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ACEA

DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT POLICY


The Georgetown Public School District is committed to equal employment and educational opportunity for all employees, applicants and students and does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its services, programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or handicap in all aspects of employment and education.

The Georgetown Public School District is also committed to maintaining a school and work environment free of harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap. The Georgetown Public School District expects all employees, students, and other members of the school community to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

This policy has been developed to ensure that the educational opportunities of all students, and the employment conditions of all employees, are not threatened or limited by such discrimination and/or harassment, and to ensure that individuals are free to work, learn, and develop relationships without fear of intimidation, humiliation, or degradation.

It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or student of the Georgetown Public School District, or any other person having business with the Georgetown Public School District to discriminate against and/or harass another employee, adult member of the school community, student, applicant for employment, or other person having business to conduct with the Georgetown Public School District as defined below.

Unlawful and Prohibited Conduct

Unlawful and prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, bullying or unwelcome actions which are related to a person’s sex/gender, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

Discrimination or harassment based on the person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation consists of conduct that:


has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or offensive work or education environment;


has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a person’s work or academic performance;


or otherwise adversely effects a person’s academic standing or employment opportunities.


Sexual/Gender Discrimination/Harassment

Unlawful and prohibited conduct consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct, or communication of a sexual nature when:

submission to, or rejection of, such conduct or communication is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, education or academic achievement;

submission to, or rejection of, such behavior is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions;

such behavior unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive work or educational environment.

By definition, sexual harassment is not limited to prohibited conduct by a male toward a female, by a supervisory employee toward a non-supervisory employee or by a teacher toward a student. The Georgetown Public School District’s view of sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following considerations:

1. A male, as well as a female, may be the victim of sexual harassment, and a female, as well as a male, may be the harasser.

2. The harasser does not have to be the victim’s supervisor. He/she may also be an agent of the employee, a supervisory employee who does not supervise the victim, a non-supervisory employee (co-worker) or, in some circumstances, even a non-employee such as a parent or a student harassing another student.

3. The victim may be the same or opposite sex as the harasser.

4. The victim does not have to be the person towards whom unwelcome sexual conduct is directed. The victim may also be someone who is affected by such conduct when it is directed toward another person. For example, inappropriate attempts of humor or the sexual harassment of one female (or male) employee may create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment for another female (or male) or may unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work or educational performance.

5. Sexual harassment does not depend on whether the victim’s employment status is impacted as a result of the harasser’s conduct. For example, improper sexual advances which do not result in loss of a promotion by the victim or the discharge of the victim may, nonetheless constitute sexual harassment where they unreasonably interfere with the victim’s work or education, or create a harmful or offensive work or educational environment.

Grievance Procedure


Reporting

All members of the Georgetown Public School District community are urged to resolve problems fairly and informally prior to the commencement of a formal investigation. If possible, an alleged violation may, however, be brought forward for a formal investigation at any time.

Any person who alleges discrimination on the basis of disability relative to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a person, who because of a handicap needs or is believed to need special instruction or related services, pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Chapter 766, and/or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, may use the procedure outlined in the Massachusetts Department of Education Parent’s Rights Brochure rather than this Grievance Procedure.

A person with a complaint involving a disability other than that described above may either use this Grievance Procedure or file the complaint with the United States Department of Education at the address provided at the end of the Grievance Procedure.

Any person who believes that a student, teacher, administrator, or other school or non-school personnel has engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy, whether such conduct has been directed at him/her or some other person should report the alleged prohibited conduct immediately to the Program Coordinator of the building where the discrimination and/or harassment was alleged to have occurred. Upon receipt of a report, the Program Coordinator must notify the Title IX Coordinator within twenty-four (24) hours. A student may report an incident of discrimination and/or harassment to any trusted adult who in turn shall notify the Program Coordinator.

If the complaint involves a Program Coordinator, the complaint will be filed directly with the Title IX Coordinator. If the complaint involves the Title IX Coordinator, the complaint will be filed with the Superintendent.

At the completion of an investigation and the appeal process, the complainant will be informed in writing that the alleged harassment was substantiated or not substantiated.

Corrective Action

Upon completion of an investigation and substantiation of the complaint, the Superintendent will take appropriate corrective action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, an apology, direction to stop the offensive behavior, counseling, training, or remediation. In a case involving a complaint against the Title IX Coordinator, the Georgetown Public School District will take such action as appropriate based on the results of the investigation. Action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements and Massachusetts and Federal laws.



Any student or staff member of the Georgetown Public School District who is found to be in violation of this discrimination/harassment policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, or discharge.



Retaliation



The Superintendent will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or school personnel who retaliates in any form against a person who makes a complaint or reports or participates in an investigation of a complaint under this policy. Acts of retaliation may result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or dismissal, even if underlying discrimination and/or harassment is not proven. Retaliation is an independent prohibited and unlawful act.

OTHER LEGAL REMEDIES

An employee, student, or parent acting for a student may file a complaint with the following agencies:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

(Boston Area)

J.F. Kennedy Federal Building, Room 475

Government Center

Boston, MA 02203

Tel. 617-565-3200



Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

Boston Office:

One Ashburton Place, Room 601

Boston, MA 02108

Tel. 617-994-6000



Office of Civil Rights of the

United States Department of Education

Region 1, John W. McCormack Building

Post Office and Court House, Room 707

Boston, MA 02109-4557

Tel. 617-223-9662



Attorney General’s Office

Civil Rights Division

Office of the Attorney General

One Ashburton Place

Boston, MA 02108

Tel. 617-727-2200



Essex District Attorney’s Office

10 Federal Street

5th Floor

Salem, MA 01970

Tel. 978-745-6610



Adopted On: June 27, 2013


GEORGETOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

COMPLAINT REPORT FORM

Complaints must be filed within 30 school days of the alleged discrimination/harassment. The complaint must be in writing. Any person of the grievant’s choosing may assist the grievant with filing the complaint.


Name and school (or address and telephone number, not a student or employee) of the grievant______________________________________________________________________

Name (and address and telephone number if not a student or employee) of the grievant’s representative, if any.___________________________________________________________

Name of the person(s) alleged to have caused the discrimination and/or harassment (respondent).__________________________________________________________________

Description, in as much detail as possible, of the alleged discrimination and/or harassment._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Date(s) of the alleged discrimination and/or harassment.___________________________________________________________________

Name of all persons who have knowledge about the alleged discrimination and/or harassment (witnesses), as can be reasonably determined._________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Description, in as much detail as possible, of how the grievant wants the complaint to be resolved.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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