FILE:  GAEAA

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

 

I.  

GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

 

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by Federal and State law.  It is the policy of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment.  This policy of the School Board specifically prohibits all forms of sexual harassment.

 

It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee, non-employee volunteer, or board member of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board to harass a student, an employee or non-employee volunteer through conduct or communication of sexual nature as defined by this policy.

 

The School Board through the Superintendent of Schools or designee will act to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of sexual harassment and to discipline any employee or non-employee volunteer who sexually harasses a student, employee, or non-employee volunteer of the School Board.

 

II.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED

 

A.

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

 

1.

Submission to such conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining or retaining employment, of promotion, or of a student's education; or

 

2.

Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions affecting an individual's employment or promotion or a student's education including any aid, benefits, services or treatment; or

 

3.

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

 

B.

Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to:

 

1.

verbal harassment or abuse;

 

2.

uninvited letters, telephone calls, or materials of a sexual nature;

 

3.

inappropriate and uninvited leaning over, cornering, patting or pinching;

 

4.

uninvited sexually suggestive looks or gestures;

 

5.

intentional brushing against a student's or an employee's body;

 

6.

uninvited pressure for dates;

 

7.

demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual's employment, promotion, or educational status;

 

8.

uninvited sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions;

 

9.

demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment with regard to an individual's employment, promotion or educational status;

 

10.

any sexually motivated unwelcome touching; or

 

11.

attempted or actual rape or sexual assault.

 

III. 

REPORTING PROCEDURES

 

Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment by an employee or non-employee volunteer of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, or any third person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment should report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate School Board employee as designated by this policy.  If criminal activity is involved, a victim should also report the incident to the police.  The School Board encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available in the administrative office of each building or available at the School Board's central office receptionist's desk.

 

A.

In Each School Building.  The building principal is to designate the administrators to receive oral or written reports of sexual harassment at the school building level.  There shall be at least one male and one female designated to receive the reports.  Students are encouraged to make reports to a counselor.  Upon receipt of a report involving an employee or non-employee volunteer, the designated administrator must notify the Director of Personnel and the Principal.  A written report will be forwarded simultaneously to the Director of Personnel.  If the report was given verbally, the designated administrator shall reduce it to written form within 24 hours and forward it to the Director of Personnel.  Failure to forward any sexual harassment report or complaint as provided herein will result in disciplinary action.  Complaints may also be filed directly with the Director of Personnel.

 

B.

Other sites.  The persons designated by the Superintendent of Schools at each administrative, support or maintenance site are responsible for receiving oral or written reports.  Upon receipt of a report the designated person shall follow the procedure outlined in paragraph A, above and notify the Director of Personnel.

 

C.

System-Wide.  The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board hereby designates the Director of Personnel to receive reports or complaints of sexual harassment from any individual, employee or victim of sexual harassment and also from the building administrators or designated persons as outlined above.  If the complaint involves the Director of Personnel, the complaint shall be filed directly with the Superintendent of Schools.

 

D.

Notice of Policy.  Each principal or other person in charge of a building or site owned or operated by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board shall conspicuously post in each building or site the names of the persons designated to receive complaints and the name of the Director of Personnel, including a mailing address and telephone number, together with a copy of this policy.

 

E.

Submission of a complaint or report of sexual harassment will not affect the individual's future employment, promotion, grades, or work assignments.

 

F.

Use of formal reporting forms is not mandatory.

 

The School Board will respect the confidentiality of the complainant and the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed as much as possible, consistent with the School Board's legal obligations and the necessity to investigate allegations of harassment and take corrective or disciplinary action when the conduct has occurred.

 

IV.

INVESTIGATION AND RECOMMENDATION

 

A.

By authority of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, the Director of Personnel, upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging sexual harassment by an employee or non-employee volunteer, shall immediately authorize an investigation.  This investigation may be conducted by School Board employees or by a third party designated by the Assistant Superintendent of Executive Services.  The investigating party shall provide a written report of the status of the investigation within ten (10) working days to the Director of Personnel.

 

B.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint.  The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator or the Director of Personnel.

 

C.

In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the Director of Personnel should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the sexual advances, relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

 

D.

The Director of Personnel may utilize informal procedures to handle complaints when the harasser agrees to a penalty and apologizes to the victim.

 

E.

The School Board's Director of Personnel shall make a report to the Superintendent of Schools upon completion of the investigation involving an employee or non-employee volunteer.  The report may include a finding that the complaint was unfounded, informally resolved, or a recommendation to the Superintendent of Schools for disciplinary action.  No record of an unfounded or unsubstantiated complaint will be filed in an employee's personnel file.

 

V. 

ACTIONS

 

A.

Upon receipt of a recommendation that the complaint is valid involving an employee or non-employee volunteer, which has not been informally resolved, the Superintendent of Schools will take such action as appropriate based on the results of the investigation.

 

B.

The result of the investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures involving an employee or non-employee volunteer will be reported in writing to the complainant and the alleged harasser by the Director of Personnel.  The report will document any action taken as a result of the complaint.

 

VI.

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

 

The School Board will 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 relating to a sexual harassment complaint.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment at the time of a report or any time after a report.

 

VII. 

NON-HARASSMENT

 

The School Board recognizes that not every advance or consent of a sexual nature constitutes harassment.  Whether a particular action or incident is a personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.  False accusations of sexual harassment can have a serious detrimental effect on innocent parties.

 

VIII.

RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

 

These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include the Board's Grievance policy, filing charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office for Civil Rights, initiating civil action or seeking redress under state criminal statutes and/or federal law.

 

IX.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS SEXUAL ABUSE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY

 

Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment of a student may constitute sexual abuse under the Louisiana Children's Code.

 

In such situations, School Board personnel shall comply with Article 609(A) of the Louisiana Children's Code and directly report the sexual abuse to the Child Protection Unit of the Louisiana Department of Social Services.  Also, activity of a criminal nature should be reported by the victim to the police.

 

X.

DISCIPLINE

 

Any action taken pursuant to this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable statutes and School Board policies.  The School Board and Superintendent of Schools will take such disciplinary action for employees and non-employee volunteers it deems necessary and appropriate, including warning, transfer, suspension or immediate discharge to end sexual harassment and prevent its recurrence.

 

XI. 

PREVENTION

 

Prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment.  The Superintendent of Schools shall provide for additional training of supervisory personnel, principals, assistant principals and counselors by means of workshops and in-service programs.  All supervisors shall provide training and information to all employees concerning this policy and its implementation.  Principals shall include appropriate programs for students at the start of each school year and as necessary.

 

 

Ref:     42 USC 2000e (Civil Rights - Definitions)

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

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยง17:81

Board minutes, 9-23-93

 

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board