Edmond Public Schools recognizes its responsibility to all employees to maintain a working environment free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in any form will not be tolerated. To achieve this environment, appropriate methods such as affirmatively addressing the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions and informing employees of their right to raise the issue of sexual harassment are utilized to alert employees to the problem. All employees of Edmond Public Schools are subject to provisions of this policy.
Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
A. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment,
B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
C. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
For employment purposes within the Edmond Public Schools, sexual harassment shall be defined as:
A. Demands or requests for sexual attention
B. Unwanted sexual advance
C. Verbal comments that are sexually oriente
D. Interference with another's work performance through any type of sexually oriented conduct
E. Creating a work environment that is offensive because of sexually oriented actions.
II. Procedures for Reporting, Investigating and Responding
A. If employees, male or female, believe that they are being sexually harassed, they are encouraged to report any incident(s) to their supervisor, their building administrator, or the Associate Superintendent/Personnel. Information received will remain confidential, and all sexual harassment complaints will be investigated.
B. From the investigation, if it is found that the complaint is valid, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Depending on the severity of the harassment, the discipline may range from a verbal warning, a written warning placed in the offending employee's personnel file, to immediate termination as provided by law.
C. All supervisory employees or agents of Edmond Public Schools who are aware of any incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace are responsible for immediately reporting such incidents to the appropriate administrative official.
D. It is the responsibility of each building administrator to bring to the attention of all building employees the provisions of this policy.
E. It is the School District’s position that any person who reports or submits in good faith a complaint under this policy, or anyone participating/contributing in the investigation process, shall not be subjected to any form of reprisal, retaliation, intimidation or harassment because he or she has submitted such a complaint or because he or she has in any way participated in any investigation or proceedings related to any such complaint. The School District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, employee, agent or representative of the School District who is determined to have engaged in such behavior.
III. Formal Discrimination Complaint
This policy defines “sexual harassment” and addresses administrative follow-up when an employee alleges such to have occurred. If the individual bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation at this level and desires further review, reference is to be made to Policy #5167, which outlines steps for initiating a discrimination complaint.
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State and federal law specifically prohibit sexual harassment of students in connection with their enrollment in the Edmond School District. This policy will set forth the rules and regulations to be followed by all students with regard to the issue of sexual harassment.
I. Sexual Harassment Prohibited
All students, employees, board members and representatives of the School District are strictly prohibited from engaging in any form of sexual harassment of any student or employee of the School District.
A. "Student" means any person who is enrolled in any school or program of the School District.
B. “Sexual Harassment,” for purposes of this policy, consists of unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
||A school employee, teacher, coach, administrator, board member or representative of the School District causes a student to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity, or when an employee or third party agent of the school district causes a student to believe that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct; or
||The unwelcome sexual conduct by any person is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment
||Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
a. Graffiti, notes or drawings of a sexual nature
b. Sexual or dirty jokes
c. Sexual gestures
d. Commenting on or spreading rumors about or rating other students as to sexual activity or performance or physical attributes
e. Unwelcome, sexually motivated or inappropriate patting, pinching or physical contact
f. Sexual advances
g. Touching oneself sexually or talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others
h. Touching, patting, grabbing or pinching another person’s private parts, whether that person is of the same sex or the opposite sex
i. Coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone’s private parts
j. Coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another
k. Other unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, when accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s educational status or implied or overt promises of preferential treatment
C. Age appropriate definitions of sexual harassment shall be communicated to students enrolled in Edmond Public Schools.
D. For purposes of notice to students enrolled in and below the fifth grade and their parents as to what conduct may constitute sexual harassment, the following summary shall be used:
“Sexual harassment can include the following acts or conduct of a sexual nature":
III. Reporting of Sexual Harassment:
||1. Name-calling, jokes or rumors, notes, cartoons or any other drawings about you or others that make you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or feeling bad, whether the statements, drawings or words are about you or others.
2. Words or acts by an adult (man or woman) or a student or students (boy or girl) that makes you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or afraid.
3. Anyone touching, patting, grabbing or pinching you, pulling your clothes or improperly touching you in your private areas or elsewhere or touching you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed or afraid.
4. Anyone who asks you or makes you touch, pat, pinch or grab yourself or others in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or afraid.”
The above summary should not be construed as a limitation of the definition of sexual harassment as set forth in this Policy. Instead, it is a summary designed to communicate to children at the fifth grade level and below what can constitute sexual harassment.
5. For purposes of notice to students enrolled in and above the sixth grade level as to what conduct may constitute sexual harassment, the full definitions and examples set out in paragraph II.B. of this subsection shall be used.
6. For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment shall not include any physical restraint utilized by school employees to prevent personal harm to persons or property.
A. Any student who is or has been subjected to sexual harassment or knows of any student who is or has been subjected to sexual harassment is encouraged to report all such incidents to his or her principal, assistant principal, counselor or teacher. It is the duty of any employee of the district who has knowledge of possible sexual harassment of a student to report the incident/s to the appropriate administrator, i.e., school principal.
B. It is preferred that all such reports be made in person or in writing signed by the reporting party. However, in order to encourage full and complete reporting of such prohibited activities any person may report such incidents in writing and anonymously by providing such reports to the personal attention of any of the above-designated persons.
C. All reports of sexual harassment should state the name of the student or employee involved, the nature, context and extent of the prohibited activity, the dates of the prohibited activity and any other information necessary to a full report and investigation of the matter.
D. All formal or informal sexual harassment complaints shall be promptly investigated as quickly as is reasonably possible.
IV. Investigation of Sexual Harassment:
The following are established as guidelines for investigations that focus upon allegations of sexual harassment.
A. After receiving a report or complaint of sexual harassment, the building principal or his or her designee (the Investigator) shall immediately investigate or immediately authorize the undertaking of an investigation of the claim to determine if the School District’s policy against sexual harassment has been violated. If the principal or his or her designee is alleged to have engaged in sexual harassment then a different investigator will be appointed by the Associate Superintendent/Personnel, who is also the District’s Title IX Coordinator to conduct the investigation.
B. The investigation of a sexual harassment claim may consist of personal interviews with the complaining party, the person or persons alleged to have engaged in the sexually harassing conduct and any other persons or witnesses identified by the complaining party or other person who may have knowledge pertaining to the incidents or events alleged to have given rise to the claim. The investigation can also include a review of any written materials furnished by any party that is claimed to have some bearing on the issues raised by the complaint.
C. In conducting the investigation, the Investigator shall review all the relevant facts and circumstances to confirm or deny the claims of harassment in order to determine if this policy has been violated. Factors the Investigator can consider include but are not limited to:
1. The nature of the behavior
2. How often the conduct occurred
3. Whether there were past incidents or past continuing patterns of behavior
4. The relationship between the parties involved
5. The race, national origin, sex and age of the victim
6. The identity of the perpetrator, including whether the perpetrator was in a position of power over the student allegedly subjected to harassment
7. The number of alleged harassers
8. The age of the alleged harasser
9. Where the harassment occurred
10. Whether there have been other incidents in the school involving the same or other students
11. Whether the conduct adversely affected the student’s education or educational environment
12. The context in which the alleged incidents occurred pending criminal charges, if any.
D. While awaiting completion of the investigation and if circumstances warrant, the School District, as soon as reasonably possible, shall take appropriate and reasonable steps to separate and protect the individual who is allegedly being sexually harassed from the alleged harasser, until the matter can be fully investigated and the appropriate remedial steps taken.
E. Pending the completion of the investigation, the School District will keep the individual who is allegedly being sexually harassed reasonably apprised, to the extent allowed under federal and state privacy laws and regulations, of the investigation and the actions taken as a result of the investigation.
F. At the conclusion of the investigation and based upon facts taken as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, the Investigator shall determine whether a violation of the School District’s sexual harassment policy has been established. If a violation is established, the School District will take prompt action to address and, where appropriate, remediate the violation.
G. Unless otherwise prohibited by federal or state confidentiality or privacy laws, the final conclusion reached by the Investigator on any claim of sexual harassment under this policy will be communicated to both the complaining party or parties and to the person alleged to have engaged in sexually harassing conduct.
V. Disciplinary Action for Sexually Harassing Conduct:
A. Any student engaging in sexual harassment is subject to any and all disciplinary action which may be imposed under the School District’s Student Behavior Policy.
B. Any employee engaging in sexual harassment of a student is subject to discipline, which could include but would not be limited to, verbal or written disciplinary action, administrative transfer, suspension, demotion, forfeiture of pay or termination in accordance with applicable law.
It is the School District’s position that any person filing a grievance or anyone participating in the grievance process or complaining of sexual harassment or participating in any way in any investigation of a sexual harassment claim under this policy shall not be subjected to any form of reprisal, retaliation, intimidation or harassment. The School District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, employee, agent or representative of the School District who is determined to have engaged in such retaliatory behavior.
VII. This policy defines “sexual harassment”
and addresses administrative follow-up when an allegation has been made that a student has been sexually harassed. If the individual bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation at this level and desires further review, reference is to be made to Policy #5167, which outlines steps for initiating a discrimination complaint.
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