student, whether as the complainant, respondent, or victim of the harassment, shall be investigated and prompt action shall be taken to stop any harassment, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effect on students.

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

7. Information about the rights of students and parents/guardians to file a civil or criminal complaint, as applicable, including the right to file a civil or criminal complaint while the district investigation of a sexual harassment complaint continues.

8. A clear message that, when needed, the district will take interim measures to ensure a safe school environment for a student who is the complainant or victim of sexual harassment and/or other students during an investigation and that, to the extent possible, when such interim measures are taken, they shall not disadvantage the complainant or victim of the alleged harassment.

Reporting and Investigating Requirements

Employees are required to report any alleged sexual harassment to the appropriate administrator or be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Students shall be informed to immediately contact a staff member if they feel they are victims of sexual harassment. Within 24 hours, staff shall report complaints of sexual harassment to the principal or designee or to another district administrator. Staff shall similarly report any such incidents they may observe, even if the harassed student has not complained.

The principal/administrator or designee shall immediately investigate any report of the sexual harassment of a student.

Upon verifying that sexual harassment occurred, he/she shall ensure that appropriate action is promptly taken to end the sexual harassment, address its effects on the person subjected to the harassment, and prevent any further instances of the sexual harassment as outlined in Administrative Regulation 5145.7. In addition, the student may file a formal complaint using the district's uniform complaint procedures.

If the Superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student learner is enrolled determines that the student has committed sexual harassment as defined in Education Code 212.5, which is determined to be sufficiently severe or pervasive as to have an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, the student may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion.

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

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

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

Upon investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual violence toward any student in violation of Education Code Section 212.5 shall be subject to discipline, up to and including having their employment terminated, as appropriate and in accordance with law and the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

(cf. 4117.7/4317.7 - Employment Status Report)

(cf. 4118/4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

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

Investigations Shall be Confidential

The district prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process. Information related to a complaint of sexual harassment shall be confidential to the extent possible, and individuals involved in the investigation of such a complaint shall not discuss related information outside the investigation process.

Superintendent to Develop Regulations

The Superintendent shall formulate such administrative regulations as necessary to implement this Board policy.

(cf. 3580 - District Records)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex

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 receiving state financial assistance

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

1221 Application of laws

1232g Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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-1 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) 208 F.3d 736

Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, (1999) 526 U.S. 629 Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, (1998) 118 S.Ct. 1989 Nabozny v. Podlesny, (1996, 7th Cir.) 92 F.3d 446

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

Oona R.-S. etc. v. Santa Rosa City Schools et al, (1995) 890 F.Supp. 1452

Rosa H. v. San Elizario Ind. School District, (W.D. Tex. 1995) 887 F. Supp. 140, 143 Clyde K. v. Puyallup School District #3, (1994) 35 F.3d 1396

Patricia H. v. Berkeley Unified School District, (1993) 830 F.Supp. 1288 Franklin v. Gwinnet County Schools (1992) 112 S. Ct. 1028

Kelson v. City of Springfield, Oregon, (1985, 9th Cir.) 767 F.2d 651

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students, Policy Brief, February 2014

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

OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL

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

OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS' PUBLICATIONS

Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct, September 2017

Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students, May 2016

Dear Colleague Letter: Title IX Coordinators, April 2015

Sexual Harassment: It's Not Academic, September 2008

Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance, January 2001

Sexual Harassment Guidance, March 1997

WEB SITES

OCR: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR

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

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

Policy SWEETWATER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: November 17, 2008 Chula Vista, California

revised: February 11, 2019