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1710 Non-discrimination

1710 Non-Discrimination

Anti/Discrimination & Civil Rights Grievance Procedure for Washington County School District - Adopted 9-77; Revised 10-11-94; Revised 8-14-01; Revised 11-9-04; Revised 5-12-15; Revised 8-9-16.

1.     Purpose:

Washington County School District is committed to a work and educational environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work and learn in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Washington County School District expects that all relationships among persons in the office, the school, during activities, and in the classroom to be educationally promoting, and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

Washington County School District has developed this policy to ensure that all its employees and students can work and learn in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Washington County School District will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and are aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately.

2.     Policy:

2.1. District Notice of Non-discrimination (Education):
 
The Washington County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age, pregnancy, or marital status, in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
 
 
Students, Parents, Guardians, or Citizens
who are alleging violations of this Policy
or who are requesting accommodation should contact:
 
Director of Student Services
Washington County School District
121 W Tabernacle St.
St. George, UT 84770
(435) 673-3553 Ext: 5164
Email: ocr_coordinator@washk12.org
 
2.2. District Notice of Equal Employment Opportunity
 
It is the policy of Washington County School District to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Washington County School District prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.
 
Any Employee or Applicant who is alleging violations of this Policy or who has questions or concerns
about anti-discrimination employment related policies should contact:
 
Executive Director of Human Resources
121 West Tabernacle St.
St. George, UT 84770
(435) 673-3553 Ext. 5202
Email: eeoc_coordinator@washk12.org
 
Any Employee or Applicant requesting or interested in obtaining
information about workplace accommodations should contact:
 
ADA and Benefits Coordinator
121 West Tabernacle St.
St. George, UT 84770
(435) 673-3553 Ext. 5119
Email: ada_coordinator@washk12.org
 

3.  Procedures:

3.1 Definitions:
 
3.1.1. Discrimination: the unequal treatment of persons based on certain characteristics.
 
3.1.2. Harassment: is a form of discrimination involving unwelcome conduct based on certain characteristics, targeted at an individual, between persons of the same characteristic or group, and may include subtle actions on the part of the perpetrator to put down the victim.  Harassment does not have to include intent to harm.  Harassment includes, but is not limited to offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objectives or pictures, demeaning stereotypes, and interference with a person’s education or work performance in a manner that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment.
 
3.1.3. Hostile environment:  when harassment conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school; or unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance.
 
3.1.4. Retaliation: unwanted conduct toward a person for reporting discrimination or harassment.
 
3.1.5. Gender Identity:  has the meaning given in UCA § 34A-5-102 and as referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). A person's gender identity can be shown by providing evidence, including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity, or other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held, part of a person's core identity, and not being asserted for an improper purpose.
 

3.2. Prohibitions:

3.2.1. Discrimination
Consistent with Section 2 above, Washington School District prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or age and prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy or breastfeeding status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.
 
3.2.2. Harassment
Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic is strictly prohibited.  In addition to the definition above, under this Policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual (student or employee) because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates.
 
Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the school and/or workplace, during school or work time or using school district equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.
 
3.2.3. Sexual Harassment
 
3.2.3.1. Students:  
Sexual harassment of students is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act where the harassment is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. (DAVIS v. MONROE COUNTY BD. OF ED., 526 U.S. 629 (1999) Sexual harassment is prohibited under this Policy.  
 
Title IX and the District prohibit gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
 
3.2.3.2. Employees or Applicants: 
Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this Policy, “sexual harassment” in the workplace is defined, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the District recognize two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo and b) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to, unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
 
3.2.4. Retaliation
Washington County School District encourages reporting to the appropriately designated employee of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of Washington County School District to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports in accordance with procedures set forth below. Washington County School District prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.
 
3.3. Individuals and Conduct Covered
These policies apply to all students, patrons, applicants, and employees, and prohibits discriminatory conduct engaged in by a student, staff member, administrator, or employees.  Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the educational environment, workplace, classroom, on field trips, or other activities and may result in discipline.
 
3.4. Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation
Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their administration, the school principal, human resources director, or contact the District's Title IX Coordinator or Title VII representative as identified in this policy.
 
Washington County School District encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment and discrimination.
 
Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly in accordance with the procedures set forth below. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.
 
Any teacher, counselor, administrator receiving a report of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation from a student must report the incident to the school principal or designated administrator or/supervisor.  Once a school has notice of possible harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of students whether carried out by employees, other students, or third parties it should take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred and take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end any harassment, eliminate a hostile environment if one has been created, and prevent harassment or discrimination from occurring again.  These steps are the school's responsibility whether or not the student who was harassed makes a complaint or otherwise asks the school to take action.  What constitutes a reasonable response to information about possible discrimination, retaliation, or harassment will differ depending upon the circumstances.
 
3.4.1. Administrative Initial Investigations Procedures:
 
3.4.1.1. Students:
 
  • If a student or the parent of a student provides information or complains about harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of the student, school or district administration must promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.  In all cases the inquiry must be prompt, thorough, and impartial.
  • School administration must warn the accused to not contact the alleged victim or potential witnesses during an investigation.
  • It may be appropriate for a school to take interim measures during the investigation of a complaint.  For instance, if a student alleges that he or she has been sexually assaulted by another student, the school may decide to place the students immediately in separate classes.  If the alleged harasser is a teacher, the student will be removed from the class or the teacher placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the allegations.
  • In cases involving potential criminal conduct, school personnel must immediately notify appropriate law enforcement authorities.  In all cases, schools should make every effort to keep confidential the names of all parties involved, including the complainant, the witnesses, and the accused, except to the extent necessary to carry out an investigation or comply with the law.  The District may conduct its own internal investigation independent of law enforcement officials if necessary.
  • If following the investigation administration concludes that harassment, discrimination, or retaliation has occurred, it should take reasonable, timely, age-appropriate, and effective corrective action, including steps tailored to the specific situation.
  • Appropriate steps must be taken to end the harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For example, school personnel may need to counsel, warn, or take disciplinary action against the harasser to include the possibility of suspension, expulsion, or temporary disciplinary transfer of the student in accordance with the District's Safe School Policy, depending on the severity of the harassment or any record of prior incidents or both.  Additionally, the school may implement restorative practices to promote and strengthen the school culture and promote positive relationships when harm has occurred.
 
3.4.1.2. Employees or Applicants:
 
  • Whenever a harassment, discrimination, or retaliation complaint is made by an employee or applicant for employment, the supervisor or administrator must take action to investigate the complaint or to refer the complaint for investigation even if the victim does not request action. 
  • Investigations should be prompt and commence as soon as possible following receipt of the complaint.
  • The supervisor or administrator must submit a copy of all investigation and interview documentation involving employee harassment, discrimination, or retaliation to the Human Resources Department.
  • If the investigation finds a Washington District employee engaged in harassment, discrimination, or retaliation and there is reason to believe disciplinary action is justified, the supervisor or administrator will determine the level of action to be taken and proceed with the action or forward the recommendation to the Director of Human Resources (District Policy 1450).  The supervisor or administrator will report back to the complainant, notifying him/her in person and in writing regarding the action taken and will instruct the complainant to report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged harasser retaliates against him/her.
 
3.4.2. False Complaints:  
False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) by employees or students may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.
 

3.5. Training

  • All new employees shall receive information about this policy at new employee orientation. All other employees shall be provided information on a regular basis regarding this policy and the District's commitment to a discrimination-free and harassment-free learning and working environment.
  • Administrative employees who have specific responsibilities for investigating and resolving complaints shall receive training on this policy and related legal developments.
  • Principals in each school and program directors shall be responsible for informing students and staff of the terms of this policy, including the procedures established for investigation and resolution of complaints.  School administration must include age appropriate guidance about this Policy in the school's student handbook or in student accessible online resources.
 
3.6. Appeal to the Washington County School District's Board of Education or Superintendent:
If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the Washington County School District’s Board of Education or Superintendent.  The Board of Education and Superintendent will review the complaint, findings, and render a decision regarding the action taken by administration.  At its discretion, the Board may convene a panel consisting of two board members and the Superintendent to conduct a hearing as part of the appeal process.
 
3.7. Expanded Review of a Complaint:
Students, parents, employees or applicants alleging employment practices discrimination or other related violation of civil rights may also file a formal complaint at any time with the following agencies:
 
3.7.1. Employees or Applicants should file with:
 
*Utah Anti-Discrimination &
Labor Division  
160 East 300 South, 3rd Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6600
(801) 530-6800 or
(800) 530-5090
Office hours:
Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
                                   
**Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Denver Office
303 E. 17th Avenue, Suite 410
Denver, Colorado   80203
 
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M-F
Phone: 303-866-1300/1301 or
1-800-669-4000
FAX: 303-866-1085
TTY: 1-800-669-6820
 
* Individuals must file their charge of employment discrimination with Utah Anti-Discrimination & Labor Division UALD within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
 
** If more than 180 days have passed since the last date of harm, but less than 300 days, the charge must be sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its consideration.
 
3.7.2. Parents or Students should file with:
 
Utah State Office of Education
250 E 500 S
Salt Lake City, UT   84111
(801) 538-7500
Web: http://schools.utah.gov
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C.   20202-1100
 
Denver Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building
1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 310
Denver, CO   80204-3582
 
Telephone: 303-844-5695
FAX: 303-844-4303; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.Denver@ed.gov

 

References:

  • Abuse and Neglect:  Utah Code Ann § 62A-4a-402 Et. Seq.  When any person has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately notify the nearest peace officer, law enforcement agency, or office of the Division of Child and Family Services.
  • Discrimination in Employment: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)) and Utah Code Ann § 34A-5-102 Et Seq. ( As modified by  S.B 296 Utah 2015 General  Session) http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm
  • Discrimination on the basis of Age: The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (29 U.S.C. § 631) and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 110). 
  • Discrimination on the basis of Disability: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794) and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R Part 104). Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 - 12134) and its implementing regulations (28 C.F.R. Part 35).  (For persons requesting accommodations refer to www.washk12.org Section 504 and/or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).)
  • Discrimination on the basis of Gender: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 106).
  • Discrimination on the basis of Race, Color, or National Origin: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000(d)) and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 100
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Regulations:  29 C.F.R. § 1600 Et. Seq.  https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/chapter-XIV
  • Sexual harassment:  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual  harassment  of a student.  An educational institution cannot deny or limit, on the basis of sex, the student's ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the school's program.
  • Utah Criminal Code:  UCA §§ 76-5-401 through 76-5-407. Criminal Code provisions regarding unlawful sexual intercourse, rape, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sodomy and forcible sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault.
  • Utah Educator Standards:  Utah Administrative Code R277-515, which requires that the professional educator shall familiarize himself with professional ethics and is responsible for compliance with applicable professional standards.

 

Form 555-Anti-Discrimination & Civil Rights Investigation Form