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Longview School District

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Longview, WA, USA

Policy No. 3205

Section: 3000 - Students

 

Sexual Harassment of Students Prohibited

The district is committed to a positive and productive education free from discrimination, including sexual harassment. This commitment extends to all students involved in academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of the school, whether that program or activity is in a school facility, on school transportation or at a class or school training held elsewhere.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment means unwelcome conduct or communication of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can occur adult to student, student to student or can be carried out by a group of students or adults and will be investigated by the District even if the alleged harasser is not a part of the school staff or student body. The district prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, employees, or third parties involved in school district activities.

The term “sexual harassment” may include:

  • acts of sexual violence;
  • unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication that interferes with an individual’s educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment;
  • unwelcome sexual advances;
  • unwelcome requests for sexual favors;
  • sexual demands when submission is a stated or implied condition of obtaining an educational benefit;
  • sexual demands where submission or rejection is a factor in an academic, or other school-related decision affecting an individual.

A “hostile environment” has been created for a student when sexual harassment is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to demonstrate a repetitive series of incidents. In fact, a single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe, violent, or egregious.

Under Title IX, the term “sexual harassment” means:

  • an employee of the district conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  • conduct that creates a “hostile environment,” meaning unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the education program or activity; or

“sexual assault,” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

 

Investigation and Response

If the district knows, or reasonably should know, that sexual harassment has created a hostile environment, it will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. If an investigation reveals that sexual harassment has created a hostile environment, the district will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and as appropriate, remedy its effects. The district will take prompt, equitable and remedial action within its authority on reports, complaints and grievances alleging sexual harassment that come to the attention of the district, either formally or informally. The district will take these steps every time a complaint, alleging sexual harassment comes to the attention of the district, either formally or informally.

Allegations of criminal misconduct will be reported to law enforcement and suspected child abuse will be reported to law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Regardless of whether the misconduct is reported to law enforcement, school staff will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation, to the extent that such investigation does not interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation. A criminal investigation does not relieve the district of its independent obligation to investigate and resolve sexual harassment.

Engaging in sexual harassment will result in appropriate discipline or other appropriate sanctions against offending students, staff or other third parties involved in school district activities. Anyone else who engages in sexual harassment on school property or at school activities will have their access to school property and activities restricted, as appropriate.

 

Retaliation and False Allegations

Retaliation against any person who makes or is a witness in a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. The district will take appropriate actions to protect involved persons from retaliation.

It is a violation of this policy to knowingly report false allegations of sexual harassment. Persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.

 

Staff Responsibilities

The superintendent will develop and implement formal and informal procedures for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints or reports of sexual harassment. The procedures will include reasonable and prompt time lines and delineate staff responsibilities under this policy.

Any school employee who witnesses sexual harassment or receives a report, informal complaint, or written complaint about sexual harassment is responsible for informing the district Title IX or Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator. All staff are also responsible for directing complainants to the formal complaint process.

Reports of discrimination and discriminatory harassment will be referred to the district’s Title IX/Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator. Reports of disability discrimination or harassment will be referred to the district’s Section 504 Coordinator.

District/school staff, including employees, contractors, and agents shall not provide a recommendation of employment for an employee, contractor, or agent that the district/school, or the individual acting on behalf of the district/school, knows or has probable cause to believe, has engaged in sexual misconduct with a student or minor in violation of the law.

 

Notice and Training

The superintendent will develop procedures to provide age-appropriate information and education to district staff, students, parents/guardians and volunteers regarding this policy and the recognition and prevention of sexual harassment. At a minimum sexual harassment recognition and prevention and the elements of this policy will be included in staff, student, and regular volunteer orientation. This policy and the procedure, which includes the complaint process, will be posted in each district building in a place available to staff, students, parents/guardians, volunteers, and visitors. Information about the policy and procedure will be clearly stated and conspicuously posted throughout each school building, provided to each employee and reproduced in each student, staff, volunteer, and parent handbook. Such notices will identify the District’s Title IX coordinator and provide contact information, including the coordinator’s email address.

 

Policy Review

The superintendent will make an annual report to the board reviewing the use and efficacy of this policy and related procedures. Recommendations for changes to this policy, if applicable, will be included in the report. The superintendent is encouraged to involve staff, students, volunteers, and parents/guardian in the review process.

 

Cross References:

3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
3210 Nondiscrimination
3211 Gender-Inclusive Schools
3241 Student Discipline
5010 Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action
5011 Sexual Harassment of District Staff Prohibited

Legal References:

20 U.S.C. 1681-1688
WAC 392-190-058 Sexual harassment
RCW 28A.640.020 Regulations, guidelines to eliminate discrimination — Scope — Sexual harassment policies
34 C.F.R. 106  

Management Resources:

2020 August Issue
2015 July Policy Alert
2014 December Issue
2010 October Issue

 

Initially adopted February 13, 2012

Amended: July 14, 2014

Amended: February 27, 2017

Amended: May 28, 2019

Amended: May 10, 2021