Policy 1.2.1

Adopted 12/12/96

POLICY AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the North Shore Regional Vocational School District to promote an educational environment in which all staff and students feel safe, secure, and free from discrimination or harassment of any kind. The North Shore Regional Vocational School District will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sex nor sexual harassment against its employees or its students, and establishes this policy to clearly delineate steps which shall be taken to address allegations of sex discrimination or sexual harassment of employees or students.

DEFINITION

The North Shore Regional Vocational School District Committee adopts the definition of "sexual harassment" as contained within Chapter 151C of the Massachusetts General Laws. Said definition is as follows:

any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (i) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the provision of the benefit, privileges or placement services or as a basis for the evaluation of academic achievement; or (ii) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's education by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive educational environment. Massachusetts General Laws c. 151C, s.1(e).)

Sexual harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated.

IDENTIFYING BEHAVIORS

Sexual harassment may cover a broad range of behaviors, including:

* Unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not

*Sexual epithets, jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding ones sex life, comment on an individual's body, comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess

* Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons

* Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing up against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments

* Inquiries into ones sexual experiences and

* Discussion of ones sexual activities

Such behavior may be student to student, staff to student, student to staff, or staff to staff.

Sexual harassment, or the existence of a sexually hostile environment, is determined from the viewpoint of a reasonable person in the victim's situation.

PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Any individual (staff or student) who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment is encouraged to immediately report the alleged incident to the Title IX, Chapter 622 Coordinator. The District shall designate one female and one male to said position.

The Title IX/Chapter 622 Coordinator shall immediately investigate the complaint. In conducting the investigation, the Title IX/Chapter 622 Coordinator shall act to preserve the privacy rights of the individual making the complaint, and shall involve only those necessary to the investigation in the investigatory process.

COMPLAINT RESOLUTION

Each complaint or concern shall be handled with a non-judgmental attitude, and will be followed through to an appropriate resolution. Desired resolution should focus on changing behavior rather than simply punishing the offender.

Counseling services will be made available to both the alleged victim and those who sexually harass others.

Disciplinary actions against students resulting from cases of sexual harassment shall be clearly addressed in the Student Handbook, and shall be reviewed annually for currency and compliance with existing law.

Disciplinary actions against Faculty shall be consistent with any and all relevant provisions of the Agreement Between the North Shore Educational Association and the District School Committee, particularly Articles III and IX, and with the provisions of M.G.L. C.71, s.42 and s.42D.

Any individual who is found, after investigation, to have engaged in sexual or other forms of harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from counseling to termination of employment or expulsion and may include such other forms of disciplinary action as we deem appropriate under the circumstances.

No individual will be subject to any form of coercion, intimidation, relation, interference, or discrimination for filing a report of harassment. Retaliation against an employee or student for filing a complaint or for cooperating in an investigation is unlawful.

ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY

Annually, the administration shall make all students and staff aware of the identity of the Title IX/Chapter 622 Coordinator, and shall promulgate both the District policy and the grievance procedure to all students and staff.

Further, the administration shall ensure that the training in sexual harassment awareness shall be provided at least annually to all faculty and staff.

Awareness training for students shall be incorporated into the curriculum wherever possible, and all staff will be encouraged to model appropriate behavior and attitudes towards interaction of members of both sexes.

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS:  Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures and Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

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