Student Sexual Harassment Policy

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Student Sexual Harassment Policy

PUPIL SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

 

(Education Code §48980[g])

A pupil may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if it is determined that the pupil has committed sexual harassment. (Education Code §48900.2) Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by a pupil or pupils to another pupil which has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the pupil’s academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment (Education Code §§212.5 and 231.5).

The conduct described in §212.5 must be considered by a reasonable person of the same gender as the victim to be sufficiently severe or pervasive to have a negative impact upon the individual’s performance or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.

The following policy is part of new student orientation. In addition, a copy is posted on each campus and a copy is given to each employee, annually.

AUHSD Board Policy #8708: SEXUAL HARASSMENT, STUDENTS The Anaheim Union High School District is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free of harassment. The district prohibits the unlawful sexual harassment of any student by any employee, student, or other person at school or at any school related activity.

According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, sexual harassment is an act of discrimination on the basis of sex within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Sexual harassment is similarly construed within the meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 pertaining to the academic environment. In accordance with Title VII and Title IX, the District defines sexual harassment as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic status or program, (2) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, activities available at or through the educational institution, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

The Assistant Superintendent or designee shall ensure that students receive age appropriate information related to sexual harassment. The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Anaheim Union High School District, 501 CrescentWay, Anaheim, California 92801, (714) 999‑3552, is the district's Title IX Officer and Sexual Harassment Officer. Students shall be assured that they need not endure any form of

unwelcome sexual behavior or communication.

Any student who engages in the sexual harassment of anyone at school or a school-related activity shall be subject to disciplinary action. For students in grades 7 through 12, the disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, suspension and/or expulsion. Students shall be informed that they should immediately report any incidents to either the principal or his/her designee, if they feel they are being harassed. Any student or parent on behalf of the student, who feels that he/she is being sexually harassed may pursue the complaint in an informal process or may file a formal complaint with the District. Within 24 hours, employees shall report complaints of sexual harassment to the principal or designee and to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources who will immediately log the complaint. Employees shall similarly report any such incidents they may observe even if the harassed student has not complained to the principal or designee.

The principal or designee shall immediately investigate any report of sexual harassment of a student. Upon verifying that sexual harassment occurred, the principal or designee shall ensure that appropriate action is promptly taken to end the harassment, address its effects on the student(s) subjected to the harassment, and prevent any further instances of harassment. A student may make either an informal complaint, which is a complaint filed on the district's complaint form, with the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, in accordance with the district's procedures.

The district prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the sexual harassment complaint process. Information related to a complaint of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, within legal constraints, and individuals involved in the investigation of such a complaint, shall not discuss related information outside the investigation process.

 

1.0 PURPOSE

1.1 To set forth procedures to be followed when a student makes a complaint alleging they have been sexually harassed by a district employee, another student, or any other person at a school or school-related activity.

1.2 In order to provide a safe learning environment for students, definitions, notification requirements, responsibility and an informal and formal process for the investigation of complaints are set forth below.

 

2.0 DEFINITION

2.1 Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

2.1.1 Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's academic status or progress;

2.1.2 Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual;

2.1.3 The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the individual's academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment;

2.1.4 Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs or activities available at or thorough the school (Education Code Section 212.5).

2.2 Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

2.2.1 Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions;

2.2.2 Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions;

2.2.3 Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body, overly personal conversations, or pressure for sexual activity;

2.2.4 Sexual jokes, notes, stories, drawings, pictures, gestures, graffiti, or sexually explicit e-mails;

2.2.5 Spreading sexual rumors;

2.2.6 Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way, massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body;

2.2.7 Cornering, blocking, leaning over, or impeding normal movements;

2.2.8 Displaying sexually suggestive objects in the educational environment;

2.2.9 Any act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of the district's sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.

Each principal and supervisor has the responsibility of maintaining an educational and work environment free of sexual harassment. This responsibility includes discussing the district's sexual harassment policy with his/her students and/or employees and assuring them that they are not required to endure sexually insulting, degrading or exploitative treatment or any other form of sexual harassment.

 

3.0 NOTIFICATIONS

A copy of the District's sexual harassment policy and procedures shall:

3.1 Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year (Education Code 48980);

3.2 Be displayed in a prominent location near each school principal's office (Education Code 231.5);

3.3 Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new students at the beginning of each quarter, semester or summer session (Education Code 231.5);

3.4 Appear in any school or district publication that sets forth the school's or district's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures and standards of conduct (Education Code 231.5).

 

4.0 RESPONSIBILITY

4.1 Any employee having knowledge of conduct by another employee, volunteer, student or individual in the school community which may constitute sexual harassment of students is required to immediately report such conduct to any of the individuals specified in this policy.

4.2 Employees are hereby placed on notice that if an employee engages in acts which the district determines to be acts of sexual harassment, such acts are outside of the scope and course of the employee's employment. Such conduct may result in the employee having to obtain his or her own legal counsel and sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination may result in a money judgment against the employee personally.

4.3 Private, personal, consensual conduct may at some point become unwelcome. Any student advised that a fellow student now believes certain conduct to be unwelcome shall cease such conduct immediately. Any conduct of a sexual nature following such notice may be determined to be sexual harassment. Students who participate in a consensual relationship, and who at some point wish to discontinue the relationship, should tell the other participant, either verbally or in writing, that the conduct is no longer consensual or welcome and therefore, all such conduct must cease.

4.4 All students and employees shall cooperate with any investigation of an alleged act of sexual discrimination/harassment conducted by the district or by an appropriate state or federal agency. No student or employee of the district shall take any action to discourage a victim of harassment from reporting such an instance.

 

5.0 INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS AT SCHOOL - INFORMAL SITE LEVEL PROCEDURE

5.1 The principal or designee shall promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment. If an extensive investigation is necessary, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources may utilize an outside investigator. In so doing, (s)he shall talk individually with:

5.1.1 The student who is complaining;

5.1.2 The person accused of harassment;

5.1.3 Anyone who saw the harassment take place;

5.1.4 Anyone mentioned as having related information.

5.2 The student who is complaining shall have an opportunity to describe the incident, present witnesses and other evidence of the harassment, and put his/her complaint in writing.

5.3 The principal or designee shall discuss the complaint only with the people described above. When necessary to carry out his/her investigation or for other good reasons that apply to the particular situation, the principal or designee also may discuss the complaint with the following persons:

5.3.1 The superintendent or designee;

5.3.2 The principal or assistant principal;

5.3.3 The parent/guardian of the student who complained;

5.3.4 The parent/guardian of the person accused of harassing someone;

5.3.5 A teacher or staff member whose knowledge of the students involved may help in determining who is telling the truth;

5.3.6 Child protective agencies responsible for investigating child abuse reports;

5.3.7 Legal counsel for the district.

5.4 When the student who complained and the person accused of harassment so agree, the principal or designee may arrange for them to resolve the complaint informally with the help of a counselor, teacher, administrator or mediator. The student who complained shall never be asked to work out the problem directly with the accused person unless such help is provided.

5.5 The principal or designee shall tell the student who complained that he/she has the right to file a formal complaint at any time in accordance with the district's complaint procedures. If the student wishes to file a formal complaint, the principal or designee shall assist the student in doing this.

5.6 In reaching a decision about the complaint, the principal or designee may take into account:

5.6.1 Statements made by the persons identified above;

5.6.2 The details and consistency of each person's account;

5.6.3 Evidence of how the complaining student reacted to the incident;

5.6.4 Evidence of past instances of harassment by the accused person;

5.6.5 Evidence of past harassment complaints that were found to be untrue.

5.7 To determine the severity of the harassment, the principal or designee may take into consideration:

5.7.1 How the misconduct affected one or more students' education;

5.7.2 The type, frequency and duration of the misconduct;

5.7.3 The number of persons involved;

5.7.4 The age and sex of the person accused of harassment;

5.7.5 The subject(s) of harassment;

5.7.6 The place and situation where the incident occurred;

5.7.7 Other incidents at the school, including incidents of harassment that were not related to sex.

5.8 The principal or designee shall write a report of his/her findings, decision, and reasons for the decision. The principal or designee shall give the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, or designee a written report of the complaint and investigation. If he/she verifies that sexual harassment occurred, this report shall describe the actions he/she took to end the harassment, address the effects of the harassment on the person harassed, and prevent retaliation or further harassment.

 

6.0 INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS - FORMAL PROCEDURE

If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the individual in the informal process, the following formal procedures are available:

6.1 The complaint shall be reduced to writing and sent to the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources' office within ten (10) working days of the completion of the informal process.

6.2 The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, or designee shall investigate the complaint and respond within ten (10) working days after receipt of the complaint.

6.3 Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement of the individuals and the person to whom the complaint is addressed at the respective level(s).

6.4 No retaliation of any kind will occur because a student has made a sexual harassment complaint.

6.5 The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources shall then take action deemed appropriate to resolve the situation including, but not limited to, discipline, transfer, training, or other remedial measures.

 

7.0 APPEAL PROCESS

7.1 If the student/parent/guardian is dissatisfied with the decision, they may appeal to the Board of Trustees within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the decision.

7.2 The Board of Trustees shall review the written complaint, all documentation pertaining to the sexual harassment allegation(s) and the appropriateness of the decision.

7.3 The Board of Trustees, in their discretion, may request additional information. The Board of Trustees shall issue a written decision within forty-five (45) working days of request of the appeal. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.

7.4 The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, or designee will inform the student/parent/guardian and the perpetrator of the Board of Trustees' decision.

References:

Board Policy

• 8700 Student Discipline, Section 18 Education Code

• 212.5 Sexual Harassment (Educational Equity)

• 231.5 Sexual Harassment Policy (Educational Equity)

• 48900.2 Suspension for Sexual Harassment

• 48980 Annual Notification to Parents United States Code Annotated, Title 20

• Sections 1681 et seq. (Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972)