Title IX Discrimination and Harassment Policies

For Students and Staff Members

 

Title IX provides that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

 

It is the policy of THE SCHOOL that students should not be subjected to forms of unlawful discrimination or harassment, while at school or school-sponsored activities. Furthermore, the policy’s intent is to address the issue in a proactive manner through the establishment of a system for educating students and staff at the School regarding the identification, prevention, intervention, and reporting of such anti-social acts. The School acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring and inviting school environment to facilitate student learning and achievement. The School strives to model an inclusive environment and prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender or sex, including sexual orientation and LGBTQ+ identification. The School will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment in any of its educational or employment activities or programs based on such protected classifications. 

 

A. PROHIBITED BEHAVIORS AND CONSEQUENCES

1. Discrimination or Harassment

Students, employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors are expected to behave in a civil and respectful manner. In accordance with Title IX, the School expressly prohibits discrimination or harassment, based on sex or gender and prohibits sexual harassment (including sexual violence) and gender-based harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, requests for sexual favors in exchange for benefits (quid pro quo), and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.  In accordance with Title IX, the School also prohibits gender-based harassment, which is unwelcome conduct based on a student’s sex, harassing conduct based on a student’s failure to conform to sex stereotypes.

Sex-based harassment can be carried out by school employees, other students, and third parties. All students can experience sex-based harassment, including male and female students, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and students of different races, national origins, and ages. Title IX protects all students from sex-based harassment, regardless of the sex of the parties, including when they are members of the same sex.

2. Retaliation

The School prohibits intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, 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 Title IX. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation. As such, the School prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person for reporting or intending to report violations of this policy, supporting someone for reporting or intending to report a violation of this policy, or participating in the investigation of reported violations of this policy. After consideration of the nature and circumstances of the reprisal or retaliation and in accordance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations, the Head of School or designee shall determine the consequences and remedial action for a person found to have engaged in reprisal or retaliation.

The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.  Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under Title IX does not constitute retaliation prohibited under this policy, provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.

 

B. APPLICATION OF POLICY

This policy prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment by students, employees, volunteers, contractors, and visitors. This policy is intended to apply to student’s vis a via other students, faculty, staff, volunteers/visitors, or contractors. This policy also applies to employees, volunteers/visitors, and contractors. This policy applies to behavior that takes place within the School’s “education program or activity,” which includes, but is not necessarily limited to, behavior:

1. in any school building or on any school premises before, during or after school hours;

2. on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;

3. at any bus stop;

4. during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;

5. at any time or place when the individual is subject to the oversight and authority of school personnel;

6. at any time or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools; and

7. while using school or personal electronic communications, including employee and student emails, text messaging, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogging, websites and social networking websites (i.e., Snapchat or Instagram).

 

C. DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this policy ONLY, the following definitions apply:

1. Discrimination

Discrimination means any act or failure to act that unreasonably and unfavorably differentiates treatment of others based solely on the basis of gender or sex (including transgender and LGBTQ+ identification). Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.

2. Harassment

Prohibited harassment, including sexual harassment, under this policy means conduct on the basis of sex/gender that satisfies one or more of the following:

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

 

  1. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an education program, employment, or activity (i.e., hostile environment)

 

  1. Sexual assault (as defined by Clery Act), or "dating violence," "domestic violence" and "stalking" (as defined by Violence Against Women Act).

 

For purposes of this policy, “hostile environment” means that the harassment is objectively severe and pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is harassment and must be based on sex or gender. A hostile environment may be created through pervasive or persistent misbehavior if sufficiently severe.

Examples of behavior that may constitute harassment include, but are not limited to, verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, lewd propositions, exclusion from peer groups, extortion of money or possessions, implied or stated threats, assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching or any physical interference with normal work or movement, and visual insults, such as derogatory posters or cartoons. Legitimate age-appropriate pedagogical techniques are not considered harassment. Harassment, including sexual or gender-based harassment, is not limited to specific situations or relationships. It may occur between fellow students or co-workers, between supervisors and subordinates, between employees and students, or between non-employees, including visitors, and employees or students. Harassment may occur between members of the opposite sex or the same sex.

Examples of sexually harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to, deliberate, unwelcome touching that has sexual connotations or is of a sexual nature, suggestions or demands for sexual involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats, pressure for sexual activity, continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual, sexual violence, or the display of sexually suggestive drawings, objects, pictures or written materials. Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, as well as intimidation or hostility based on sex, but not involving sexual activity or language, may be combined with incidents of sexually harassing conduct to determine if the incidents of sexually harassing conduct are sufficiently serious to create a sexually hostile environment.

Gender-based harassment is also a type of harassment. Gender-based harassment may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, as well as intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping but not involving conduct of a sexual nature.

3. Conduct Not Covered by This Policy

Conduct that does not meet the definitions set forth above in this Title IX Policy are not subject to the School’s Title IX Policy or any reporting/grievance procedures that govern Title IX matters. However, such conduct may still constitute a violation of other School policy, including the School’s Code of Conduct, non-discrimination policy, and bullying policy. Please refer to and follow those policies for such conduct.

 

TO REPORT A VIOLATION OF THIS POLICY: PLEASE REFER TO THE SCHOOLS TITLE IX REPORTING AND GRIEVANCE POLICY.

 

This Policy as it pertains to Title IX shall remain in effect to the extent required by law.

 

Title IX Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

 

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

 

Designation of a Coordinator

A. The SCHOOL is a recipient of federal funds and must designate at least one professional employee as the Title IX Coordinator to oversee compliance efforts and ensure all Title IX complaints are investigated and that the School follows its Reporting and Grievance Policy.

B. All students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, unions, and parents/legal guardians must be notified of the names, office address(es), and telephone number(s) of the designated Title IX coordinator(s).

 

Dissemination of Policy

The SCHOOL’s policy of nondiscrimination must be prominently included in each student handbook, bulletin, catalog, booklet, announcement, brochure, student application form, website, or other publication distributed to students, potential students, parents, and any other persons benefiting from the SCHOOL's activities and programs. The name and contact information (office address , telephone number, fax number, email address ) of the Title IX Coordinator must also be included in this announcement and on the SCHOOL website.

 

Monitoring Compliance

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the overall implementation of Title IX for the SCHOOL and coordinating the institution's compliance with Title IX in all areas covered by the implementing regulations. The major responsibility is the prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination. Other major monitoring duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Admissions and Recruitment

  • Educational Programs and Activities: Comparable Facilities, Access to Course Offerings, Counseling and Related Materials, Participation in Extra-curricular Activities.

  • Financial Assistance, Employment Assistance, Health Services and Insurance, Marital/Parental Status, Athletics and Physical Education.

  • Employment in Education Programs and Activities: Employment Criteria, Recruitment, Compensation, Job Classification, Fringe Benefits, Marital or Parental Status, Advertising, Pre-employment Activities

 

 

Other areas of consideration include:

• Participating in the development and implementation of the SCHOOL’s sexual harassment policy. Be aware of new needs which may dictate changes or revisions in existing policies or practices. For example, since sexual harassment is a violation of Title IX, you should include a prohibition of sexual harassment in the SCHOOL's list of disciplinary infractions.

• Assisting faculty, counselors and administrators in complying with Title IX, and when a need arises, planning remedial actions.

• Making your presence known in the community by disseminating civil rights information or by speaking at parent-teacher group meetings, social or professional organization meetings, and other community functions.

• Serving as a resource on Title IX/gender issues.

• Monitoring and evaluating the SCHOOL’s Title IX compliance efforts and making recommendations for any appropriate changes, including assisting/facilitating needed training for faculty and staff with respect to Title IX regulations.

• Providing updated information to schools on Title IX implementation and issues (e.g. impact of new regulations on school policy, and faculty/staff training).

  • Identifying and disseminating information about Title IX educational resources (organizations, individuals, print, internet, and audio-visual).

 

Grievance Procedures

Adoption and publication of procedures providing prompt and equitable resolution of complaints is critical. Nondiscrimination policy notices and their attendant Grievance Procedures must be made public and disseminated throughout the educational community. Develop Title IX grievance procedures for students and teachers; give public notice of the procedures and the name and contact information of the school system Title IX coordinator.

Have copies of the grievance procedure and any related forms available in schools and libraries to students, parents, or school personnel alleging sexual harassment or discrimination. Assist them in filing their grievance and oversee the step-by-step procedure to be sure that set time frames are met. Assist administrative personnel who need a better understanding of the grievance based on Title IX. Keep meticulous records of all grievances filed and subsequent proceedings.

In carrying out this responsibility, whenever a complaint is filed, the Title IX coordinator shall appoint or assist in appointing an independent investigator to investigate any complaint filed under the School’s grievance procedures. While the Title IX coordinator will not conduct the investigation of complaints, she or he should receive information about any grievance filed. This will allow the SCHOOL to identify any patterns and repeat offenders that may be missed when grievances are handled by several individuals. The coordinator should also receive sufficient information throughout the process so that she or he can provide guidance or information to ensure that the SCHOOL carries out its responsibilities under Title IX. The Title IX coordinator should also be sufficiently knowledgeable about the requirements of the regulations to advise the institution about policies and practices which may violate Title IX.

 

Core Responsibilities of Title IX Coordinators

• Develop a working knowledge of the federal Title IX (of the Education Amendments of 1972) law and its implementation regulations. Have a copy of Title IX readily available and understand the requirements and the intent of the law. Keep informed of current research and legal and judicial decisions related to Title IX and gender equity.

• Be informed about state laws, regulations and policies on all equity issues, including bullying and harassment and child abuse laws.

• Be knowledgeable of federal and state laws (e.g. ADA, Section 504) prohibiting discrimination against all protected classes (including race, religion and sexual orientation) and assist whenever possible.

• Be sure female and male students participating in work-based learning programs are guaranteed equal treatment by their employers.

• Coordinate with other staff and document an internal self-evaluation of practices and policies with respect to treatment of female and male students, if this responsibility was never completed. If the evaluation was completed by a previous Title IX coordinator, check if the evaluation's remedies for eliminating segregation and discrimination were carried out.

• Provide program development, including in-service training, to eliminate sex discrimination in the SCHOOL. Ensure that all individuals involved in enforcing or ensuring the School’s compliance with Title IX, including investigators and decision-makers, receive training consistent with the School’s Title IX policies, including the Reporting and Grievance policy.

• Attend conferences specifically for Title IX coordinators and/or on gender equity issues generally, and share the information with local administrators, staff, and faculty.

• Provide updated resources on Title IX and gender equity to the SCHOOL.

© 2020 by Embody Productions & Planning. Created with Wix.com

500 1st St, Creswell, NC 27928

252.797.0230

pocosininnovativecharter@gmail.com