Title IX

  Title IX Requirements

 

The Title IX regulation requires schools and colleges to implement specific and continuing steps to inform students and others of the protections against discrimination on the basis of sex.  The county must provide notification of nondiscrimination in educational programs and activities extending to employment and admission.  Lincoln County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, National orgin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities.  The following person has been designated to handle inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policies under Title IX and Section 504

  Dr. Rikki McCormick Lowe, Director of Special Education 

10 Marland Avenue

Hamlin, WV 25523

304.824.5531 ext. 6257

  relowe@k12.wv.us  

 

For further information on Title IX/Section 504 issues the public may call the office of Civil Rights at 1.800.421.3481.  To file a complaint of grievance contact Dr. Rikki McCormick Lowe, Lincoln County Board of Education.

Complaint And Investigate pg #1

Complaint And Investigate pg #2


3362 - RACIAL, SEXUAL, RELIGIOUS/ETHNIC HARASSMENTAND VIOLENCE POLICY

General Statement

    It is the policy of the Lincoln County School system to assure that neither students nor staff are subjected to racial, sexual or religious/ethnic harassment or violence. It is the intent to assure that the learning and working environment is free from any type of harassment or violence. The authority for this policy is Policy 2421 of the West Virginia Department of Education. These regulations apply to any student, staff member, or member of the public during any school-related activity or during any education sponsored event whether in a building or other property used or operated by a county board of education, RESA, or State Department of Education or in another facility being used by any of those agencies.

    The Board prohibits any form of harassment and violence toward students or staff. It shall be the policy of this Board to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of harassment or violence and to discipline any student or employee who violates this policy.

Definitions

    A. Sexual harassment – Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

        1. submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly of obtaining or retaining employment, or of obtaining an education;

        2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment or education;

        3. that conduct or communication has a purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or education;

        4. creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

    Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

        1. unwelcome verbal or written harassment of a sexual nature or abuse;

        2. unwelcome pressure for sexual activity;

        3. unwelcome sexually motivated or inappropriate patting, pinching, or physical conduct;

        4. unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or over threats concerning an individual's employment or educational status;

        5. unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment with regard to an individual's employment or educational status;

        6. unwelcome behavior, verbal or written words or symbols, directed at an individual because of gender;

        7. the use of authority to emphasize the sexuality of a student in a manner that prevents or impairs that student's full enjoyment of educational benefits, climate or opportunities;

        8. unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions from a member of the same or opposite sex;

        9. verbal abuse of a sexual nature, without regard to whether the verbal abuse specifically refers to sexual characteristics at whom the verbal abuse is directed;

        10. verbal or written comments about an individual’s body;

        11. sexually degrading word(s) or actions used to intimidate, describe an individual or to refer to some aspect of the individual’s behavior, appearance, attitude, or conduct;

        12. the display, use or dissemination of sexually suggestive gestures, objects, pictures, and/or jokes.

     It is the responsibility of all students and employees to promote and to maintain an environment free of all types of sexual harassment. Any sexual harassment, as defined, when perpetrated on any student, volunteer, third party or employee by any student, volunteer, third party or employee will be treated as sexual harassment under this policy.

    B. Racial Harassment – Racial harassment consists of physical, verbal, or written conduct relating to an individual’s race when the conduct:

        1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment;

        2. has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance;

        3. otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment or academic opportunities;

        4. racial harassment includes racially degrading word(s) or actions used to intimidate or describe an individual;

        5. the display, use, or dissemination of racially motivated gestures, objects, pictures, and/or jokes;

        6. unwelcome behavior, verbal or written words or symbols, directed at an individual because of race;

        7. conduct, including word(s) or actions, directed toward a person because of their race that tends to distract or otherwise make it more difficult to perform their job and/or achieve an education.

    It is the responsibility of all students and employees to promote and to maintain an environment free of all types of racial harassment. Any racial harassment, as defined, when perpetrated on any student, volunteer, third party or employee by any student, volunteer, third party or employee will be treated as racial harassment under this policy.

     C. Religious/Ethnic Harassment – Religious/ethnic harassment consists of physical, verbal or written conduct which is related to an individual’s religion or ethnic background when the conduct:

        1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment;

        2. has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance;

        3. otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment or academic opportunities;

        4. religious/ethnic degrading word(s) or actions used to intimidate or describe an individual;

        5. the display, use or dissemination of degrading religious/ethnic suggestive gestures, objects, pictures, and/or jokes;

        6. conduct, including word(s) or actions, directed toward a person because of their religion or ethnicity that tends to distract or otherwise make it more difficult to perform their job and/or achieve an education.

    It is the responsibility of all students and employees to promote and to maintain an environment free of all types of religious/ethnic harassment. Any religious/ethnic harassment, as defined, when perpetrated on any student, volunteer, third party or employee by any student, volunteer, third party or employee will be treated as religious/ethnic harassment under this policy.

    D. Sexual Violence – Sexual violence is a physical act of aggression or force or the threat thereof which involves the touching of another’s intimate parts or forcing a person to touch any person’s intimate parts. Intimate parts include the primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast, as well as the clothing covering these areas. Sexual violence may include, but is not limited to:

        1. touching, patting, grabbing or pinching another person's intimate parts, whether that person is of the same sex or the opposite sex;

        2. coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone's intimate parts;

        3. coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another;

        4. threatening to force or coerce sexual acts, including the touching of intimate parts or intercourse, on another;

        5. threatening or forcing exposure of intimate apparel or body parts by removal of clothing.

    E. Racial Violence - Racial violence is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, race.

    F. Religious/Ethnic Violence - Religious/ethnic violence is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, religion or ethnicity.

    G. Assault - Assault is defined as an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or the threat to do bodily harm to another with present ability to carry out the threat.

Reporting Procedures

    A. Any person who alleges racial, sexual, religious/ethnic harassment or violence or any third person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute harassment or violence, should report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate School District official as designated by this policy. The reporting party or complainant is encouraged to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available from the Board office.

        1. In each school building. The building principal shall receive all reports, oral or written, of harassment or violence at the building level. Upon receipt of a report, the principal shall immediately investigate the alleged incident of harassment. If it is concluded that harassment does exist as defined by this policy, the following steps shall be pursued:

             a. If the problem can be satisfactorily resolved by the school (depending on the nature of the incident) it shall be so resolved. The principal shall document the incident, attempts at resolution, and success of those attempts.

             b. When complaints of alleged harassment involve employees as victims or perpetrators, the principal shall forward all information to the Human Rights Officer of the Board. When complaints of alleged harassment involve only students (as victims and perpetrators), reports shall only be forwarded when requested or in unusual circumstances. However, documentation shall be kept and be available if needed.

             c. In any case of continued complaints of harassment or serious charges (involving students or employees) the building principal shall immediately notify the Human Rights Officer.

             d. Failure to investigate and properly act in case of alleged harassment or violence as provided herein will result in disciplinary action. If the complaint involves the building principal, the complaint shall be made directly to the Human Rights Officer.

    

        2. District-Wide: The Title IX Coordinator shall serve as Human Rights Officer for the Board of Education and shall receive reports or complaints of harassment from any individual, employee or victim of harassment and from building principals as outlined above. If the complaint involves the Title IX Coordinator, the complaint or report shall be filed directly with the Superintendent, who shall then be responsible for the investigation and recommendation described in paragraph IV of this policy. The name of the Title IX Coordinator, including a mailing address and telephone number, shall be conspicuously posted in the office of each school building and in other buildings to which employees of the Board are assigned to work.

    B. Submission of a complaint or report of harassment will not affect the future employment, grades, or work assignments of the person who submits the complaint or report.

    C. Use of formal reporting forms is recommended, but not mandatory.

    D. The right to confidentiality, for both the accuser, and the accused, will be respected consistent with the School District’s legal obligations and with the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred.

    E. Investigation and Recommendation: Upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging harassment or violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator shall immediately authorize an investigation. This investigation may be conducted by an official or officials of the School District or by a third part or parties designated by the Superintendent. The investigating party shall provide a written report of the status of the investigation within ten (10) working days to the Superintendent and Title IX Coordinator. If the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the report shall be submitted to the President of the Board.

The following items shall be included in the investigation:

    1. The circumstances of the alleged incident, the nature of the harassment, the relationships between the parties involved, and any other contextual factors;

    2. Personal interviews may be conducted with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint was filed, and any others who have knowledge of the alleged incident or circumstances which may have given rise to the alleged incident;

    3. Any documents or other evidence deemed pertinent to the investigation.

     F. Protection of the complainant: School officials may at their discretion take immediate steps to protect the complainant, student(s), and employee(s) pending completion of an investigation of an alleged incident in violation of this policy.

    G. Recommendations: The Title IX Coordinator shall make a report to the Superintendent upon completion of the investigation. This report shall include the validity of the complaint. If the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the report shall be made to the President of the Board.

Action And Sanctions

    A. Upon receipt that a complaint is valid, the Lincoln County School District will take such action as deemed appropriate based on the results of the investigation.

    B. A substantiated charge against an employee shall subject that staff member to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the system.

    C. A substantiated charge against a student in the school system shall subject that student to disciplinary action as outlined in the Code of Conduct for students, which may include suspension or expulsion.

Right to Appeal

Any employee or student determined to be in violation of this Policy on Racial, Sexual, and Religious/Ethnic Harassment or Violence has the right to appeal to the Lincoln County Board of Education concerning the findings of the investigation and/or the disciplinary procedures applied. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the Board within ten (10) working days of any decision rendered regarding harassment or violence. Likewise, any complainant not satisfied with the results of an investigation of alleged harassment or violence or the disciplinary procedures applied has the right of appeal to the Board of Education within ten (10) working days of the decision on the alleged harassment or violation of this policy.

Right To Alternative Complaint Procedures

These procedures outlined in this policy do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, filing an employee grievance under WV Code 18-29-1, et seq., filing a citizen’s appeal under West Virginia Board of education policy 7211, filing a Title IX grievance under the appropriate procedures, initiating civil actions, or seeking redress under State criminal statutes and/or Federal law.

Sexual Harassment As Abuse

Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment may constitute child and/or sexual abuse under Chapter 49 of the West Virginia Code. In such situations, the School District shall comply with the provisions of law for reporting such abuse.

Notification

Notice of this policy will be circulated to all schools and departments of the Lincoln County Schools and incorporated in teacher and student materials. Training sessions on this policy and the prevention of racial, sexual, religious/ethnic harassment and violence shall be held for teachers and students in all schools on an annual basis. This policy or a summary shall be conspicuously posted throughout all facilities of the Lincoln County Schools in areas accessible to students and staff members. This policy shall appear in student and staff handbooks or a copy distributed to all students, faculty, and staff. The policy shall be reviewed bi-annually for compliance with State and Federal law and State Board of Education policy.

Discipline

Disciplinary actions, pursuant to this policy, may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, expulsion, or immediate discharge to end racial, sexual, religious/ethnic harassment and violence, and prevent its recurrence.