Policy #1.16.1-Sexual Harassment Policy

MILLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

MILLIS, MASSACHUSETTS

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY                                                            1.16.1

 

            I. POLICY

 

            The Millis Public School System, in accordance with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in educational programs and activities of the public schools. This policy applies to both educational and employment opportunities.

 

            Because the Millis Public School System takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.

 

            A. Students

 

            Millis is committed to maintaining an educational atmosphere in which each and every student can pursue scholastic achievement and personal fulfillment. Sexual harassment is a destructive behavior which interferes with the educational process, and will not be tolerated.

            The Millis Public School System maintains a neutral position regarding students' interpersonal relationships. However, embraces, intimate touching and other physical actions showing a personal relationship are inappropriate in an educational setting. Students who engage in such actions on school grounds or during school activities violate school policy.

 

            B. Employees

 

            It is the goal of the Millis Public School System to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of employees occurring in the workplace or in other settings in which employees may find themselves in connection with their employment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Millis Public School System. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by employees.

 

            II. DEFINITION

 

            Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct unreasonably interferes with school or work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or employment environment.

 

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

 

  • unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not;
  • sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip about one's sex life, comment on an individual's body, comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;                                           
  • displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures and cartoons;
  • unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
  • inquiries into one's sexual experiences; and
  • discussion of one's sexual activities.

 

            Sexual harassment is described by the victim. The individual's feelings and reactions determine whether behavior such as that described above is inappropriate and sexual harassment has taken place.

 

            In addition to the above, with regard to relationships in the workplace, "sexual harassment" means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

 

(a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions;

 

or,

 

(b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.

 

            Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment.

 

            III. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

 

            Sexual harassment is a violation of an individual's right to privacy and personal dignity. Anyone who engages in sexual harassment violates school policy.

 

            Student conduct on school grounds and/or during school activities that falls within the definition of sexual harassment set forth above, is in violation of this policy and may result in disciplinary proceedings.

            IV. GENERAL GUIDELINES

 

            1. Problems and complaints regarding sexual discrimination and harassment should be resolved in a prompt and equitable manner. When possible, such problems and complaints should be resolved in an informal manner.

 

            A. Students

 

            Students who need help or wish to talk about harassment should contact the School Guidance or Adjustment Counselor, the School Nurse, the School Psychologist, the School Principal, or any member of the teaching staff immediately. If a School Guidance or Adjustment Counselor, School Nurse, is contacted concerning a complaint or possible complaint, or any member of the teaching staff he/she should refer the matter to the Principal immediately. Staff who observe conduct which violates this policy are to report the conduct to the Principal immediately.

 

            B. Employees

 

            Employees who need help or wish to talk about harassment should contact the School Principal, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, the harasser's immediate supervisor or any other school administrator immediately.

 

            2. The procedures set forth in this policy may be invoked even if other appeal and adjudication procedures have been provided by state law or federal law or other specific Millis Public School System policies and directives.

            3. Retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint or reporting of sexual harassment is prohibited and will result in serious disciplinary action.

 

            V. RESPONSIBILITY

 

            The Director of Pupil Personnel Services shall be responsible for the execution of this policy. Faculty and staff who need assistance in the interpretation or execution of the policy should contact either their Principal or the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

 

            VI. SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION

 

            When a complaint of sexual harassment is received by the Millis Public School System, that allegation will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. The investigation will also include an interview with the person alleged to have committed the sexual harassment.

 

            The specific procedures to be followed in conducting the investigations are set forth more fully in the later sections of this policy.

 

            VII. DISCIPLINARY ACTION

 

            If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed, the Millis Public School System will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances, including disciplinary action.

 

            VIII. STATE AND FEDERAL REMEDIES

 

            In addition to the remedies set forth in the subsequent sections of this policy, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the government agency or agencies set forth below. Using the Millis Public School System complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim.

 

            A. Students

 

            If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with:

 

United States Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights ("OCR")

McCormack Post Office and Courthouse, Room 222

Post Office Square

Boston, MA 02109

tel. (617) 223-9667

 

            The time period for filing a claim with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights is 180 days.

 

            B. Employees

 

            If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below:

 

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")

JFK Federal Building, Room 475

Boston, MA 02203

tel. (617) 565-3200

 

            The time period for filing a claim with the EEOC is 180 days.

 


 

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD")


Boston Office

One Ashburton Place, Rm. 601

Boston, MA 02108

(617) 727-3990

Springfield Office

424 Dwight Street, Rm. 220

Springfield, MA 01103

(413) 739-2145


 

            The time period for filing a claim with the MCAD is 300 days.

 

            IX. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT

            STUDENT TO STUDENT

 

1. Any student subjected to sexual harassment may, if he or she chooses, confront the alleged harasser informally in order to resolve the complaint on a personal level.

 

2. If the complainant (student) does not want to deal directly with the alleged harasser (student), or if the matter is not resolved informally, the complainant should immediately report the conduct to a Guidance or Adjustment Counselor, the School Nurse, the School Psychologist, the School Principal, or other member of the teaching staff.

Any staff member who receives a complaint verbally or in writing concerning sexual harassment or observes conduct which he/she believes may constitute sexual harassment is required to document the complaint and refer it to the Building Principal immediately. The Building Principal shall ensure that the report is documented in writing using the Sexual Harassment Incident Report Form. He/she must send copies to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX & Chapter 622) within two (2) school days.

 

3. Every report of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and will be investigated as quickly as possible. In appropriate circumstances, the person receiving the report may offer to the complainant an option to sit down with the alleged harasser and the complainant together or the alleged harasser alone to work out an informal resolution. This is determined by the complainant. If either the complainant or harasser is a student, such students' parents will be notified of the aforementioned meeting to work out an informal resolution.

 

4. If the complainant does not agree to meet with the alleged harasser, the complainant can choose one of the following options:

 

            a. To write a letter to the alleged harasser listing the following:

 

                        1. An exact description of the behavior, including when and where it                                   happened;

                       

                        2. A description of how the behavior made the complainant feel                                          (embarrassed, humiliated, angry, etc.);

 

                        3. A request that the behavior stop because it is sexual harassment and is                            against the law;

                       

                        4. A promise that if the behavior stops, nothing further will be said and no                                     further action will be taken;

                       

                        5. Notification that if the behavior does not stop, the writer will request a                          formal investigation.

 

                        A Guidance/Adjustment Counselor, School Nurse, School Psychologist,                             School Principal, or other staff member) may receive a complaint. A                                   Guidance/Adjustment Counselor, School Nurse, School Psychologist, or                                   School Principal may assist the complainant in drafting the letter if                              requested. The letter should be signed and dated by the complainant. The                           complainant or the person assisting the complainant should deliver one                               copy of the letter to the alleged harasser and retain a copy in an                                                investigative file maintained by the school principal, with a copy                                                 forwarded to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

 

            b. To complete and sign an incident form which begins the formal investigation                  process conducted by the School Principal. If requested, a Guidance / Adjustment   Counselor, a School Nurse, or a School Psychologist may assist the complainant       in completing the incident form.

 

5. In the case of serious or repeated incidents of sexual harassment or other cases requiring a formal investigation, the School Principal shall implement the following:

           

            a. Ensure that the complainant and the alleged harasser have the right to      representation if he/she desires or requests at all discussions regarding the case;

           

            b. Keep the investigation group as small as possible to protect the rights of both    parties and to prevent the investigation from becoming overly publicized and to           protect the complainant from retaliation;

           

            c. Complete the investigation as soon as possible from the date it is reported. The             investigation will include interviewing the complainant, the alleged harasser and          such other person(s) named by the complainant or the alleged harasser who may         have witnessed or have information pertaining to the incident. An opportunity will         be provided for all parties to be heard.

           

            d. After completing the investigation, conclude whether a violation of the policy    has occurred or not; complete the written investigation report form and send       copies of the report to:

 

                        1. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX and                            Chapter 622);

                         

                        2. The Superintendent of Schools; and

 

                        3. The complainant and the alleged harasser.

 

            e. If the complaint is not supported, carefully explain the decision to the    complainant and the alleged harasser. Unresolved investigations will be reported             as such.

 

            f. If the complaint is supported, take such action as is necessary to admonish the   harasser, alleviate the complainant's concerns and prevent further harassment.

 

            g. In serious cases, or in cases where harassment does not stop after warning,         impose appropriate disciplinary sanctions as set out in the Student Handbook.   These disciplinary sanctions range from verbal warning to removal from the    school setting.

 

            h. If it is established that the conduct involves a violation of law, report the matter            immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

6. Appeal Procedure

 

            The appeal process, for purposes of reviewing the disciplinary action, if any will commence at the level above the level at which the initial complaint began.

 

Level I: The complainant or alleged harasser has the right to appeal the decision of the School Principal to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in writing within two (2) school days after the decision is formally made. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX/ Chapter 622) will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

Level II: The grievant may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools within two (2) school days of the receipt of the decision of the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The Superintendent of Schools will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

7. Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment may constitute child abuse under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 119, section 51A. Those staff of the Millis Public School System, who are mandated reporters, will report the suspected violations of section 51A to the Department of Social Services according to school policy and procedure and consistent with state law.

 

8. Retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint, the reporting of sexual discrimination including harassment, or participating in an investigation is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. If retaliation is established, it can be considered grounds for removing a student from the school setting. Any allegations of reprisal will be subject to the same kind of investigation and disciplinary action as are described in subsections 4 and 5 of this section.

 

            X. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT

            STUDENT TO STAFF

 

1. Any individual subjected to sexual harassment may, if he or she chooses, confront the alleged harasser informally in order to resolve the complaint on a personal level.

 

2. If the complainant (staff member) does not want to deal directly with the alleged harasser (student), or if the matter is not resolved informally, the complainant should immediately report the conduct to his/her direct supervisor or the School Principal.

 

Any administrator who receives a complaint verbally or in writing concerning sexual harassment or observes conduct which he/she believes may constitute sexual harassment is required to report it to the School Principal and document the complaint in writing using the Sexual Harassment Incident Report form. He/she must send copies of the completed form to the School Principal and to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX/ Chapter 622) within two (2) school days.

 

3. Every report of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and will be investigated as quickly as possible. In appropriate circumstances, the person receiving the complaint may sit down with the alleged harasser and the complainant together or just the alleged harasser to share the complaint and work out an informal resolution. This is determined by the complainant. If either the complainant or harasser is a student, such students' parents will be notified of the aforementioned meeting to work out an informal resolution.

 

4. If the complainant does not agree to meet with the alleged harasser, the complainant can choose one of the following options:

 

            a. To write a letter to the alleged harasser listing the following:

 

                        1. An exact description of the behavior, including when and where it                                   happened;

 

                        2. A description of how the behavior made the complainant feel                                          (embarrassed, humiliated, angry, etc.);

 

                        3. A request that the behavior stop because it is sexual harassment and is                            against the law;

 

                        4. A promise that if the behavior stops, nothing further will be said and no                                     further action will be taken;

 

                        5. Notification that if the behavior does not stop, the writer will request a                          formal investigation to be completed by the School Principal.

 

                        The person receiving the complaint should assist the complainant in                                   drafting the letter. The letter should be signed and dated by the                                             complainant. The complainant or the person assisting the complainant                          should deliver one copy of the letter to the alleged harasser and retain a                                    copy in an investigative file maintained by the school principal, with a                                copy forwarded to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

 

            b. To complete and sign an incident form which begins the formal investigation      process by the School Principal. If requested, the School Principal or other             administrator may assist the complainant in completing the incident form.

 

5. In the case of serious or repeated incidents of sexual harassment or other cases requiring a formal investigation, the School Principal shall implement the following:

 

            a. Ensure that the complainant and the alleged harasser have the right to      representation if he/she desires or requests at all discussions regarding the case;

 

            b. Keep the investigation group as small as possible to protect the rights of both                parties and to prevent the investigation from becoming overly publicized and to    protect the complainant from retaliation;

 

            c. Complete the investigation as soon as possible. The investigation will include     interviewing the complainant, the alleged harasser and such other person (s) named by the complainant or the alleged harasser who may have witnessed or           have information pertaining to the incident. An opportunity will be provided for   all parties to be heard.

 

            d. After completing the investigation, conclude whether a violation of the policy    has occurred or not; complete the written investigation report form and send       copies of the report to:

 

                        1. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX and                            Chapter 622) ;

 

                        2. The Superintendent of Schools;

 

                        3. The alleged harasser.

 

            e. If the complaint is not supported, carefully explain the decision to the    complainant and the alleged harasser. Unresolved investigations will be reported             as such.

 

            f. If the complaint is supported, take such action as is necessary to admonish the   harasser, alleviate the complainant's concerns and prevent further harassment.

 

            g. If it is established that the conduct involves a violation of law, report the matter             immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

6. Appeal Procedure

 

            The appeal process, for purposes of reviewing disciplinary action, if any, will commence at the level above the level at which the initial complaint began.

 

Level I: The complainant or the alleged harasser has the right to appeal the decision of the School Principal to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in          writing within two (2) school days after the decision is formally made. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX/ Chapter 622) will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

Level II: The grievant may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools within two (2) school days of the receipt of the decision of the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The Superintendent of Schools will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

7. In serious cases or in cases where harassment does not stop after warning, appropriate disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed as set out by the School Principal, Superintendent of Schools, and/or the Millis School Committee. These disciplinary sanctions range from verbal warning to removal from school.

 

8. Retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint, the reporting of sexual discrimination including harassment, or participating in an investigation, is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. If it occurs, it can be considered grounds for removal of the student from school. Any allegations of reprisal will be subject to the same kind of investigation and disciplinary actions as are described in subsections 4 and 5 of this section.

 

            XI. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT

            STAFF TO STUDENT

 

1. Any individual subjected to sexual harassment may, if he or she chooses, confront the alleged harasser informally in order to resolve the complaint on a personal level.

 

2. If the complainant (student) does not want to deal directly with the alleged harasser (staff member), or if the matter is not resolved informally, the complainant should immediately report the conduct to the alleged harasser's direct supervisor or the School Principal or any other school administrator. The alleged harasser will be immediately notified by his/her direct supervisor within forty-eight (48) hours of the date that the report was received by the direct supervisor.

 

Any administrator who receives a complaint verbally or in writing concerning sexual harassment or observes conduct which he/she believes may constitute sexual harassment is required to document the complaint and report it in writing using the Sexual Harassment Incident Report form. He/she must send a copy to the School Principal within two (2) school days.

 

3. Every report of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and will be investigated as quickly as possible. In appropriate circumstances, the person receiving the report may sit down with the alleged harasser and the complainant together or just the alleged harasser to share the complaint and work out an informal resolution. This is determined by the complainant. If either the complainant or harasser is a student, such students' parents will be notified of the aforementioned meeting to work out an informal resolution.

 

4. If the complainant does not agree to meet with the alleged harasser, the complainant can choose one of the following options:

 

            a. To write a letter to the alleged harasser listing the following:

 

                        1. An exact description of the behavior, including when and where it                                   happened;

 

                        2. A description of how the behavior made the complainant feel                                          (embarrassed, humiliated, angry, etc.);

 

                        3. A request that the behavior stop because it is sexual harassment and is                            against the law;

 

                        4. A promise that if the behavior stops, nothing further will be said and no                                     further action will be taken; and

 

                        5. Notification that if the behavior does not stop, the complainant will                                request a formal investigation to be completed by the alleged harasser's                                  immediate supervisor, the School Principal, the Director of Pupil                                              Personnel Services, or the Superintendent of Schools. Selection of an                                     investigator shall be made by the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

 

                        The person receiving the complaint may assist the complainant in drafting                          the letter if requested. The letter should be signed and dated by the                                         complainant. The complainant or the person assisting the complainant                          should deliver one copy of the letter to the alleged harasser and retain a                                    copy in an investigative file maintained by the school principal.

 

5. In the case of serious or repeated incidents of sexual harassment requiring a formal investigation, the School Principal shall implement the following:

 

            a. Schedule a meeting to discuss the complaint with the alleged harasser and            complainant at a mutually acceptable time, preferably, within three (3) business        days.

 

            b. Ensure that the complainant and harasser have the right to representation if        desired or requested at all discussions regarding the case;

 

            c. Keep the investigation group as small as possible to protect the rights of both    parties and to prevent the investigation from becoming overly publicized and to           protect the complainant from retaliation;

 

            d. Complete the investigation as soon as possible. The investigation will include    interviewing the complainant, the alleged harasser, and such other person(s) named by the complainant or alleged harasser who may have witnessed or have           information pertaining to the incident. An opportunity to be heard will be provided to all parties.

 

            e. After completing the investigation, conclude whether a violation of the policy    has occurred or not, complete the written investigation report form, and send      copies of the report to:

 

                        1. the Superintendent of Schools;

 

                        2. the complainant and the alleged harasser.

 

            f. If the complaint is not supported, carefully explain the decision to complainant and the alleged harasser. Unresolved investigations will be reported as such.

 

            g. If the complaint is supported, take necessary action to admonish the harasser,    alleviate the complainant's concerns and prevent further harassment; and

 

            h. If it is established that the conduct involves a violation of law, report the matter            immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

6. Appeal Procedure

 

            The appeal process, for purposes of reviewing the disciplinary action, if any, will commence at the level above the level at which the initial complaint began.

 

Level I: The complainant or alleged harasser has the right to appeal the decision of the School Principal to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in writing within two (2) school days after the decision is formally made. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX/ Chapter 622) will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

Level II: The grievant may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools within two (2) school days of the receipt of the decision of the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The Superintendent of Schools will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

7. In serious cases or in cases where harassment does not stop after warning, appropriate disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed as set out by the School Principal, Superintendent of Schools. These disciplinary sanctions range from verbal warning to dismissal from position.

 

8. Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment may constitute child abuse under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 119, section 5lA. Those staff of the Millis Public School System, who are mandated reporters, will report the suspected violations of section 5IA to the Department of Social Services according to school policy and procedure and consistent with state law.

 

9. Retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint, the reporting of sexual discrimination including harassment, or participating in an investigation, is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. If retaliation is established, it can be considered grounds for removal of the staff member from his/her position. Any allegations of reprisal will be subject to the same kind of investigation and disciplinary sanctions as are described in subsections 4 and 5 of this section.

 

            XII. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT

            STAFF TO STAFF

 

1. Any individual subjected to sexual harassment may, if he or she chooses, confront the alleged harasser informally in order to resolve the complaint on a personal level.

 

2. If the complainant (staff member) does not want to deal directly with the alleged harasser (staff member), or if the matter is not resolved informally, the complainant should immediately report the conduct to the alleged harasser's immediate supervisor or the School Principal or any other school administrator.

 

The alleged harasser will be immediately notified by his/her supervisor within forty-eight (48) hours) of the date that the report was received by the direct supervisor.

 

Any supervisor or administrator who receives a complaint verbally or in writing concerning sexual harassment or observes conduct which he/she believes may constitute sexual harassment is required to document the complaint and report it in writing using the Sexual Harassment Incident Report Form. He/she must send a copy to the School Principal within two (2) school days.

 

3. Every report of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and will be investigated as quickly as possible. In appropriate circumstances, the person receiving the report may sit down with the alleged harasser and the complainant together or just the alleged harasser to share the complaint and work out an informal resolution. This is determined by the complainant.

 

4. If the complainant does not agree to meet with the alleged harasser, the complainant can choose one of the following options:

 

            a. To write a letter to the alleged harasser listing the following:

 

                        1. An exact description of the behavior, including when and where it                                   happened;

 

                        2. A description of how the behavior made the complainant feel                                          (embarrassed, humiliated, angry, etc.);

 

                        3. A request that the behavior stop because it is sexual harassment and is                            against the law;

 

                        4. A promise that if the behavior stops, nothing further will be said and no                                     further action will be taken; and

 

                        5. Notification that if the behavior does not stop, the complainant will                                request a formal investigation to be completed by the alleged harasser's                                  School Principal.

 

                        The person receiving the complaint may assist the complainant in drafting                          the letter, if requested. The letter should be signed and dated by the                             complainant. The complainant or the person assisting the complainant                                should deliver one copy of the letter to the alleged harasser and retain a                                    copy in an investigative file maintained by the school principal.

 

5. In the case of serious or repeated incidents of sexual harassment requiring a formal investigation, the alleged harasser's School Principal shall implement the following:

 

            a. Ensure that the complainant and harasser have the right to representation if        desired or requested at all discussions regarding the case;

 

            b. Keep the investigation group as small as possible to protect the rights of both    parties and to prevent the investigation from becoming overly publicized and to           protect the complainant from retaliation;

 

            c. Complete the investigation as soon as possible. The investigation will include     interviewing the complainant, the alleged harasser, and such other person(s) named by the complainant or alleged harasser who may have witnessed or have           information pertaining to the incident. An opportunity to be heard will be provided to all parties.

 

            d. After completing the investigation, conclude whether a violation of the policy    has occurred or not, complete the written investigation report form, and send      copies of the report to:

 

                        1. the Superintendent of Schools;

 

                        2. the alleged harasser.

 

            e. If the complaint is not supported, carefully explain the decision to complainant and the alleged harasser. Unresolved investigations will be reported as such.

 

            f. If the complaint is supported, take necessary action to admonish the harasser,    alleviate the complainant's concerns and prevent further harassment.

 

6. Appeal Procedure

 

            The appeal process, for purposes of reviewing the disciplinary action, if any, will commence at the level above the level at which the initial complaint began.

 

Level I: The complainant or alleged harasser has the right to appeal the decision of the School Principal to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in writing within two (2) school days after the decision is formally made. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Coordinator of Title IX/ Chapter 622) will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

Level II: The grievant may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools within two (2) school days of the receipt of the decision of the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The Superintendent of Schools will respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days.

 

7. In serious cases or in cases where harassment does not stop after warning, appropriate disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed as set out by the School Principal, Superintendent of Schools. These disciplinary sanctions range from verbal warning to dismissal from position.

 

8. Retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint, the   reporting of sexual discrimination, including harassment, or participating in an investigation is prohibited. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. If retaliation is established, it can be considered grounds for removal of the alleged harasser from his/her position. Any allegations of reprisal will be subject to the same kind of investigation and disciplinary action as are described in subsections 4 and 5 of this section.

 

School Committee originally approved 9-14-98

 

Revised January 7, 2003

 

Revised November 28, 2006

 


 

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