6121

Adoption Date: 9/1/1987, Revised: 7/19/1994; 2/23/99; 12/21/99; 6/20/00; 9/19/06; 11/15/16
6000 - PERSONNEL

1-PERSONNEL
6121 SEXUAL HARASSMENT -- EMPLOYEES

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide for all District employees an environment that is free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Sexual harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of sexual harassment by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors which occur on school grounds and at all school-sponsored events, programs and activities including those that take place at locations off school premises and in another state. Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. a) Submission of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment;
  2. b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals; and
  3. c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual violence. For the purpose of this policy, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

Sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from students, supervisors, co-workers, or third parties such as visitors and school volunteers.

Prohibited Conduct

Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. Examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. a) Verbal abuse or ridicule, including innuendos, stories, and jokes that are sexual in nature and/or gender-related. This might include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features.
  2. b) Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity.
  3. c) Asking or commenting about a person's sexual activities.
  4. d) Unwelcome and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, physical acts such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
  5. e) Displaying or distributing pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, pictures, internet material, cartoons, etc.
  6. f) The use of profanity and/or other obscenities that are sexually suggestive or degrading in
  7. g) Unwelcome staring, leering, or gesturing which is sexually suggestive in nature.
  8. h) Unwelcome and/or offensive public displays of sexual/physical affection.
  9. i) Clothing that reflects sexually obscene and/or sexually explicit messages, slogans, or
  10. j) Engaging in sexual conduct with an individual who is unable to consent due to his/her age, use of drugs or alcohol, intellectual disability, or other disability.
  11. k) Any other unwelcome and unwanted sexually oriented and/or gender-based behavior which is sexually demeaning, belittling, intimidating, or perpetrates sexual stereotypes and

Investigation of Complaints and Grievances

In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee who believes he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the work environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, immediately report such alleged harassment to the District's designated complaint officersthrough informal and/or formal complaint procedures as developed by the District. Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, although verbal complaints of alleged sexual harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy. In the event that the complaint officer is the alleged offender, the employee should report his/her complaint to the next level of supervisory authority.

Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, the District will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of a complaint, if the District has knowledge of or has reason to know of or suspect any occurrence of sexual harassment, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly.

As part of the investigation, the District has the right to search all school property and equipment including District computers.Rooms, desks, cabinets, lockers, computers, etc. are provided by the District for the use of students and staff, but the users do not have exclusive use of these locations or equipment and should not expect that materials stored therein will be private.

To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible.However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges, and any disclosure will be provided on a "need to know" basis.

Based upon the results of the investigation, if the District determines that an employee has violated the terms of this policy and/or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken, as warranted, up to and including termination of the offender's employment in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, the District's Code of Conduct, and the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). Third parties (such as school volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and/or accompanying regulations will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. In the event the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated another individual to serve in such a capacity, or to the Superintendent.Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the sexual harassment complaint have not suffered retaliation.

Knowingly Makes False Accusations

Employees and/or students whoknowinglymake false accusations against another individual as to allegations of harassment may also face appropriate disciplinary action. Because of the damage that can be done to someone falsely accused, any individual who in bad faith knowingly makes a false complaint or report of sexual harassment or sexdiscrimination will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).

Development and Dissemination of Administrative Regulations

A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations will be available upon request and may be posted at various locations in each school building. The District's policy and regulations on sexual harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks and/or school calendars.

Policy References:

Civil Rights Act of 1991

42 United States Code (USC) Section 1981(a)

29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1604.11(a)

Education Law Section 2801(1)

Executive Law Sections 296 and 297



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