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7:20 Harassment of Students Prohibited

No person, including a School District employee or agent, or student, shall harass, intimidate, or bully a student on the basis of actual or perceived: race; color; nationality; national origin; military status; unfavorable discharge from military service; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender-related identity or expression; ancestry; age; religion; physical or mental disability; order of protection status; status of being homeless; actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy; association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics; or any other distinguishing characteristic. The District will not tolerate harassing, intimidating conduct, or bullying whether verbal, physical, sexual, or visual, that affects the tangible benefits of education, that unreasonably interferes with a student’s educational performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Examples of prohibited conduct include name-calling, using derogatory slurs, stalking, sexual violence, causing psychological harm, threatening or causing physical harm, threatened or actual destruction of property, or wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above.

Sexual Harassment Prohibited

The District shall provide an educational environment free of verbal, physical, or other conduct or communications constituting harassment on the basis of sex as defined and otherwise prohibited by State and federal law. See policies 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, and 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.

Making a Report or Complaint

Students are encouraged to promptly report claims or incidences of bullying, intimidation harassment, sexual harassment, or any other prohibited conduct to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, Dean of Students, a Complaint Manager or any employee  with whom the student is comfortable speaking. A student may choose to report to a person of the student’s same gender.

Reports under this policy will be considered a report under Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and/or Board policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure. The Nondiscrimination Coordinator and/or Complaint Manager shall process and review the report according to the appropriate grievance procedure.

The Superintendent shall insert into this policy the names, office addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of the District’s current Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers. The Nondiscrimination Coordinator also serves as the District’s Title IX Coordinator. Please see Exhibit 7:20E1

  1. For students, age-appropriate information about the contents of this policy in the District’s student handbook(s), on the District’s website, and, if applicable, in any other areas where policies, rules, and standards of conduct are otherwise posted in each school.
  2. For staff members, this policy in the appropriate employee handbook(s), if applicable, and/or in any other area where policies, rules, and standards of conduct are otherwise made available to staff.

Investigation Process

Any District employee who receive a report or complaint of harassment must promptly forward the report or complaint to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager.  Any employee who fails to promptly comply may be disciplined, up to and including discharge.

Reports and complaints of harassment will be confidential to the greatest extent practicable, subject to the District’s duty to investigate and maintain an educational environment that is productive, respectful, and free of unlawful discrimination, including harassment.

For any report or complaint alleging sexual harassment that, if true, would implicate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.), the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or designee shall consider whether action under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, should be initiated.

For any other alleged student harassment that does not require action under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager or designee shall consider whether an investigation under policies 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and/or 7:190, Student Behavior, should be initiated, regardless of whether a written report or complaint is filed.

Reports That Involve Alleged Incidents of Sexual Abuse of a Child by School Personnel

An alleged incident of sexual abuse is an incident of sexual abuse of a child, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1A(b), that is alleged to have been perpetrated by school personnel, including a school vendor or volunteer, that occurred: on school grounds during a school activity; or outside of school grounds or not during a school activity.

Any complaint alleging an incident of sexual abuse shall be processed and received according to policy 5:90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting, in addition to In addition to reporting the suspected abuse, the complaint shall also be processed under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, or policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.

Enforcement

The Superintendent shall use reasonable measures to inform staff members and students of this policy, such as, by including it in the appropriate handbooks.

Any District employee who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Any third party who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be addressed in accordance with the authority of the Board in the context of the relationship of the third party to the District, e.g., vendor, parent, invitee, etc. Any District student who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension and expulsion consistent with the discipline policy. Any person making a knowingly false accusation regarding prohibited conduct will likewise be subject to disciplinary action

Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation against any person for bringing complaints or providing information about harassment is prohibited (see policies 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure).

Students should report allegations of retaliation to the Building Principal, an administrator, the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, and/or a Complaint Manager.  

LEGAL REF.:  20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., Title IX of the Educational Amendments. 34 C.F.R. Part 106.  105 ILCS 5/10-20.12, 10-22.5, 5/27-1, and 5/27-23.7.  775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq., Illinois Human Rights Act.  23 Ill.Admin.Code §1.240 and Part 200.  Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (1999). Franklin v. Gwinnett Co. Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992).  Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998).  West v. Derby Unified School District No. 260, 206 F.3d 1358 (10th Cir., 2000).

CROSS REF.:  2:260 (Uniform Grievance Policy), 2:265 (Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure), 5:20 (Workplace Harassment Prohibited), 5:90 (Abused and Neglected Child Reporting), 7:10 (Equal Educational Opportunities), 7:180 (Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment), 7:190 (Student Discipline), 7:185 (Teen Dating Violence Prohibited), 7:240 (Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities) 

ADOPTED:   November 22, 2004

REVISED:     June 22, 2009 
March 22, 2010
January 24, 2011
September 28, 2015
January 22, 2018
May 26, 2020

September 28, 2020

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