GAAC: Sexual Harassment

The board of education is committed to providing a positive and productive working and learning environment, free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the school district. Sexual harassment of employees or students of the district by board members, administrators, certificated and support personnel, students, vendors, and any others having business or other contact with the school district is strictly prohibited.

Sexual harassment is unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex un­der Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination. All forms of sexual harassment are prohibited at school, on school property, and at all school-sponsored activities, programs or events. Sexual harassment against individuals associated with the school is prohibited, whether or not the harassment occurs on school grounds.

It shall be a violation of this policy for any student, employee or third party (visitor, vendor, etc.) to sexually harass any student, employee, or other individual associated with the school. It shall further be a violation for any employee to discourage a student or another employee from filing a complaint, or to fail to investigate or refer for investigation, any complaint lodged under the provisions of this policy. Violation of this policy by any employee shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the ba­sis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) 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.

Sexual harassment may result from verbal or physical conduct or writ­ten or graphic material. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to: verbal harassment or abuse; pressure for sexual activity; repeated remarks to a person, with sexual or demeaning implication; unwelcome touching; or sug­gesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning an employee's job status.

The district encourages all victims of sexual harassment and persons with knowledge of such harassment to report the harassment immediately. Complaints of sexual harassment will be promptly investigated and resolved.

Employees who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment should discuss the problem with their immediate supervisor. If an employee's immediate supervisor is the alleged harasser, the employee should discuss the problem with the building principal or the district compliance coordinator. Employees who do not believe the matter is appropriately resolved through this meeting may file a formal complaint under the district's discrimination complaint procedure in policy KN.

Complaints received will be investigated to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the alleged behavior constitutes sexual harassment under the definition outlined above. Unacceptable conduct may or may not constitute sexual harassment, depending on the nature of the conduct and its severity, pervasiveness and persistence. Behaviors which are unac­ceptable but do not constitute harassment may also result in employee disci­pline.

If discrimination or harassment has occurred, the district will take prompt, remedial action to prevent its reoccurrence.

Any employee who witnesses an act of sexual harassment or receives a complaint of harassment from another employee or a student shall report the complaint to the building principal. Employees who fail to report complaints or incidents of sexual harassment to appropriate school officials may face disciplinary action. School administrators who fail to investigate and take appropriate corrective action in response to complaints of sexual harassment may also face disciplinary action.

Initiation of a complaint of sexual harassment in good faith will not adversely affect the job security or status of an employee, nor will it affect his or her compensation. Any act of retaliation or discrimination against any person who has filed a complaint or testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing involving sexual harassment complaint is prohibited. Any person who retaliates is sub­ject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

To the extent possible, confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation of a complaint. The desire for confidentiality must be balanced with the district's obligation to conduct a thorough investigation, to take appropriate corrective action or to provide due process to the accused.

False or malicious complaints of sexual harassment may result in corrective or disciplinary action against the complainant.

A summary of this policy and related materials shall be posted in each district facility. The policy shall also be published in student, parent and employee handbooks as directed by the district compliance coordinator. Notification of the policy shall be included in the school newsletter or published in the local newspaper annually.

Approved: July 27, 2015