Title IX Information

Title IX Coordinator:

Karen Carpenter
karen.carpenter@jacksonpec.org
2111 Emmons Road
Jackson, Michigan 49201
517.705.5732


Title IX Board of Governors Presentation

ANTI-HARASSMENT

Reference:

  • Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.
  • 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA)29 U.S.C. 621 et seq, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • 29 U.S.C. 6101, The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.
  • 42 U.S.C. 1983
  • 42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
  • 29 C.F.R. Part 1635
  • Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.
  • 29 U.S.C. 794, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
  • 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended
  • The Handicappers’ Civil Rights Act, M.C.L.A. 37.1101 et seq.
  • The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, M.C.L.A. 37.2101, et seq.
  • Policies on Bullying, Michigan State Board of Education, 7-19-01
  • Model Anti-bullying Policy, Michigan State Board of Education, 09-2006
  • National School Boards Association Inquiry and Analysis – May 2008

General Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Board of Directors to maintain an education and work environment that is free from all forms of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all Academy operations, programs, and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging, and reporting any form of unlawful harassment. This policy applies to unlawful conduct occurring on Academy property, or at another location if such conduct occurs during an activity sponsored by the Board.

The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, age, religion, height, weight, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, “Protected Classes”) that are protected by Federal civil rights laws (hereinafter referred to as “unlawful harassment”), and encourages those within the Academy community as well as Third Parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify such problems.  The Board will investigate or cause to be investigated all allegations of harassment and in those cases where unlawful harassment is substantiated, the Board will take or cause to be taken immediate steps to end the harassment, prevent its reoccurrence, and remedy its effects. Individuals who are found to have engaged in unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action either from the Board or by recommendation of the Board to the Educational Service Provider.

Other Violations of the Anti-Harassment Policy

The Board will also take or cause to be taken immediate steps to impose disciplinary action on individuals engaging in any of the following prohibited acts:

  1. Retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation.
  2. Filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of unlawful harassment.
  3. Disregarding, failing to investigate adequately, or delaying investigation of allegations of harassment, when responsibility for reporting and/or investigating unlawful harassment charges comprises part of one's supervisory duties.

Definitions

Words used in this policy shall have those meanings defined herein; words not defined herein shall be construed according to their plain and ordinary meanings.

Academy community means students and Board employees (i.e., administrators, and professional and classified staff), as well as Board members, agents, volunteers, contractors, or other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.

Complainant is the individual who alleges, or is alleged, to have been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation, regardless of whether the person files a formal complaint or is pursuing an informal resolution to the alleged discrimination/retaliation.

Respondent is the individual who has been alleged to have engaged in unlawful discrimination/retaliation, regardless of whether the Reporting Party files a formal complaint or is seeking an informal resolution to the alleged discrimination/retaliation.

Third Parties include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on Academy property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the Academy community at academy-related events/activities (whether on or off Academy property).

Day(s): Unless expressly stated otherwise, the term "day" or "days" as used in this policy means a business day(s) (i.e., a day(s) that the Board office is open for normal operating hours, Monday - Friday, excluding State-recognized holidays).

Bullying

Bullying rises to the level of unlawful harassment when one or more persons systematically and chronically inflict physical hurt or psychological distress on one (1) or more students or employees and that bullying is based upon one (1) or more Protected Classes, that is, characteristics that are protected by Federal civil rights laws. It is defined as any unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school or work performance or participation; and may involve:

  • teasing;
  • threats;
  • intimidation;
  • stalking;
  • cyberstalking;
  • cyberbullying;
  • physical violence;
  • theft;
  • sexual, religious, or racial harassment;
  • public humiliation; or
  • destruction of property.

"Harassment" means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of technology, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or Academy employee that:

  • places a student or Academy employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;
  • has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or an employee's work performance; or
  • has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the Academy.

Sexual Harassment

For purposes of this policy and consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "sexual harassment" is defined as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or status in a class, educational program, or activity.
  • Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity.

Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of any gender against a person of the same or another gender.

Sexual Harassment covered by Policy 2266 - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities is not included in this policy. Allegations of such conduct shall be addressed solely by Policy 2266.

Prohibited acts that constitute sexual harassment under this policy may take a variety of forms.  Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations.
  • Unwanted physical and/or sexual contact.
  • Threats or insinuations that a person's employment, wages, academic grade, promotion, classroom work or assignments, academic status, participation in athletics or extra-curricular programs, activities, or events, or other conditions of employment or education may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.
  • Unwelcome verbal expressions , including graphic sexual commentaries about a person's body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, profanity, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene telephone calls.
  • Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, graffiti, videotapes, posters, audio recordings or literature, placed in the work or educational environment, that may reasonably embarrass or offend individuals.
  • Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching; obscene gestures.
  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities;
  • Speculations about a person's sexual activities or sexual history, or remarks about one's own sexual activities or sexual history;
  • Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship;
  • Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person's breasts, buttocks, or groin;´╗┐
  • A pattern of conduct, which can be subtle in nature, that has sexual overtones and is intended to create or has the effect of creating discomfort and/or humiliation to another.
  • In the context of employees, consensual sexual relationships where such relationship leads to favoritism of a subordinate employee with whom the superior is sexually involved and where such favoritism adversely affects other employees or otherwise creates a hostile work environment.
  • Inappropriate boundary invasions by an Academy employee or other adult member of the Academy community into a student's personal space and personal life.
     

Verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Not all behavior with sexual connotations constitutes unlawful sexual harassment. Sex-based or gender-based conduct must be sufficiently severe, pervasive, and persistent such that it adversely affects, limits, or denies an individual's employment or education, or such that it creates a hostile or abusive employment or educational environment.

Race/Color Harassment

Prohibited racial harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's race or color and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's race or color, such as racial slurs, nicknames implying stereotypes, epithets, and/or negative references relative to racial customs.

Religious (Creed) Harassment

Prohibited religious harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's religion or creed and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's religious tradition, clothing, or surnames, and/or involves religious slurs.

National Origin/Ancestry Harassment

Prohibited national origin/ancestry harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's national origin or ancestry and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's national origin or ancestry, such as negative comments regarding customs, manner of speaking, language, surnames, or ethnic slurs.

Disability Harassment

Prohibited disability harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's disability and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's disability , such as negative comments about speech patterns, movement, physical impairments or defects/appearances, or the like. Such harassment may further occur where conduct is directed at or pertains to a person's genetic information.

Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers

The following individual(s) shall serve as the Academy’s Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer(s) (hereinafter, “the Compliance Officer(s)”):

´╗┐President/Chief Operations Officer
Jackson Preparatory & Early College
(517) 705-5732
2111 Emmons Road
Jackson, MI 49201

The names, titles, and contact information of these individuals will be published annually on the Academy’s web site.

The Compliance Officer(s) are responsible for coordinating the Academy’s efforts to comply with applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, including the Academy’s duty to address in a prompt and equitable manner any inquiries or complaints regarding harassment.

The Compliance Officer(s) will be available during regular school/work hours to discuss concerns related to unlawful harassment, to assist students, other members of the Academy community, and third parties who seek support or advice when informing another individual about "unwelcome" conduct, or to intercede informally on behalf of the individual in those instances where concerns have not resulted in the filing of a formal complaint and where all parties are in agreement to participate in an informal process.

Compliance Officers shall accept reports of unlawful harassment directly from any member of the Academy community or a Third Party or receive reports that are initially filed with an administrator, supervisor, or other Academy official.  Upon receipt of a report of alleged harassment, the Compliance Officer(s) will contact the Complainant and begin either an informal or formal complaint process (depending on the request of the Complainant or the nature of the alleged harassment), or the Compliance Officer(s) will designate a specific individual to conduct such a process. The Compliance Officer(s) will provide a copy of this policy to the Complainant and Respondent.  In the case of a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer(s) will prepare recommendations for the Educational Service Provider or will oversee the preparation of such recommendations by a designee. All Educational Service Provider employees must report incidents of harassment that are reported to them to the Compliance Officer within two (2) days of learning of the incident.

Any Educational Service Provider employee who directly observes unlawful harassment is obligated, in accordance with this policy, to report such observations to the Compliance Officer(s) within two (2) days. Additionally, any Educational Service Provider employee who observes an act of unlawful harassment is expected to intervene to stop the harassment, unless circumstances make such an intervention dangerous, in which case the staff member should immediately notify other Educational Service Provider employees and/or local law enforcement officials, as necessary, to stop the harassment. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer(s) or designee must contact the Complainant, if age eighteen (18) or older, or Complainant's parents/guardians if the Complainant is under the age eighteen (18), within two (2) days to advise of the Board's intent to investigate the alleged wrongdoing.

Reports and Complaints of Harassing Conduct

Members of the Academy community along with Third Partiesare encouraged to promptly report incidents of harassing conduct to the Academy’s Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer so that the Academy’s Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer may address the conduct before it becomes severe, pervasive, or persistent. Any administrator, supervisor, or other Academy official who receives such a report shall file it with the Compliance Officer within two (2) days of receiving the report of harassment.

Members of the Academy community and Third Parties who believe they have been unlawfully harassed by another member of the Academy community or a Third Party are entitled to utilize the Board's complaint process that is set forth below.  Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, will not adversely affect the Complainant's employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs.  While there are no time limits for initiating complaints of harassment under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

If, during an investigation of alleged bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment in accordance with Policy 5517.01 – Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior, the Educational Service Provider believes that the reported misconduct may have created a hostile work environment and may have constituted unlawful discriminatory harassment based on a Protected Class, the Educational Service Provider will report the act of bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment to the Compliance Officer(s) who shall investigate the allegation in accordance with this policy. If the alleged harassment involves Sexual Harassment as defined by Policy 2266, the matter will be handled in accordance with the grievance process and procedures outlined in Policy 2266. While the Compliance Officer investigates the allegation, or the matter is being addressed pursuant to Policy 2266, the Educational Service Provider shall suspend the Policy 5517.01 investigation to await the Compliance Officer's written report or the determination of responsibility pursuant to Policy 2266. The Compliance Officer shall keep the Educational Service Provider informed of the status of the 1662 investigation and provide Educational Service Provider with a copy of the resulting written report. Likewise, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the Educational Service Provider with the determination of responsibility that results from the Policy 2266 grievance process.

Investigation and Complaint Procedure (See Form 1662 F1)

Except for Sexual Harassment that is covered by Policy 2266 - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Program or Activities, any employee or other member of the Academy community or Third Party (e.g., visitor to the Academy) who believes that they have been subjected to unlawful harassment may seek resolution of the complaint through either the procedures described below. The formal complaint process involves an investigation of the Complainant's claims of harassment or retaliation and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the charges are substantiated.

Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful harassment, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) days after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available. Once the formal complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within fifteen (15) days of the complaint being received).

The procedures set forth below are not intended to interfere with the rights of any individual to pursue a complaint of unlawful harassment or retaliation with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and/or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).

Informal Complaint Procedure

The goal of the informal complaint procedure is to promptly stop inappropriate behavior and to facilitate resolution through an informal means, if possible. The informal complaint procedure is provided as a less formal option for a student, other member of the Academy community, or Third Party who alleges unlawful harassment or retaliation.   This informal procedure is not required as a precursor to the filing of a formal complaint. The informal process is only available in those circumstances where the Complainant and the Respondent mutually agree to participate in it.

The Complainant may proceed immediately to the formal complaint process and individuals who seek resolution through the informal procedure may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

All complaints involving an Educational Service Provider employee, any other adult member of the Academy community, or a Third Party and a student will be formally investigated.

As an initial course of action, if a Complainant feels comfortable and safe in doing so, the individual should tell or otherwise inform the Respondent that the alleged harassing conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The Complainant should address the allegedly harassing conduct as soon after it occurs as possible. The Compliance Officers are available to support and counsel individuals when taking this initial step or to intervene on behalf of the individual if requested to do so. A Complainant who is uncomfortable or unwilling to directly approach the Respondent about the allegedly inappropriate conduct may file an informal or a formal complaint. In addition, with regard to certain types of unlawful harassment, such as sexual harassment, the Compliance Officer may advise against the use of the informal complaint process.

A Complainant may make an informal complaint, either orally or in writing: (1) to a teacher, other employee, or building administrator; (2) directly to one of the Compliance Officers; and/or (3) to the Educational Service Provider.

All informal complaints must be reported to one of the Compliance Officers who will either facilitate an informal resolution as described below, or appoint another individual to facilitate an informal resolution.

The Board's informal complaint procedure is designed to provide employees, other members of the Academy community, or third parties who believe they are being unlawfully harassed with a range of options designed to bring about a resolution of their concerns.  Depending upon the nature of the complaint and the wishes of the Complainant , informal resolution may involve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

  • Advising the Complainant about how to communicate the unwelcome nature of the behavior to the Respondent.
  • Distributing a copy of this policy as a reminder to the individuals in the school building or office where the Respondent works or attends.
  • If both parties agree, the Compliance Officer may arrange and facilitate a meeting or mediation between the Complainant and the Respondent to work out a mutual resolution.

While there are no set time limits within which an informal complaint must be resolved, the Compliance Officer/designee is directed to attempt to resolve all informal complaints within fifteen (15) days of receiving the informal complaint. If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the informal complaint process, the Complainant may proceed to file a formal complaint and, as stated above, either party may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

Formal Complaint Procedure

If a complaint is not resolved through the informal complaint process, if one of the parties has requested that the informal complaint process be terminated to move to the formal complaint process, or the Complainant, from the outset, elects to file a formal complaint, or the CO determines the allegations are not appropriate for resolution through the informal process, the formal complaint process shall be implemented.

The Compainant may file a formal complaint, either orally or in writing, with a teacher, Principal, the Compliance Officer, Educational Service Provider, or other Academy official . Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful harassment and retaliation, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a formal complaint within thirty (30) days after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available. If a Complainant informs a teacher, Principal, Educational Service Provider, or other Academy official , either orally or in writing, about any complaint of harassment or retaliation, that employee must report such information to the Compliance Officer/designee within two (2) business days.

Throughout the course of the process, the Compliance Officer should keep the parties reasonably informed of the status of the investigation and the decision making process.

All formal complaints must include the following information to the extent known : the identity of the Respondent ; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based (i.e., when, where, and what occurred); a list of potential witnesses; and the resolution sought by the Complainant.

If the Complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the Compliance Officer shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the Complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the reported charge by signing the document.

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer will consider whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further harassment or retaliation, including, but not limited to, a change of work assignment or schedule for the Complainant and/or the Respondent . In making such a determination, the Compliance Officer should consult the Complainant to assess whether the individual agrees with the proposed action. If the Complainant is unwilling to consent to the proposed change, the Compliance Officer may still take whatever actions deemed appropriate in consultation with the Educational Service Provider.

Within two (2) business days of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer/designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the Complainant has been subjected to offensive conduct/harassment/retaliation. The Principal will not conduct an investigation unless directed to do so by the Compliance Officer.

Simultaneously, the Compliance Officer will inform the Respondent that a formal complaint has been received. The Respondent will be informed about the nature of the allegations and provided with a copy of any relevant policies and/or Administrative Guidelines, including the Board's Anti-Harassment Policy. The Respondent must also be informed of the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within five (5) days.

Although certain cases may require additional time, the Compliance Officer/designee will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of harassment/retaliation within fifteen (15) days of receiving the formal complaint. The investigation will include:

  • interviews with the Complainant;
  • interviews with the Respondent;
  • interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations;
  • consideration of any documentation or other information presented by the Complainant, Respondent, or any other witness that is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Compliance Officer/designee shall prepare and deliver a written report to the Educational Service Provider that summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definition of unlawful harassment as provided in Board policy and State and Federal law as to whether the Respondent engaged in unlawful harassment/retaliation of the Complainant. The Compliance Officer's recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances. In determining if discriminatory harassment or retaliation occurred, a preponderance of evidence standard will be used.

Absent extenuating circumstances, within five (5) business days of receiving the report of the Compliance Officer/designee, the Educational Service Provider must either issue a written decision regarding whether the complaint of harassment has been substantiated or request further investigation.  A copy of the Educational Service Provider’s final decision will be delivered to both the Complainant and the Respondent.

If the Educational Service Provider requests additional investigation, the Educational Service Provider must specify the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within five (5) business days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the Educational Service Provider must issue a final written decision as described above.

A Complainant or Respondent who is dissatisfied with the final decision of the Educational Service Provider may appeal through a signed written statement to the Board within five (5) business days of the party's receipt of the date of the Educational Service Provider’s decision.

In an attempt to resolve the complaint, the Board shall meet with the concerned parties and their representative within twenty (20) business days of the receipt of such an appeal. A copy of the Board's disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each party within ten (10) business days of this meeting. The decision of the Board will be final.

The Board reserves the right to cause a complaint or report of unlawful harassment/retaliation to be investigate regardless of whether the member of the Academy community or third party alleging the unlawful harassment/retaliation pursues the complaint.  The Board also reserves the right to have the formal complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board or its designee.

The parties may be represented, at their own cost, at any of the above-described meetings/hearings.

The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, the filing of charges with local law enforcement, or the filing of a civil action in court. Use of this internal complaint process is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

Privacy/Confidentiality

The Academy will employ all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the Complainant, the Respondent, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the Board’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations. All records generated under the terms of this policy and related administrative guidelines shall be maintained as confidential to the extent permitted by law. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, the Respondent must be provided the Complainant's identity.

During the course of a formal investigation, the Compliance Officer or designee will instruct all members of the Academy community and third parties who are interviewed about the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Any individual who is interviewed as part of a harassment investigation is expected not to disclose any information that is learned or provided during the course of the investigation.

Sanctions and Monitoring

The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against unlawful harassment/retailiation by taking appropriate action reasonably calculated to stop the harassment and prevent further such harassment. While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action by the Educational Service Provider up to and including the discharge of an employee or the suspension/expulsion of a student. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable State law and the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s). When imposing discipline, the Educational Service Provider shall consider the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter. In those cases where unlawful harassment is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s).

Where the Board becomes aware that a prior remedial action has been taken against a member of the Academy community, all subsequent sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Educational Service Provider shall be reasonably calculated to end such conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who makes a report or files a complaint alleging unlawful harassment/retaliation or participates as a witness in an investigation is prohibited. Neither the Board nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce or interfere with any individual because the person opposed any act or practice made unlawful by any Federal or State civil rights law, or because that individual made a report, formal complaint, testified, assisted or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under those laws and/or this policy, or because that individual exercised, enjoyed, aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by those laws and/or this policy.

Retaliation against a person for making a report of discrimination, filing a formal complaint, or participating in an investigation or meeting is a serious violation of this policy that can result in imposition of disciplinary sanctions/consequences and/or other appropriate remedies.

Formal complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the internal complaint process set forth above.

The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not constitute retaliation prohibited under this policy.

Allegations Constituting Criminal Conduct: Child Abuse/Sexual Misconduct

State law requires any Academy teacher or Academy employee who knows or suspects that a child under the age of eighteen (18) or that a person with a disability receiving services as a student from the Academy regardless of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering a physical or mental wound, disability or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of a child to immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to the county children's services agency. If, during the course of a harassment investigation, the Compliance Officer or a designee has reason to believe or suspect that the alleged conduct reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the Complainant, a report of such knowledge must be made in accordance with State law and Board Policy. This policy shall also apply to employees of an Educational Service Provider.

Any reports made to a county children's services agency or to local law enforcement shall not terminate the Compliance Officer or a designee's obligation and responsibility to continue to investigate a complaint of harassment. While the Compliance Officer or a designee may work cooperatively with outside agencies to conduct concurrent investigations, in no event shall the harassment investigation be inhibited by the involvement of outside agencies without good cause after consultation with the Educational Service Provider.

Education and Training

In support of this Anti-Harassment Policy, the Board promotes preventative educational measures to create greater awareness of unlawful discriminatory practices.  The Educational Service Provider shall provide appropriate information to all members of the Academy community related to the implementation of this policy shall provide training for Academy students and staff where appropriate.  All training, as well as all information provided regarding the Board's policy and harassment in general, will be age and content appropriate.

Retention of Investigatory Records and Materials

The Compliance Officer(s) is responsible for overseeing retention of all records that must be maintained pursuant to this policy. All individuals charged with conducting investigations under this policy shall retain all documents, electronically stored information ("ESI"), and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) created and/or received as part of an investigation, which may include but not be limited to:

  • all written reports/allegations/complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;
  • any narratives that memorialize oral reports/allegations/ complaints/grievances/statements/responses pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy;
  • any documentation that memorializes the actions taken by Academy personnel or individuals contracted or appointed by the Board to fulfill its responsibilities related to the investigation and/or the Academy’s response to the alleged violation of this policy;
  • written witness statements;
  • narratives, notes from, or audio, video, or digital recordings of witness interviews/statements;
  • e-mails, texts, or social media posts that directly relate to or constitute evidence pertaining to an alleged violation of this policy (i.e., not after-the-fact commentary about or media coverage of the incident);
  • notes or summaries prepared contemporaneously by the investigator in whatever form made (e.g., handwritten, keyed into a computer or tablet, etc.), but not including transitory notes whose content is otherwise memorialized in other documents;
  • written disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees and other documentation that memorializes oral disciplinary sanctions issued to students or employees for violations of this policy;
  • dated written determinations/reports (including summaries of relevant exculpatory and inculpatory evidence) and other documentation that memorializes oral notifications to the parties concerning the outcome of the investigation, including any consequences imposed as a result of a violation of this policy;
  • documentation of any supportive measures offered and/or provided to the Complainant and/or the Respondent, including no contact orders issued to both parties, the dates the no contact orders were issued, and the dates the parties acknowledged receipt of the no contact orders;
  • documentation of all actions taken, both individual and systemic, to stop the discrimination or harassment, prevent its recurrence, eliminate any hostile environment, and remedy its discriminatory effects;
  • copies of the Board policy and/or procedures/guidelines used by the Academy to conduct the investigation, and any documents used by the Academy at the time of the alleged violation to communicate the Board’s expectations to students and staff with respect to the subject of this policy (e.g., Student Code of Conduct and/or Employee Handbooks );
  • copies of any documentation that memorializes any formal or informal resolutions to the alleged discrimination or harassment;
  • documentation of any training provided to Academy personnel related to this policy, including but not limited to, notification of the prohibitions and expectations of staff set forth in this policy and the role and responsibility of all Academy personnel involved in enforcing this policy, including their duty to report alleged violations of this policy and/or conducting an investigation of an alleged violation of this policy; [REMINDER:  Documentation of training should be maintained regardless of whether there is an investigation of an alleged violation of this policy. It is best practice to maintain a log of all staff members who participate in a training, along with the date, time and location of the training, and a copy of the materials reviewed and/or presented during the training.]

The documents, ESI, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) retained may include public records and records exempt from disclosure under Federal (e.g., FERPA, ADA) and/or State law (e.g., R.C. 3319.321) – e.g., student records and confidential medical records.

The documents, ESI, and electronic media (as defined in Policy 8315) created or received as part of an investigation shall be retained in accordance with Policy 8310, Policy 8315, Policy 8320, and Policy 8330 for not less than three (3) years, but longer if required by the Academy’s records retention schedule.