Discrimination, Intimidation, and Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, and the Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) Information
DISTRICT BOARD POLICIES (BP) &
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS (AR)
Non-Discrimination in District Programs and Activities: BP 0410
Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP): BP 1312.3 AR 1312.3
Nondiscrimination in Employment: BP 4030 AR 4030
Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment: AR 4031
Sexual Harassment – Personnel: BP 4119.11 AR 4119.11
Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures – Personnel: AR 4119.12
Nondiscrimination/Harassment: BP 5145.3
Sexual Harassment – Students: BP 5145.7 AR 5145.7
Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures – Students: AR 5145.71
Sexual Harassment Defined
Prohibited sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting, under any of the following conditions:
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s academic status or progress.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual.
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the individual’s academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.
Prohibited types of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions.
- Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions.
- Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body, or overly personal conversation.
- Sexual jokes, notes, stories, drawings, pictures, or gestures.
- Spreading sexual rumors.
- Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single gender class.
- Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way.
- Purposefully cornering or blocking normal movements.
- Limiting a student’s access to educational program or resources.
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects, drawings or photographs.
- Profanity, inappropriate offensive and profane language (without intent to harm).
- Sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual coercion.
- Electronic communications containing comments, words, or images described above.
BOARD POLICY 5145.3: NONDISCRIMINATION | HARASSMENT
This policy shall apply to all acts constituting unlawful discrimination or harassment related to school activity or to school attendance occurring within a district school, and to acts which occur off campus or outside of school-related or school-sponsored activities but which may have an impact or create a hostile environment at school.
The Sweetwater Union High School District desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic, extracurricular, and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board of Trustees prohibits, at any school or district activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation and bullying targeted at any student by anyone, based on the student’s actual or perceived age; gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; sex, actual or potential parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently on the basis of sex; race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, immigration status; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The Board shall promote programs that ensure discriminatory practices are eliminated in all district activities.
The Governing Board shall ensure equal opportunities for all students in admission and access to the educational program, guidance and counseling programs, athletic programs, testing procedures, and other activities. School staff and volunteers shall carefully guard against segregation, bias and stereotyping in instruction, guidance and supervision.
The Governing Board prohibits intimidation or harassment of any student by any employee, student or other person in the district. Staff shall be alert and immediately responsive to student conduct which may interfere with another student’s ability to participate in or benefit from school services, activities or privileges.
Students who harass, bully, intimidate and/or retaliate against other students shall be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including counseling, suspension and/or expulsion. An employee who permits or engages in harassment may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
The Governing Board hereby designates the following position as Director for Nondiscrimination to handle complaints regarding discrimination and inquiries regarding the district’s nondiscrimination policies:
Chief Compliance Officer
670 L Street, Suite G
Chula Vista, CA 91911
Any student who feels that he/she is being harassed should immediately contact the Director for Nondiscrimination, the principal or any other staff member. Any student who observes an incident of harassment should report the harassment to a school employee, whether or not the victim files a complaint.
Employees who become aware of an act of harassment shall immediately report the incident to the Director for Nondiscrimination or the site principal. The Director shall maintain a record of all reported cases of unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying to enable the district to monitor, address, and prevent repetitive prohibited behavior in district schools.
BOARD POLICY 5145.7: SEXUAL HARASSMENT (STUDENT)
The Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free of sexual harassment of any student by any employee, student, or other person at school at any school-related activity. 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.
Criminal or civil charges may be brought against the alleged harasser. Sexual harassment may be considered a violation of laws relating to child abuse.
The district strongly encourages any student who feels that he/she is being or has been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity by another student or an adult, or who has experienced off-campus sexual harassment that has a continuing effect on campus, to immediately contact his/her teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee. Any employee who receives a report or observes an incident of sexual harassment shall notify the principal or a district compliance officer. Once notified, the principal or compliance officer shall take the steps to investigate and address the allegation, as specified in the accompanying administrative regulation.
The Superintendent or designee shall take appropriate actions to reinforce the district’s sexual harassment policy.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all district students receive age-appropriate information on sexual harassment. Such instruction and information shall include:
- 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.
- A clear message that students do not have to endure sexual harassment under any circumstance.
- Encouragement to report observed incidents of sexual harassment even where the alleged victim of the harassment has not complained.
- 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.
- 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 prompt action shall be taken to stop any harassment, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effect on students.
- Information about the district’s procedure for investigating complaints and the person(s) to whom a report of sexual harassment should be made.
- 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.
- A clear message that, when needed, the district will take interim 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 and that, to the extent possible, when such interim measures are taken, they shall not disadvantage the complainant or victim of the alleged harassment.
Reporting and Investigating Requirements
Employees are required to report any alleged sexual harassment to the appropriate administrator or be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Students shall be informed to immediately contact a staff member if they feel they are victims of sexual harassment. Within 24 hours, staff shall report complaints of sexual harassment to the principal or designee or to another district administrator. Staff shall similarly report any such incidents they may observe, even if the harassed student has not complained.
The principal/administrator or designee shall immediately investigate any report of the sexual harassment of a student.
Upon verifying that sexual harassment occurred, he/she shall ensure that appropriate action is promptly taken to end the sexual harassment, address its effects on the person subjected to the harassment, and prevent any further instances of the sexual harassment as outlined in Administrative Regulation 5145.7. In addition, the student may file a formal complaint using the district’s uniform complaint procedures.
If the Superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student learner is enrolled determines that the student has committed sexual harassment as defined in Education Code 212.5, which is determined to be sufficiently severe or pervasive as to have an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, the student may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion.
Upon investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual violence toward any student in violation of Education Code Section 212.5 shall be subject to discipline, up to and including having their employment terminated, as appropriate and in accordance with law and the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Investigations Shall be Confidential
The district prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process. Information related to a complaint of sexual harassment shall be confidential to the extent possible, and individuals involved in the investigation of such a complaint shall not discuss related information outside the investigation process.
Superintendent to Develop Regulations
The Superintendent shall formulate such administrative regulations as necessary to implement this Board policy.
UNIFORM COMPLAINT PROCEDURE (UCP)
The Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Trustees recognizes that the district has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs. The Board encourages early resolution of complaints whenever possible. To resolve complaints which may require a more formal process, the Board adopts a uniform system of complaint processes. The UCP shall be used to investigate and resolve complaints regarding the following district programs or activities:
• Adult Education
• After School Education and Safety
• Agricultural Vocational Education
• American Indian Education Centers & Early Childhood Education Program Assessments
• Bilingual Education
• California Peer Assistance & Review Programs for Teachers
• Career Technical and Technical Education & Career Technical and Technical Training
• Career Technical Education (CTE)
• Child Care and Developmental Programs
• Child Nutrition Services
• Compensatory Education
• Consolidated Categorical Aid
• Course Periods Without Educational Content
• Economic Impact Aid
• Education of Pupils on Foster Care & Pupils who are Homeless
• Every Student Succeeds Act / No Child Left Behind
• Local Control Funding Formula & Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP)
• Migrant Education
• Physical Education Instructional Minutes
• Reasonable Accommodations to a Lactating Pupil
• Regional Occupational Centers and Programs
• School Safety Plans
• School Facilities
• Special Education
• Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program
• Unlawful Discrimination (excludes Employment Discrimination)
• Unlawful Pupil Fees
STATE & FEDERAL RESOURCES
California Department of Education – Office of Equal Opportunity
California Department of Education – Uniform Complaint Procedures
United States Department of Education – Office for Civil Rights