05. Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment shall include conduct on the basis of sex involving one or more of the following: (1) A district employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the district on an individual’s participation in unwelcomed sexual conduct; (2) unwelcomed conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the district’s educational program or activity; or (3) sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
Sexual harassment may result from verbal or physical conduct or written or graphic material and may include, but is not limited to: verbal harassment or abuse; pressure for sexual activity; repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implication; unwelcome touching; or suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning a student’s grades, participation in extracurricular activities, etc.
The district takes all reports of sexual harassment seriously and will respond meaningfully to every report of discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, of which the district has actual knowledge.
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment should discuss the alleged harassment with the building principal, another administrator, the guidance counselor, or another certified staff member. All employee(s) receiving reports of sexual harassment from a student shall notify the Title IX Coordinator.
The following definitions apply to the district in responding to complaints of sexual distrimination including sexual harassment as defined by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kansas Act Against Discrimination.
The “complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be a victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved.
The “decision maker” reviews all the evidence and prepares an impartial written responsibility determination as to whether the alleged conduct occurred and provided an opportunity for the parties and their representatives to prepare written questions to be answered by the other party. The decisionmaker shall not be the Title IX Coordinator or investigator.
“Domestic Violence” includes crimes of violence committed by a person who is a current or former spouse, person with whom the victim shares a child or who is or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under Kansas or applicable federal law, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim having protection from such person’s acts by Kansas or applicable federal law.
A “formal complaint” means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the district investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
The “investigator” is the person who carries out the investigation after the formal complaint is filed and conducts interviews of the witnesses, collects and documents evidence and drafts an investigative report.
A “respondent” is an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
“Sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
The “Title IX Coordinator” is the individual designated at the district level who has responsibility to coordinate compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 regarding discrimination on the basis of sex, and the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: developing materials and ensuring professional development occurs for staff involved in Title IX compliance, creating systems to centralize records, gathering relevant data, contacting the complainant (and/or parents or guardians, if applicable) once the district has actual knowledge of alleged sexual harassment, coordinating the implementation of supportive measures, signing formal complaint to initiate a grievance process, and ensuring any remedies are implemented.
Any employee who witnesses an act of sexual harassment or receives a complaint of harassment from another employee or a student shall report the complaint to their immediate supervisor, building administrator, or Title IX Coordinator. Employees who fail to report complaints or incidents of sexual harassment to appropriate district officials may face disciplinary action. District officials who fail to investigate and take appropriate corrective action in response to complaints of sexual harassment may also face disciplinary action.
Complaints received will be investigated to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the alleged behavior constitutes sexual harassment under the definition outlined above. Unacceptable student conduct may or may not constitute sexual harassment, depending on the nature of the conduct and its severity, pervasiveness, and persistence. Behaviors which are unacceptable but do not constitute harassment may provide grounds for discipline under the code of student conduct.
The district will treat the complainant and respondent equitably by offering supportive measures. These non-disciplinary and non-punitive measures will be offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without cost to the complainant or respondent. Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity.
Training materials and information regarding the formal complaint process related to Title IX can be found on the district website under Parent Resources at www.usd253.org and in board policy JGEC.