Hamden Public Schools District Policies

5145.5R- Sexual Harassment

5145.5R

Students
Sexual Harassment- Regulation

[Note:  The following administrative procedures are not part of the sex discrimination and sexual harassment policy and need not be approved by the Board.  However, because a complaint procedure is legally required, these administrative regulations are included for your convenience.]

ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS REGARDING

THE PROHIBITION OF SEX DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT (PERSONNEL)

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. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex includes discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Students, District employees and third parties are expected to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful of the rights of students, District employees, and third parties. 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.  Verbal or physical conduct by a supervisor or co-worker relating to an employee's sex that has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance, or adversely affecting the employee's employment opportunities is prohibited.

Any employee or student who engages in conduct prohibited by the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) shall be subject to disciplinary action.  Any third party who engages in conduct prohibited by the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) shall be subject to remedial measures, which may include exclusion from school property.

Sex discrimination 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 District’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). These definitions can be found in Appendix A of these Administrative Regulations.


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. 

Although not an exhaustive list, the following are other examples of conduct prohibited by the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel):

        1.       Unwelcome sexual advances from a co-worker or supervisor, such as unwanted hugs, touches, or kisses;

        2.       Unwelcome attention of a sexual nature, such as degrading, suggestive or lewd remarks or noises;

        3.       Dirty jokes, derogatory or pornographic posters, cartoons or drawings;

        4.       The threat or suggestion that continued employment advancement, assignment or earnings depend on whether or not the employee will submit to or tolerate harassment;

        5.       Circulating, showing, or exchanging emails, text messages, digital images or websites of a sexual nature;

        6.       Using computer systems, including email, instant messaging, text messaging, blogging or the use of social networking websites, or other forms of electronic communications, to engage in any conduct prohibited by the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel).


NOTICE OF THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR

The District’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 District 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 District 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. The Title IX Coordinator manages the District’s compliance with Title IX, Title VII and Connecticut law with respect to sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination and is an available resource to anyone seeking information or wishing to file a formal complaint of same. When a student, District employee, or other participant in the District’s programs and activities feels that such person has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex in any District program or activity, including without limitation being subjected to sexual harassment, such person may contact the Title IX Coordinator or utilize the Title IX, Title VII and Connecticut law grievance systems set forth herein to bring concerns forward for the purpose of obtaining a prompt and equitable resolution.

 

EXPLANATION OF COMPLAINT PROCESS AND PROCEDURE

The federal regulations implementing Title IX require the adoption and publication of two separate grievance systems: a grievance process for complaints of sex discrimination involving allegations of sexual harassment and grievance procedures for complaints of sex discrimination that are not sexual harassment.  Accordingly, the Administration will process any complaints of sex discrimination involving allegations of sexual harassment, as defined above, pursuant to the grievance process set forth in Section I of these regulations.  The Administration will process any complaints of sex discrimination that are not sexual harassment pursuant to the grievance procedures set forth in Section II of these regulations.

The District will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has a made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of these Administrative Regulations, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising from these Administrative Regulations.

The obligation to comply with Title IX is not obviated or alleviated by the FERPA. 

SECTION I.      GRIEVANCE PROCESS FOR COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNDER TITLE IX

A.    Definitions

  • Bias occurs when it is proven that the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), and/or decision-maker(s) demonstrate actual bias, rather than the appearance of bias.  Actual bias includes, but is not limited to, demonstrated personal animus against the respondent or the complainant and/or prejudgment of the facts at issue in the investigation.
  • Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
  • A conflict of interest occurs when it is proven that the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), and/or decision-maker(s) have personal, financial and/or familial interests that affected the outcome of the investigation.
  • Consent means an active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person (also referred to hereafter as “affirmative consent”).

For the purposes of an investigation conducted pursuant to these Administrative Regulations, the following principles shall be applied in determining whether consent for sexual activity was given and/or sustained:

A.       Affirmative consent is the standard used in determining whether consent to engage in sexual activity was given by all persons who engaged in the sexual activity.

B.       Affirmative consent may be revoked at any time during the sexual activity by any person engaged in the sexual activity.

C.       It is the responsibility of each person engaging in sexual activity to ensure that the person has the affirmative consent of all persons engaged in the sexual activity to engage in the sexual activity and that the affirmative consent is sustained throughout the sexual activity.

D.      It shall not be a valid excuse to an alleged lack of affirmative consent that the respondent to the alleged violation believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity:

(i)       because the respondent was intoxicated or reckless or failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented, or

(ii)      if the respondent knew or should have known that the complainant was unable to consent because such individual was unconscious, asleep, unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition, unable to consent due to the age of the individual or the age difference between the individual and the respondent, or incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication.

E.       The existence of a past or current dating or sexual relationship between the complainant and the respondent, in and of itself, shall not be determinative of a finding of consent. 

For purposes of investigations and complaints of sexual harassment, education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the Board exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.

  • Employee means (A) a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, school counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by the Board or working in a public elementary, middle or high school; or (B) any other individual who, in the performance of the individual’s duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle or high school, pursuant to a contract with the Board.
  • Formal complaint means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment (as defined under Title IX) against a respondent and requesting that the Administration investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. A “document filed by a complainant” means a document or electronic submission that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
  • Respondent means an individual who has been alleged to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
  • School days means the days that school is in session as designated on the calendar posted on the Board’s website. In its discretion, and when equitably applied and with proper notice to the parties, the District may consider business days during the summer recess as “school days” if such designation facilitates the prompt resolution of the grievance process.
  • Supportive measures mean non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the District’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, increased security and monitoring, and other similar measures.

B.    Reporting Sexual Harassment

  1. It is the express policy of the Board to encourage victims of sexual harassment to report such claims. Any person may report sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator. If the District receives notice of sexual harassment or alleged sexual harassment against a person in the District’s education program or activity, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, whether or not the complainant files a formal complaint, and will consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to such measures. If the complainant has yet to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will explain to the complainant the process for doing so.
  2. The District will treat complainants and respondents equitably. A respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and a determination regarding responsibility will be made at the conclusion of the grievance process if a formal complaint is filed. Nothing in these Administrative Regulations shall preclude the District from placing an employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the grievance process. Further, nothing in these Administrative Regulations shall limit or preclude the District from removing a respondent from the District’s education program or activity on an emergency basis, provided that the District undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, and determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal. If a respondent is removed on an emergency basis, the District shall provide the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.

C.    Formal Complaint and Grievance Process

  1. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the District’s education programs or activity. A formal complaint may be signed by the Title IX Coordinator. If the formal complaint being filed is against the Title IX Coordinator, the formal complaint should be filed with the Superintendent. If the formal complaint being filed is against the Superintendent, the formal complaint should be filed with the Board Chair, who will then retain an independent investigator to investigate the matter.
  2. The District may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances. If possible, formal complaints should be filed within ten (10) school days of the alleged occurrence in order to facilitate the prompt and equitable resolution of such claims. The District will attempt to complete the formal grievance process within ninety (90) school days of receiving a formal complaint.  This timeframe may be temporarily delayed or extended in accordance with Subsection G of this Section.
  3. Upon receipt of a formal complaint, if the Title IX Coordinator has not already discussed the availability of supportive measures with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of such measures and consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to them. The Title IX Coordinator or designee may also contact the respondent, separately from the complainant, to discuss the availability of supportive measures for the respondent. The District will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the
  4. complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the District to provide such supportive measures. 
  5. Within ten (10) school days of receiving a formal complaint, the District will provide the known parties with written notice of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment under Title IX and a copy of this grievance process. The written notice must also include the following:

                                   i.  The identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known;

                                   ii. The conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment as defined above;

                                  iii. The date and the location of the alleged incident, if known;

                                 iv. A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding 
                                     responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;

                                  v.  A statement that the parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may 
                                      inspect and review evidence; and

                                 vi.  A statement of any provision in the District’s policies that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting
                                      false information during the grievance process.

    If, in the course of an investigation, the District decides to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the written notice, the District must provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known. 

  6. The parties may have an advisor of their choice accompany them during any grievance proceeding at which the party’s attendance is required. The District may, in its discretion, establish certain restrictions regarding the extent to which an advisor may participate in the proceedings.  If any such restrictions are established, they will be applied equally to all parties.
  7. The Title IX Coordinator will, as applicable, promptly commence an investigation of the formal complaint, designate a school administrator to promptly investigate the formal complaint, or dismiss the formal complaint in accordance with Subsection F of this Section. The standard of evidence to be used to determine responsibility is the preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., more likely than not). The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on the District and not on the parties.
  8. The parties will be given an equal opportunity to discuss the allegations under investigation with the investigator(s) and are permitted to gather and present relevant evidence. This opportunity includes presenting witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. Credibility determinations will not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.  The District will provide to a party whose participation is invited or expected (including a witness) written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings (if applicable), investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate. 
  9. Both parties will be given an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the District does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source, so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to the conclusion of the investigation. Prior to completion of the investigative report, the District will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy, and the parties will have ten (10) school days to submit a written response, which the investigator(s) will consider prior to completion of the investigative report, as described in Paragraph 9 of this Subsection.
  10. The investigator(s) will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. The investigator(s) will send the investigative report, in an electronic format or hard copy, to each party and to each party’s advisor for their review and written response at least ten (10) school days prior to the time a determination regarding responsibility is made.
  11. The Superintendent will appoint a decision-maker(s), who shall be a District employee or third-party contractor and who shall be someone other than the Title IX Coordinator or investigator(s). If the formal complaint filed is against the Superintendent, the Board Chair shall appoint the decision-maker, who shall be someone other than the Title IX Coordinator or investigator(s). The investigator(s) and the decision-maker(s) shall not discuss the investigation’s facts and/or determination while the formal complaint is pending.  The decision-maker(s) will afford each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that a party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party. Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence
  12. concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent. The decision-maker(s) will explain to the party proposing the questions any decisions to exclude a question as not relevant.
  13. The decision-maker(s) will issue a written determination regarding responsibility.  To reach this determination, the decision-maker must apply the preponderance of the evidence standard. The written determination will include: (1) identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment; (2) a description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held; (3) findings of fact supporting the determination; (4) conclusions regarding the application of the District’s code of conduct to the facts; (5) a statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the District will impose on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity will be provided by the District to the complainant; and (6) the District’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal. If the respondent is found responsible for violating the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel), the written determination shall indicate whether the respondent engaged in sexual harassment as defined by the Board’s Policy and these Administrative Regulations.  The written determination will be provided to both parties simultaneously.
  14. Student respondents found responsible for violating the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) may be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion.  Employee respondents found responsible for violating the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) may be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.  Other respondents may be subject to exclusion from the District’s programs, activities and/or property.  In appropriate circumstances, the District may make a criminal referral.  Remedies will be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education programs or activities. 
  15. 15.  After receiving notification of the decision-maker(s)’ decision, or after receiving notification that the District dismissed a formal complaint or any allegation therein, both complainant and respondent may avail themselves of the appeal process set forth in Section E of this Section.

D.  Informal Resolution

At any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, but only after the filing of a formal complaint, the District may suggest to the parties the possibility of facilitating an informal resolution process, such as mediation, to resolve the formal complaint without the need for a full investigation and adjudication. If it is determined that an informal resolution may be appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will consult with the parties.

Prior to facilitating an informal resolution to a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will provide the parties with written notice disclosing the sexual harassment allegations, the requirements of an informal resolution process, and any consequences from participating in the informal resolution process. Upon receipt of this document, complainants and respondents have five (5) school days to determine whether they consent to participation in the informal resolution. The District must obtain voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process from both parties.

Prior to agreeing to any resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint. If a satisfactory resolution is reached through this informal process, the matter will be considered resolved. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the formal grievance process will continue.

Nothing in this section precludes an employee from filing a complaint of retaliation for matters related to an informal resolution, nor does it preclude either party from filing complaints based on conduct that is alleged to occur following the District’s facilitation of the informal resolution.

An informal resolution is not permitted to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.

E.  Appeal Process

After receiving notification of the decision-maker(s)’ decision, or after receiving notification that the District dismissed a formal complaint or any allegation therein, both complainant and respondent have five (5) school days to submit a formal letter of appeal to the Title IX Coordinator specifying the grounds upon which the appeal is based. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Superintendent shall appoint a decision-maker(s) for the appeal, who shall be someone other than the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s) or initial decision-maker(s).

Appeals will be appropriate only in the following circumstances:

  • new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
  • procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  • the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), and/or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.  A conflict of interest or bias does not exist solely because the Title IX Coordinator, investigators(s), and/or decision-maker(s) previously worked with or disciplined the complainant or respondent.

The District will provide the other party with written notice of such appeal. The appealing party will then have ten (10) school days to submit to the decision-maker(s) for the appeal a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome of the grievance process. The decision-maker(s) for the appeal will provide the appealing party’s written statement to the other party. The other party will then have ten (10) school days to submit to the decision-maker for the appeal a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome of the grievance process. The decision-maker(s) for the appeal, in their discretion, will determine any additional necessary and appropriate procedures for the appeal.

After considering the parties’ written statements, the decision-maker(s) for the appeal will provide a written decision. The decision-maker(s) for the appeal will attempt to issue the written decision within thirty (30) school days of receipt of all written statements from the parties. If it is found that one of the bases for appeal exists, the decision-maker(s) for the appeal will issue an appropriate remedy.

Supportive measures for either or both parties may be continued throughout the appeal process.

F.  Dismissal of a Formal Complaint 

The Title IX Coordinator shall dismiss any formal complaint that, under Title IX, 1) would not constitute sexual harassment as defined under Title IX even if proved, 2) did not occur in the District’s education program or activity, or 3) did not occur against a person in the United States. Such dismissal does not preclude action under another Board policy.

The District may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation or hearing a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that 1) the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; 2) the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed in the District; or 3) specific circumstances prevent the District from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

Upon a dismissal, the District will promptly and simultaneously send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) therefor to each party. Either party can appeal from the District’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein using the appeals procedure.

In the event a formal complaint is dismissed prior to the issuance of a decision under Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator shall determine if the allegations of sexual harassment shall proceed through the grievance procedures identified in Section II of these Administrative Regulations for claims of sex discrimination for consideration as to whether the allegations constitute sexual harassment under Title VII or Connecticut law.

A dismissal pursuant to this section does not preclude action by the District under the Student Discipline policy, Code of Conduct for students/or and employees, or any other applicable rule, policy, and/or collective bargaining agreement.

G.  Miscellaneous

  1. Any timeframe set forth in these Administrative Regulations may be temporarily delayed or extended for good cause. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, considerations such as the absence or illness of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; concurrent activity by the Department of Children and Families; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities. If any timeframe is altered on a showing of good cause, written notice will be provided to each party with the reasons for the action.
  2. If a sexual harassment complaint raises a concern about discrimination or harassment on the basis of any other legally protected classification (such as race, religion, color, national origin, age, or disability), the Title IX Coordinator or designee shall make a referral to other appropriate personnel within the District (e.g. Section 504 Coordinator, etc.), so as to ensure that any such investigation complies with the requirements of policies regarding nondiscrimination.
  3. If the sexual harassment complaint results in reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected, has had a nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, or that a student has been sexually assaulted by a school employee, then, the person to whom the complaint is given or who receives such information shall report such matters in accordance with the Board's policy on the Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect of Children.
  4. Retaliation against any individual who complains pursuant to the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) and these Administrative Regulations is strictly prohibited. Neither the District nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or these Administrative Regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint,
  5. testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under these Administrative Regulations. The District will take actions designed to prevent retaliation. Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the grievance procedures for sex discrimination described herein.
  6. The District will maintain for a period of seven (7) years records of:

                            i.      Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, and any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Board’s education program or activity;

                           ii.      Any appeal and the result therefrom;

                          iii.      Any informal resolution and the result therefrom; and

                         iv.      All material used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution
                                  process. The Board will make these training materials publicly available on its website.

If the District has actual knowledge of sexual harassment in an education program or activity of the Board, and for any report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, the District will create and maintain for a period of seven (7) years, records of any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment.  The District will document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Board’s education program or activity.  If the District does not provide a complainant with supportive measures, then the District will document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. 

SECTION II.    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES FOR CLAIMS OF SEX DISCRIMINATION (OTHER THAN SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNDER TITLE IX)

A.    Definitions

  • Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination.
  • Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination

B.    Reporting Sex Discrimination Other than Sexual Harassment under Title IX

It is the express policy of the Board to encourage victims of sex discrimination to report such claims. Any person may report sex discrimination (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator. If the District receives notice of sex discrimination or alleged sex discrimination against a person in the District’s education program or activity, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will promptly notify the complainant of the grievance process. The District will treat complainants and respondents equitably during the grievance process.  Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and any incident of sexual harassment under Title IX, as defined above, shall be handled pursuant to Section I of these Administrative Regulations.  Any allegations of sexual harassment under Title VII or Connecticut law, as defined above, shall be handled pursuant to this Section II of these Administrative Regulations.

C.      Grievance Procedures

  1. As soon as an employee feels that the employee has been subjected to sex discrimination other than sexual harassment as defined under Title IX (including, without limitation, sexual harassment under Title VII or Connecticut law), the employee should make a written complaint to the Title IX Coordinator or to the building principal, or designee.  The employee will be provided a copy of the Board’s Policy and Administrative Regulations and made aware of the employee’s rights under this Policy and Administrative Regulations.  Preferably, complaints should be filed within ten (10) school days of the alleged occurrence. Timely reporting of complaints facilitates the investigation and resolution of such complaints.
  2. The complaint should state the:

                                  i.        Name of the complainant;

                                 ii.        Date of the complaint;

                                iii.        Date(s) of the alleged discrimination;

                               iv.        Name(s) of the discriminator(s);

                                v.        Location where such discrimination occurred;

                               vi.        Names of any witness(es) to the discrimination;

                              vii.        Detailed statement of the circumstances constituting the alleged discrimination; and

                             viii.        Remedy requested.

  3. Any employee who makes an oral complaint of sex discrimination to any of the above-mentioned personnel will be provided a copy of these Administrative Regulations and will be requested to make a written complaint pursuant to the above procedure. 
  4. All complaints are to be forwarded immediately to the building principal or designee unless that individual is the subject of the complaint, in which case the complaint should be forwarded directly to the Superintendent of Schools or designee.  In addition, a copy of any complaint filed under this Policy shall be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator. If the complaint being filed is against the Title IX Coordinator, the complaint should be filed with the Superintendent. If the complaint being filed is against the Superintendent, the complaint should be filed with the Board Chair, who will then retain an independent investigator to investigate the matter.
  5. The Title IX Coordinator or designee shall investigate all complaints of sex discrimination against an employee, regardless of whether the conduct occurred on or off-school grounds. Complaints will be investigated promptly within the timeframes identified below. Timeframes may be extended as needed given the complexity of the investigation, availability of individuals with relevant information, and other extenuating circumstances. The investigation shall be conducted discreetly, maintaining confidentiality insofar as possible while still conducting an effective and thorough investigation.
  6. Any employee who makes a complaint shall be notified of the District’s intent to investigate the complaint.  In the event the employee requests confidentiality or that an investigation not be conducted, the District will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint to the extent possible, given the request for confidentiality or that the District not investigate the complaint.  If the employee insists that this information not be shared with the alleged discriminator(s), the employee will be informed that the District’s ability to investigate and/or take corrective action may be limited.
  7. Upon receipt of a sex discrimination complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall either promptly commence an investigation of the complaint, or shall designate a school administrator to promptly investigate the complaint.  The Title IX Coordinator or designee shall:

                                    i.      offer to meet with the complainant and respondent (if applicable) separately within ten (10) school days to discuss the 
                                            nature of the complaint, identify individuals the complainant and respondent (if applicable) believe have relevant
                                            information, and obtain any relevant documents the complainant and respondent may have;

                                   ii.      provide the complainant and respondent (if applicable) with a copy of the Board’s sex discrimination policy and
                                            accompanying regulations;

                                  iii.      consider whether any interim measures may be appropriate to protect the complainant or respondent (if applicable),
                                            pending the outcome of the investigation;

                                 iv.      conduct an investigation that is adequate, reliable, and impartial.  Investigate the factual basis of the complaint, including,                                         as applicable, conducting interviews with individuals deemed relevant to the complaint;

                                  v.      consider whether alleged sex discrimination has created a hostile work environment, including consideration of the effects                                         of off-campus conduct on the school;

                                 vi.      communicate the outcome of the investigation in writing to the complainant, to the respondent, and to any individual
                                            properly identified as a party to the complaint (to the extent permitted by state and federal confidentiality requirements),
                                            within ninety (90) school days from the date the complaint was received by the Superintendent’s office.  The investigator
                                            may extend this deadline for no more than fifteen (15) additional school days if needed to complete the investigation.  The
                                            complainant and respondent (if applicable) shall be notified of such extension.  The written notice shall include a finding
                                            whether the complaint was substantiated and if so, shall identify, to the extent possible, how the District will remedy the
                                            discrimination, adhering to the requirements of state and federal law; and

                                vii.      when sex discrimination has been found, take steps that are reasonably calculated to end the discrimination, take
                                            corrective and/or disciplinary action aimed at preventing the recurrence of the discrimination, as deemed appropriate by
                                            the Superintendent or designee, and take steps to remedy the effects of the sex discrimination.

  8. If a complaint is made during summer recess, the complaint will be reviewed and addressed as quickly as possible given the availability of staff and/or other individuals who may have information relevant to the complaint.  If fixed timeframes cannot be met, the complainant and respondent will receive notice and interim measures may be implemented as necessary. 
  9. If the complainant or respondent (if applicable) is dissatisfied with the findings of the investigation, the complainant or respondent may file a written appeal within five (5) school days to the Title IX Coordinator, or, if the Title IX Coordinator conducted the investigation, to the Superintendent of Schools. The Title IX Coordinator or Superintendent shall review the Title IX Coordinator or designee's written report, the information collected by the Title IX Coordinator or designee together with the recommended disposition of the complaint to determine whether the alleged conduct constitutes sex discrimination.  The Title IX Coordinator or Superintendent of Schools may determine if further action and/or investigation is warranted.  After completing this review, the Title IX Coordinator or Superintendent of Schools shall respond to the complainant and respondent (if applicable), in writing, within fifteen (15) school days following the receipt of the written request for review.

 

D. Miscellaneous

  1. If a sex discrimination complaint raises a concern about discrimination or harassment on the basis of any other legally protected classification (such as race, religion, color, national origin, age, or disability), the Title IX Coordinator or designee shall make a referral to other appropriate personnel within the District (e.g. Section 504 Coordinator, etc.), so as to ensure that any such investigation complies with the requirements of policies regarding nondiscrimination.
  2. If the sex discrimination complaint results in reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected, has had a nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, or that a student has been sexually assaulted by a school employee, then, the person to whom the complaint is given or who receives such information shall report such matters in accordance with the Board's policy on the Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect of Children.
  3. Retaliation against any individual who complains pursuant to the Board’s Policy regarding the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Personnel) and these Administrative Regulations is strictly prohibited.  Neither the District nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or these Administrative Regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under these Administrative Regulations. The District will take actions designed to prevent retaliation as a result of filing a complaint. Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the grievance procedures for sex discrimination described herein.

 

Section III.   Further Reporting

At any time, a complainant alleging sex discrimination or sexual harassment may also file a complaint with the 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).

Copies of these Administrative Regulations will be distributed to all employees.


Appendix A

 Sexual Assault: An offense classified as forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Rape— (Except Statutory Rape) The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the person’s age or because of the person’s temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sodomy—Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the person’s age or because of the person’s temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual Assault With An Object—To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the person’s age or because of the person’s temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Fondling—The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the person’s age or because of the person’s temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Incest—Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Statutory Rape—Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
 

Dating Violence:  Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and 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 in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Stalking:  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.