FILE:  GAEAA

Cf:  GAAA, GAE

Cf:  JAA, JGCE

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

 

The Rapides Parish School Board recognizes that sexual harassment can be a violation of state and federal law.  The School Board, therefore, shall not tolerate sexual harassment on the part of any employee towards another employee or a student within the workplace.  Conduct in violation of this prohibition shall result in disciplinary measures, up to and including dismissal.

 

DEFINITION

 

Harassment on the basis of sex is defined as any 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 as a term or condition of any individual's employment/education.

  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment/education decisions affecting the individual.

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

    Incidents of sexual harassment may include verbal harassment such as derogatory comments, jokes, or slurs, or remarks or questions of a sexual nature; physical harassment such as unnecessary or offensive touching; and visual harassment such as derogatory or offensive posters, cards, cartoons, graffiti, drawings, looks, or gestures. Harassment does not only depend upon the perpetrator's intention, but also upon how the person who is the target perceives the behavior or is affected by it.  Individuals who experience sexual harassment from co workers or others should make it clear that such behavior is offensive to them.

 

REPORTING PROCEDURES

 

In the event that an individual believes such instances require a remedy or that there is a basis for a complaint, the individual shall first discuss the issue with the individual's principal or immediate supervisor.  Should no resolution occur to the satisfaction of the individual after five (5) days, a formal complaint may be filed.

 

If the victim of the alleged sexual harassment is a minor student and if the alleged harassment falls within the definition of "abuse" as defined by the School Board's policy on child abuse (Policy JGCE, Child Abuse), then all school employees with knowledge are mandatory reporters and the allegations must be reported to child protection or law enforcement as provided by state law and the School Board policy on child abuse.  Such reporting must be made in addition to any procedures under this sexual harassment policy.

 

If the victim of the sexual harassment is a student and the accused perpetrator is another student or is an individual not employed by the School Board, the victim shall report the incident(s) to the school guidance counselor, assistant principal, or principal as soon as practicable.  If, after investigation, the allegations are determined to be well-founded, the offending student shall be subject to suspension or expulsion under the School Board’s normal student disciplinary policies.  Additionally, School Board employees who become aware of such allegations should report them to child protection or to law enforcement agencies in accordance with the School Board’s mandatory reporting policies and state law if the offending conduct rises to the level of child abuse or neglect as therein defined.  Failure of the victim to promptly report acts of sexual harassment shall not standing alone constitute a defense to discipline or dismissal, and shall only be one factor in evaluating the validity of the allegations under this policy.

 

STEP 1 EMPLOYEE:

 

If any employee has concerns or a complaint about the nature of any conduct or physical contact by another employee of the school district, the individual should file a formal written complaint with the Personnel Department or with the Superintendent.  The receiving office will be charged with investigating the complaint and attempt to remedy it to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved within five (5) working days of the date of receipt of the complaint.  The investigating office shall indicate its disposition of the complaint in writing and shall furnish copies to all concerned parties.

 

STEP 1 STUDENT:

 

If a student has concerns or a complaint about the nature of any conduct or physical contact by an employee of the Rapides Parish School Board, the student should contact either the school administrator or the school counselor.  The school administrator will report the alleged incident to the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The school administrator and the Superintendent or his/her designee will be charged with investigating the complaint and attempt to remedy it informally to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved within five (5) working days of the date of receipt of the complaint.  The investigating office shall indicate its disposition of the complaint in writing and shall furnish copies to all concerned parties.  If the complaint constitutes a moral offense against a student as defined by School Board policy, the procedures of that policy shall be invoked in lieu of any procedures under this sexual harassment policy.

 

STEP 2 - (EMPLOYEE AND/OR STUDENT):

 

In the event any of the concerned parties are not satisfied with the disposition of the complaint at Step One (1) or if no disposition has been made, then the concerned party may appeal to the Sexual Harassment Panel.  The Sexual Harassment Panel shall include a chairperson, three males and three females selected by the Superintendent.

 

The Sexual Harassment Panel has seven (7) working days to schedule a hearing.  If harassment is found, the panel may exercise one of the following options:

 

  1. The panel may require an appropriate remedy which seeks to redress the wrong.  Noncompliance with the remedy will result in disciplinary action.

  2. The panel may recommend to the Superintendent that documentation be placed in one's evaluation folder, short or long term suspension with or without pay, or dismissal.

 

The Sexual Harassment Panel shall give written disposition of the complaint within five (5) days of such hearing and shall furnish copies to the appropriate parties and to the Superintendent.

 

STEP 3 - (EMPLOYEE AND/OR STUDENT):

 

In the event the parties concerned are not satisfied with the disposition of Step Two (2) or if no disposition has been made within five (5) days of such meeting, the parties concerned may appeal to the Superintendent.  The appeal shall be in writing and set forth the same information as in Step Two (2).  The Superintendent within thirty (30) days shall meet with the appropriate parties.  Disposition shall be made no later than five (5) days after the meeting.  A copy of such disposition shall be furnished to the appropriate parties.

 

STEP 4 - (EMPLOYEE AND/OR STUDENT):

 

In the event the parties concerned are not satisfied with the disposition of the appeal at Step Three (3), or if no disposition has been made in Step Three (3), the concerned parties may appeal to the Rapides Parish School Board.  The appeal shall be in writing and shall request that the Superintendent place the concern on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled School Board meeting.  Such written request must include copies of all decisions previously rendered in connection with the complaint.

 

Any employee who becomes aware of any allegation of possible harassment shall report such allegations to the Superintendent or designee.  All reports received shall be properly and adequately investigated.  Appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken when violations of this policy have been determined.  The School Board shall prohibit retaliation against an employee or student for a complaint made or for participating in an investigation of alleged harassment, unless, after investigation, it is found that the accuser has made a willfully false accusation in which case the accusing employee or student shall be subject to discipline or dismissal under the School Board’s standard due process provisions.

 

Nothing contained in this policy and/or procedure shall restrict or diminish the authority of the Superintendent to suspend or terminate any employee in accordance with the policies of the Rapides Parish School Board, state law and applicable statutes.

 

Failure to meet any procedural deadline imposed herein shall not be cause for dismissal of proceedings absent the demonstration of material prejudice by the affected person.

 

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

 

The Superintendent shall; discipline any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged sexual harassment or who retaliates against any person who testifies assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing related to a sexual harassment complaint.  Retaliation shall include but not be limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment at the time of a report or any time after a report.

 

NOTIFICATION/TRAINING

 

  1. Notice of this policy shall be circulated to all schools and departments of Rapides Parish School Board and referenced in student and teacher handbooks.

  2. Training sessions on this policy and prevention of sexual harassment shall be conducted at the administrative level (Superintendent, Executive Superintendents, CFO, Directors, Supervisors, Coordinators, Principals and Assistant Principals) annually at the beginning of each school year.  Principals shall re-deliver training on this policy and prevention of sexual harassment annually in all schools. Likewise, Department Heads over non-teaching employees shall conduct annual training sessions on this policy and prevention of sexual harassment.  All training sessions on this subject matter shall be documented and proof of same delivered to the Human Resources Department.

  3. The Superintendent/Designee shall compile an annual report of all trainings on this subject matter and retain in accordance with the public records retention act.  This training information is considered public record and, consequently, subject to disclosure under the public records act (Title 44, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §44:1 et seq.)

 

Revised:  October, 2007

Revised:  February 5, 2019

 

 

Ref:    20 USC 1681 (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

42 USC 2000e (Civil Rights - Definitions)

29 CFR 1604.11 (Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex - Sexual Harassment)

34 CFR 100.6 et seq. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1, 14:43, 14:81.4, 17:81, 23:301, 23:302, 23:303, 23:332, 23:967, 42:341, 42:342, 42:343, 42:344

La. Civil Code, Art. 2315

Board minutes, 8-15-93, 12-4-01, 2-06-02, 3-07-06, 10-2-07, 2-5-19

 

Rapides Parish School Board