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South Whittier SD |  BP  5145.7  Students

Sexual Harassment   

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The Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining a safe school environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The Board prohibits sexual harassment of students by anyone at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities. 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.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District 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)

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 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.

Complaints regarding sexual harassment shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with law and district procedures specified in AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. Principals are responsible for notifying students and parents/guardians that complaints of sexual harassment can be filed under AR 1312.3 and where to obtain a copy of the procedures.

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 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 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 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

Complaint Process and Disciplinary Actions

Sexual harassment complaints by and against students shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with law and district procedures specified in AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. Principals are responsible for notifying students and parents/guardians that complaints of sexual harassment can be filed under AR 1312.3 and where to obtain a copy of the procedures.

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

Upon investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, any student found to have engaged 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 Discipline)

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

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

Any staff member found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual violence toward any student shall be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal in accordance with applicable policies, laws, and/or collective bargaining agreements.

Record-Keeping

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

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

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 34

99.1-99.67 Family Educational Rights and Privacy

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 Boards of Trustees 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

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE FOR 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: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties, 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

Policy SOUTH WHITTIER SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: August 14, 2012 Whittier, California

revised: August 18, 2020