Hamden Public Schools District Policies

5145.5 - Sexual Harassment

5145.5

Students
Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the Hamden Board of Education (the “Board”) for the Hamden Public Schools (the “District”) that any form of sex discrimination or sexual harassment is prohibited in the Board’s education programs and activities, whether by students, Board employees or third parties subject to substantial control by the Board. It is the policy of the Board to maintain a working environment free from harassment, insults or intimidation on the basis of an employee's sex and free from discrimination based on sex. 

The Board does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities that it operates and the Board is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), and Connecticut law not to discriminate in such a manner. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex includes discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Students, Board employees and third parties are required to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful of the rights of all parties. Any employee or student who engages in conduct prohibited by this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion, respectively. Third parties who engage in conduct prohibited by this Policy shall be subject to other sanctions, which may include exclusion from Board property and/or activities.  Individuals who engage in acts of sex discrimination or sexual harassment may also be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

For conduct to violate Title IX, the conduct must have occurred in an education program or activity of the Board; the conduct must have occurred within the United States of America; and the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the Board. Conduct that does not meet these requirements still may constitute a violation of Title VII, Connecticut law, and/or another Board policy.

The Superintendent of Schools shall develop Administrative Regulations implementing this Policy and in accordance with Title IX, Title VII, and Connecticut law (the “Administrative Regulations”).

Sex discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire, disciplines or discharges any individual, or otherwise discriminates against an individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of the individual’s sex.  Sex discrimination also occurs when a person, because of the person’s sex, is denied participation in or the benefits of any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Sexual harassment under Title IX means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

(1) An employee of the Board conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the Board on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e., quid pro quo);

(2) 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 Board’s education programs or activities; or

(3) “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).


Sexual harassment under Title VII and Connecticut law means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

(1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

(2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

(3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  

 

Reporting Sex Discrimination or Sexual Harassment

It is the express policy of the Board to encourage victims of sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment to report such claims. Employees are encouraged to report complaints of sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment promptly in accordance with the appropriate process set forth in the Administrative Regulations.  The Board directs its employees to respond to such complaints in a prompt and equitable manner.

Violations of this Policy by employees will not be permitted and may result in discipline up to and including discharge from employment.  Individuals who engage in acts of sex discrimination or sexual harassment may also be subject to civil and criminal penalties.  Retaliation against any employee for complaining about sex discrimination or sexual harassment is prohibited under this Policy and illegal under state and federal law. 

Any Board employee with notice of sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment allegations shall immediately report such information to the building principal and/or the Title IX Coordinator, or if the employee does not work in a school building, to the Title IX Coordinator.

The Hamden Public Schools administration (the “Administration”) shall provide training to Title IX Coordinator(s), investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process (as set forth in the Administrative Regulations), which training shall include, but need not be limited to, the definition of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, the scope of the Board’s education program and activity, how to conduct an investigation and implement the grievance process, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.  The Administration shall make the training materials used to provide these trainings publicly available on the Board’s website. The Administration shall also periodically provide training to all Board employees on the topic of sex discrimination and sexual harassment under Title IX, Title VII, and Connecticut law, which shall include but not be limited to when reports of sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment must be made. The Administration shall distribute this Policy and the Administrative Regulations to employees, union representatives, students, parents and legal guardians and make the Policy and the Administrative Regulations available on the Board’s website to promote an environment free of sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

The Board’s Title IX Coordinator is Gary Highsmith, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Administration.  Any individual may make a report of sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment to any Board employee or directly to the Title IX Coordinator using any one, or multiple, of the following points of contact

OFFICE ADDRESS:                                      60 Putnam Avenue, Hamden, CT 06514

ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS:                 ghighsmith@hamden.org

TELEPHONE NUMBER:                               203.407.2059

 

Any Board employee in receipt of allegations of sex discrimination or sexual harassment, or in receipt of a formal complaint, shall immediately forward such information to the Title IX Coordinator. Board employees may also make a report of sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination to the U.S. Department of Education: Office for Civil Rights, Boston Office, U.S. Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921 (Telephone: 617-289-0111).

Employees may also make a report of sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103-1835 (Telephone: 860-541-3400 or Connecticut Toll Free Number: 1-800-477-5737).

Legal References:   Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a).

                                Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Policy Guidance on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment (N-915.050),
                                March 19, 1990.

                                Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.

                                Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR § 106, et seq.

                                Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)

                                Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-54 - Commission powers Connecticut

                                Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60 - Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.

                                Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-81c - Sexual orientation discrimination: Employment

                                Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-153 - Discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression or marital status prohibited

                                Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 46a-54-200 through § 46a-54-207

Adopted:

October 12, 2021

HAMDEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

 

Hamden, CT