File: JBB

Policy JBB
Adopted:  07/28/98

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

The Board recognizes that sexual harassment can interfere with a student’s academic performance and emotional and physical well-being and that preventing and remedying sexual harassment in schools is essential to ensure a nondiscriminatory, safe environment in which students can learn.  In addition, sexual harassment is recognized as a form of sex discrimination and thus is a violation of the laws, which prohibit sex discrimination.

 

District’s commitment

 

The district is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free from sexual harassment.  It shall be a violation of policy for any staff to harass students or for students to harass other students through conduct or communications of a sexual nature or to retaliate against anyone who reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation.

 

All indications, informal reports and formal grievances of sexual harassment by students, staff or third parties shall be investigated by the district and appropriate corrective action shall be taken.  Corrective action includes taking necessary steps to end the harassment, to make the harassed student whole by restoring lost educational opportunities, to prevent harassment from recurring and to prevent retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation.

 

What constitutes sexual harassment

 

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment, even if the harasser and the student being harassed are the same sex and whether or not the student resists or submits to the harasser, when:

 

1.                  Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s participation in an education program or activity

 

2.                  Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for education decisions affecting the student

 

3.                  Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that It limits a student’s ability o participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or it creates a hostile or abusive educational environment

 

For a one-time incident to rise to the level of harassment, it must be severe.  Acts of verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature may also constitute sexual harassment.

 

 

Sexual harassment as defined above may include, but is not limited to:

 

1.                  sex-oriented verbal “kidding,” abuse or harassment

 

2.                  pressure for sexual activity

 

3.                  repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications

 

4.                  unwelcome touching, such as patting, pinching or constant brushing against the body of another

 

5.                  suggesting or demanding sexual involvement, accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’ grades or similar personal concerns

 

Legitimate nonsexual touching or other nonsexual conduct is not sexual harassment.

 

Reporting sexual harassment

 

Sexual harassment cannot be investigated or corrected by the district until the district is made aware of such harassment.  Therefore, students are encouraged to report all incidences of sexual harassment to either a teacher, counselor or principal in their school building and file a formal grievance, as set forth in regulation JBB*-R.  All student reports and reports and indications from district employees or third parties shall be forwarded to the grievance officer.

 

If the alleged harasser is the person designated as the grievance officer, an alternate grievance officer will be appointed by the superintendent to investigate the matter.

 

All matters involving sexual harassment reports shall remain confidential to the extent possible as long as doing so does not preclude the district from responding effectively to the harassment or preventing future harassment.  Filing of a grievance or otherwise reporting sexual harassment shall not reflect upon the individual’s status or affect grades.

 

Receiving sexual harassment reports

 

All sexual harassment reports shall be forwarded to the grievance officer.  The grievance officer shall keep a confidential log, separate from other school records, wherein reports of sexual harassment shall be recorded.  The purpose of such a log is to aide the grievance officer in the investigation of sexual harassment reports and in discovering, investigating and resolving recurring sexual harassment problems.  Upon receiving a report, the grievance officer shall proceed as set forth herein and in regulation JBB*-R.

 

Investigating sexual harassment reports

 

The age of the student shall be taken into account when determining whether particular conduct actually occurred, whether particular conduct is sexual harassment and in determining the appropriate response by the district.

 

The grievance officer may consider the following types of information in determining whether sexual harassment occurred:

 

1.                  statements by any witness to the alleged incident

 

2.                  evidence about the relative credibility of the parties involved

 

3.                  evidence relative to whether the alleged harasser has been found to have harassed others

 

4.                  evidence of the allegedly harassed student’s reaction or change in behavior following the alleged harassment

 

5.                  evidence about whether the student claiming harassment took action to protest the conduct

 

6.                  evidence and witness statements or testimony presented by the parties involved

 

7.                  other contemporaneous evidence

 

8.                  any other evidence deemed relevant by the grievance officer

 

In deciding whether conduct is sufficiently sever, persistent or pervasive, all relevant circumstances shall be considered by the grievance officer, including:

 

1.                  the degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education

 

2.                  the type, frequency and duration of the conduct

 

3.                  the identity of and relationship between the alleged harasser and the allegedly harassed student

 

4.                  the number of individuals involved as alleged harassers and as subjects of the harassment

 

5.                  the age and sex of the alleged harasser and the subject of the harassment

 

6.                  the size of the school, location of the incident and context in which it occurred

 

7.                  other incidents at the school

 

Interim district action

 

When appropriate, the district shall take interim measures during the investigation of a harassment report to protect the alleged subject of the harassment from further harassment or retaliation.

 

In cases involving potential criminal conduct, the grievance officer shall determine whether appropriate law enforcement officials should be notified.

 

District action following investigation

 

If the conduct is determined to be sexual harassment, the district shall take all reasonable action to end the sexual harassment, to prevent its recurrence, to prevent retaliating against the student making the report and anyone participating in the investigation and to restore lost educational opportunities to the harassed student.  In addition, the harasser shall be disciplined according to any applicable discipline policy.

 

If in appropriate conduct does not rise to the level of sexual harassment prohibited by law, the matter shall be handled according to any applicable discipline policy.

 

 

Notice and training

 

Notice of this policy shall be circulated to all district schools and departments and incorporated in all student handbooks.

 

All students and district employees shall receive annual training related to recognizing and preventing sexual harassment.  District employees shall receive additional annual training related to handling reports of sexual harassment.

 

LEGAL REFS.:            Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.

                                    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, U.S.C. 1681 et seq.

                                    C.R.S. 24-34-401 et seq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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