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Harassment of Students Prohibi...

7:20 Harassment of Students Prohibited

Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment Prohibited

No person, including a 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

Sexual harassment of students is prohibited. Any person, including a district employee or agent, or student, engages in sexual harassment whenever he or she makes sexual advances, requests sexual favors, and engages in other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or sex-based nature, imposed on the basis of sex, that:

  1. Denies or limits the provision of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or that makes such conduct a condition of a student’s academic status; or
  2. Has the purpose or effect of:
  1. Substantially interfering with a student’s educational environment;
  2. Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment;
  3. Depriving a student of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or
  4. Making submission to or rejection of such conduct the basis for academic decisions affecting a student.

The terms “intimidating,” “hostile,” and “offensive” include conduct that has the effect of humiliation, embarrassment, or discomfort. Examples of sexual harassment include touching, crude jokes or pictures, discussions of sexual experiences, teasing related to sexual characteristics, and spreading rumors related to a person’s alleged sexual activities.

Making a Complaint

Students are encouraged to report claims or incidences of bullying, 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 staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. A student may choose to report to a person of the student’s same sex.

An allegation that a student was a victim of any prohibited conduct perpetrated by school personnel, including a school vendor or volunteer, shall be processed and reviewed according to policy 5:90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting, in addition to any response required by this policy.

The Superintendent shall insert into this policy the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the District’s current Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers. At least one of these individuals will be female, and at least one will be male (see, 7:20 E).

  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

Supervisors, Building Principals, or administrators who receive a report or complaint of harassment must promptly forward the report or complaint to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager.  A supervisor or administrator 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.

The District shall investigate alleged harassment of students when the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager becomes aware of an allegation, regardless of whether a written report or complaint is filed.

Alleged Incidents of Sexual Abuse

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 any response required by this policy.

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 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 up to and including discharge, with regard to employees, or suspension and expulsion, with regard to students.

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), 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