x

Student Sexual Harassment

Policy 5145.7: Sexual Harassment
Status: ADOPTED
Original Adopted Date: 11/27/2012 | Last Revised Date: 01/26/2021

The Governing Board is committed to maintaining a safe school environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The Board prohibits, at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities, sexual harassment targeted at any student by anyone. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who reports, files a complaint or testifies about, or otherwise supports a complainant in alleging sexual harassment.

The district strongly encourages students who feel that they are being or have been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity by another student or an adult, or who have experienced off-campus sexual harassment that has a continuing effect on campus, to immediately contact their teacher, the principal, the district's Title IX Coordinator, or any other available school employee. Any employee who receives a report or observes an incident of sexual harassment shall notify the Title IX Coordinator.

Once notified, the Title IX Coordinator shall ensure the complaint or allegation is addressed through AR 5145.71 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures or BP/AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures, as applicable. Because a complaint or allegation that is dismissed or denied under the Title IX complaint procedure may still be subject to consideration under state law, the Title IX Coordinator shall ensure that any implementation of AR 5145.71 concurrently meets the requirements of BP/AR 1312.3. 

The Title IX Coordinator shall offer supportive measures to the complainant and respondent, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

The Superintendent or designee shall inform students and parents/guardians of the district's sexual harassment policy by disseminating it through parent/guardian notifications, publishing it on the district's web site, and including it in student and staff handbooks. All district staff shall be trained regarding the policy.

Instruction/Information

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all district students receive age-appropriate information on sexual harassment. Such instruction and information shall include:
  1. What acts and behavior constitute sexual harassment, including the fact that sexual harassment could occur between people of the same sex and could involve sexual violence
  2. A clear message that students do not have to endure sexual harassment under any circumstance
  3. Encouragement to report observed incidents of sexual harassment even when the alleged victim of the harassment has not complained
  4. A clear message that student safety is the district's primary concern, and that any separate rule violation involving an alleged victim or any other person reporting a sexual harassment incident will be addressed separately and will not affect the manner in which the sexual harassment complaint will be received, investigated, or resolved
  5. A clear message that, regardless of a complainant's noncompliance with the writing, timeline, or other formal filing requirements, every sexual harassment allegation that involves a student, whether as the complainant, respondent, or victim of the harassment, shall be investigated and action shall be taken to respond to harassment, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effect on students
  6. Information about the district's procedures for investigating complaints and the person(s) to whom a report of sexual harassment should be made
  7. Information about the rights of students and parents/guardians to file a civil or criminal complaint, as applicable, including the right to file a civil or criminal complaint while the district investigation of a sexual harassment complaint continues
  8. A clear message that, when needed, the district will implement supportive measures to ensure a safe school
    environment for a student who is the complainant or victim of sexual harassment and/or other students during
    an investigation
Disciplinary Actions

Upon completion of an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, any student found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual violence in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action. For students in grades 4-12, disciplinary action may include suspension and/or expulsion, provided that, in imposing such discipline, the entire circumstances of the incident(s) shall be taken into account.

Upon investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual violence toward any student shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with law and the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Record-Keeping

In accordance with law and district policies and regulations, the Superintendent or designee shall maintain a record of all reported cases of sexual harassment to enable the district to monitor, address, and prevent repetitive harassing behavior in district schools.

Regulation 5145.7: Sexual Harassment 
Status: ADOPTED
Original Adopted Date: 11/06/2001 | Last Revised Date: 01/26/2021 | Last Reviewed Date: 01/26/2021

Definitions

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made against another person of the same or opposite sex in the educational setting, under any of the following conditions: (Education Code 212.5; 5 CCR 4916)
  1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of a student's academic status or progress.
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the student.
  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the student's academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.
  4. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for any decision affecting the student regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through any district program or activity.
Any prohibited conduct that occurs off campus or outside of school-related or school-sponsored programs or activities will be regarded as sexual harassment in violation of district policy if it has a continuing effect on or creates a hostile school environment for the complainant or victim of the conduct.

For purposes of applying the complaint procedures specified in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sexual harassment is defined as any of the following forms of conduct that occurs in an education program or activity in which a district school exercises substantial control over the context and respondent: (34 CFR 106.30, 106.44)
  1. A district employee conditioning the provision of a district aid, benefit, or service on the student's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a student equal access to the district's education program or activity
  3. Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in 20 USC 1092 or 34 USC 12291
Examples of Sexual Harassment

Examples of types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment under state and/or federal law, in accordance with the definitions above, include, but are not limited to:
  1. Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations, or propositions
  2. Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions
  3. Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body or overly personal conversation
  4. Sexual jokes, derogatory posters, notes, stories, cartoons, drawings, pictures, obscene gestures, or computer-generated images of a sexual nature
  5. Spreading sexual rumors
  6. Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class
  7. Massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body
  8. Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way
  9. Impeding or blocking movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex
  10. Displaying sexually suggestive objects
  11. Sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual coercion
  12. Electronic communications containing comments, words, or images described above
Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer

The district designates the following individual(s) as the responsible employee(s) to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in accordance with AR 5145.71 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures, as well as to oversee investigate, and/or resolve sexual harassment complaints processed under AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. The Title IX Coordinator(s) may be contacted at:

Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
PO Box 1209
Twentynine Palms CA 92277
(760) 367-9191 ext. 4226

Stacy Smalling
Asst. Superintendent HR
Notifications

The Superintendent or designee shall notify students and parents/guardians that the district does not discriminate on the basis of sex as required by Title IX and that inquiries about the application of Title IX to the district may be referred to the district's Title IX Coordinator and/or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. (34 CFR 106.8)

The district shall notify students and parents/guardians of the name or title, office address, email address, and telephone number of the district's Title IX Coordinator. (34 CFR 106.8)

A copy of the district's sexual harassment policy and regulation shall:
  1. Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year (Education Code 48980; 5 CCR 4917)
  2. Be displayed in a prominent location in the main administrative building or other area where notices of district rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct are posted (Education Code 231.5)
  3. Be summarized on a poster which shall be prominently and conspicuously displayed in each bathroom and locker room at each school. The poster may be displayed in public areas that are accessible to and frequented by students, including, but not limited to, classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and cafeterias. The poster shall display the rules and procedures for reporting a charge of sexual harassment; the name, phone number, and email address of an appropriate school employee to contact to report a charge of sexual harassment; the rights of the reporting student, the complainant, and the respondent; and the responsibilities of the school. (Education Code 231.6)
  4. Be posted, along with the name or title and contact information of the Title IX Coordinator, in a prominent location on the district's website in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students. (Education Code 234.6; 34 CFR 106.8)
  5. Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new and continuing students at the beginning of each quarter, semester, or summer session (Education Code 231.5)
  6. Appear in any school or district publication that sets forth the school's or district's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct (Education Code 231.5)
  7. Be included, along with the name or title and contact information of the Title IX Coordinator, in any handbook provided to students or parents/guardians (34 CFR 106.8)
The Superintendent or designee shall also post the definition of sex discrimination and harassment as described in Education Code 230, including the rights set forth in Education Code 221.8, in a prominent location on the district's web site in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students. (Education Code 234.6)

Reporting Complaints

A student or parent/guardian who believes that the student has been subjected to sexual harassment by another student, an employee, or a third party or who has witnessed sexual harassment is strongly encouraged to report the incident to a teacher, the principal, the district's Title IX Coordinator, or any other available school employee. Within one school day of receiving such a report, the principal or other school employee shall forward the report to the district's Title IX Coordinator. Any school employee who observes an incident of sexual harassment involving a student shall, within one school day, report the observation to the principal or Title IX Coordinator. The report shall be made regardless of whether the alleged victim files a formal complaint or requests confidentiality. 

When a report or complaint of sexual harassment involves off-campus conduct, the Title IX Coordinator shall assess whether the conduct may create or contribute to the creation of a hostile school environment. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that a hostile environment may be created, the complaint shall be investigated and resolved in the same manner as if the prohibited conduct occurred at school.

When a verbal or informal report of sexual harassment is submitted, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with applicable district complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedures

All complaints and allegations of sexual harassment by and against students shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with law and district procedures. The Title IX Coordinator shall review the allegations to determine the applicable procedure for responding to the complaint. All complaints that meet the definition of sexual harassment under Title IX shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with AR 5145.71 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures. Other sexual harassment complaints shall be investigated and resolved pursuant to BP/AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures.

If sexual harassment is found following an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee in consultation with the Coordinator, shall take prompt action to stop the sexual harassment, prevent recurrence, implement remedies, and address any continuing effects.

California Education Code 221.8

The following list of rights, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), may be used by the department for purposes of Section 221.6:

  1. You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
  2. You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
  3. You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
  4. You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
  5. You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
    1. Equipment and supplies.
    2. Scheduling of games and practices.
    3. Transportation and daily allowances.
    4. Access to tutoring.
    5. Coaching.
    6. Locker rooms.
    7. Practice and competitive facilities.
    8. Medical and training facilities and services.
    9. Publicity.
  6. You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
  7. You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
  8. You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
  9. You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
  10. You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
(Added by renumbering Section 271 by Stats. 2015, Ch. 43, Sec. 3. (AB 1538) Effective January 1, 2016.)


How to File a Complaint Under Title IX

Complaints pertaining to Title IX issues should be filed utilizing the procedures detailed below as found at the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

"If you believe you have been discriminated or retaliated against on any of these bases by a covered entity, you may file a complaint using either the electronic complaint form or the fillable PDF complaint form linked at the bottom of this page. 

If you choose to file a complaint using either method, you will be asked to provide your name, address, and email address; the name and address of the person discriminated against; and the name and address of the entity you believe discriminated. 

You also will be asked which of the kinds of discrimination forms the basis for your complaint. You will need to provide a description of the conduct that you believe is discriminatory. 

By law, complaints of discrimination must ordinarily be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If your complaint involves matters that occurred longer ago than this and you are requesting a waiver, you will be asked to show good cause why you did not file your complaint within the 180-day period.

You will be asked whether you have tried to resolve the matter using a grievance procedure or by filing with another agency.

In addition to the complaint, a signed Consent Form may be required. When disclosure of the identity of the complainant is necessary in order to resolve the complaint, OCR will require written consent before proceeding. The complainant will be informed that the complaint will be closed if written consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and is not received within 20 calendar days of the date of the acknowledgement letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant. The signed Consent Form may be submitted to OCR by mail, fax, email (with a scanned attachment), or in person. 

When OCR has determined that consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and OCR has not received a signed Consent Form by the 15th calendar day of the date of the acknowledgment letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant, OCR will contact the complainant (e.g., by phone) to inform the complainant that the complaint will be closed if the signed Consent Form is not received within 5 calendar days. If OCR does not receive signed written Consent Form, the complaint will be dismissed, and the complainant informed in writing. 

A complainant on behalf of or regarding to another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual, including when a parent files for a student over the age of 18. Where the person is a minor (under the age of 18) or a legally incompetent adult, the Consent Form must be signed by that person’s parent or legal guardian. Parental or legal guardian consent may not be required for persons under the age of 18 if they are emancipated under state law and are therefore considered to have obtained majority. Proof of emancipation or incompetence must be provided. 

If you submit the completed electronic complaint form, it will be routed to the OCR office with authority to handle complaints in the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your electronic complaint has been received and reviewed. 

If you select the fillable PDF complaint form, once you complete the complaint form and Consent Form, you should print them out, sign them; and mail them (or email scanned copies of the signed forms) to the Enforcement Office with authority for the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your complaint has been received and reviewed. 

You may now continue to either the electronic complaint form or the fillable PDF complaint form, or you may return to the OCR Complaint Process page at

Complaints pertaining to Title IX issues should be filed utilizing the procedures detailed above as found at the US Department of Education” Office of Civil Rights. 

The OCR office for California is located at:

San Francisco Office 
Office for Civil Rights 
U.S. Department of Education 
50 United Nations Plaza 
Mail Box 1200, Room 1545 
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: 415-486-5555 
FAX: 415-486-5570; TDD: 800-877-8339 

The OCR National Headquarters is located at:

U.S. Department of Education 
Office for Civil Rights 
Lyndon Baines Johnson 
Department of Education Bldg 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW 
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Telephone: 800-421-3481 
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339 

Complaints pertaining to Title IX issues can also be filed utilizing the Uniform Complaint Procedures as identified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 4600 et seq.  For more information on the UCP complaints and appeals visit the CDE’s Uniform Complaint Procedures and Resolution of Discrimination/Harassment Complaint pages.





Reporting Sexual Harassment Guidelines

 

© 2022. Morongo Unified School District. All Rights Reserved.