How to Recognize and Stop Sexual Harassment
BOARD OF EDUCATION
RACIAL, SEXUAL, RELIGIOUS/ETHNIC
HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE POLICY (2421)
1.1.Scope. This policy sets the requirements for schools in West Virginia to be harassment and violence free.
1.2. Authority. West Virginia Constitution, Art XII '2 and West Virginia Code 18-2-5, 18-2-5a, and 18-2-7b.
1.3. Filing Date.
1.4. Effective Date. January 1, 1997
1.5. Repeal of former rule. -- None
2. 1. The purpose of these regulations is to assure that neither students nor staff are subjected to racial, sexual or religious/ethnic harassment or violence, to outline prevention programs and reporting procedures and to delineate penalties for violations of this policy. It is the intent of the West Virginia Board of Education to assure that the learning and working environment is free from any type of harassment or violence.
3.1. These regulations apply to any student, staff member or member of the public during any school related activity or during any education sponsored event whether in a building or other property used or operated by a county board of education, RESA or state department of education or in another facility being used by any of those agencies.
4.1. Sexual Harassment - Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
4.1.1. submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining or retaining employment, or of obtaining an education; or
4.1.2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment or education; or
4.1.3. that conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or education; or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.
4.1.4. sexual harassment may include but is not limited to:
4.2. Racial Harassment - Racial harassment consists of physical, verbal or written conduct relating to an individual's race when the conduct:
4.2.1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment;
4.2.2. has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; or
4.2.3. otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment or academic opportunities.
4.3. Religious/Ethnic Harassment - Religious/ethnic harassment consists of physical, verbal or written conduct which is related to an individual's religion or ethnic background when the conduct:
4.3.1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or
offensive working or academic environment;
4.3.2. has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; or
4.3.3 otherwise adversely affects an individual=s employment or academic opportunities.
4.4. Sexual Violence - Sexual violence is a physical act of aggression or force or the threat thereof which involves the touching of another's intimate parts, or forcing a person to touch any person's intimate parts. Intimate parts include the primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks or breast, as well as the clothing covering these areas:
4.4.1. sexual violence may include, but is not limited to:
b. coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone's intimate parts;
c. coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another; or
4.5. Racial Violence - Racial violence is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, race.
4.6. Religious/Ethnic Violence - Religious/ethnic violence is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, religion or ethnicity.
4.7. Assault -Assault is:
4.7.1. an act done with intent to cause fear in another harm or death;
4.7.2 the threat to do bodily harm to another with present ability to carry out the threat.
'126-18-5. Reporting Procedures.
5.1. County boards of education, RESAs, and the state department of education must develop procedures to assure that any person who believes he or she has been the victim of religious/ethnic, racial or sexual harassment or violence by a pupil, teacher,
administrator or other school personnel of the county board of education, or any person with knowledge or belief or conduct which may constitute religious/ethnic, racial or sexual harassment or violence toward a pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel has an identified mechanism to report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate official designated by the agency's policy. Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting harassment or violence directly to the county superintendent, RESA executive director or the state superintendent as appropriate or to a law enforcement agency.
5.2. All incidents of harassment or violence observed by faculty or staff must be reported to the designated investigator and appropriate action should be taken as specified in ' 126-18-6.
5.3. Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment may constitute child and/or sexual abuse under Chapter 49 of the West Virginia Code. In such situations, the county board of education shall comply with the provisions of law for reporting such abuse.
6.1. The individual(s) designated by the policy to investigate, shall upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging religious/ethnic, racial or sexual harassment or violence, immediately undertake or authorize an investigation. The investigation may be conducted by agency officials or by a third party designated by the agency.
6.2. The investigation must at a minimum consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complainant. The investigation may also consist of any other methods and review of circumstances deemed pertinent by the investigator.
6.3. In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the agency should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.
6.4. The agency may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, pupils, teachers, administrators or other personnel pending completion of an investigation of alleged religious/ethnic, racial or sexual harassment or violence.
6.5. The investigation will be completed as soon as practicable. The investigator shall make a written report to the head of the agency upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint involves the head of the agency, the report may be filed directly with the agency's governing board. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of this policy.
6.6. The result of the investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant by the head of the agency, or, if the head of the agency is the subject of the complaint, by the President of the agency's governing board.
6.7. Confidentiality of the filing of complaints, the identity of subjects and witnesses of any complaint and of any action taken as a result of such complaint is essential to the effectiveness of this policy. Only those individuals necessary for the investigation and resolution of the complaint shall be given information about it. Therefore, the right of confidentiality of complainants, subjects, witnesses, and investigators will be vigorously protected and violations of such confidentiality may itself be grounds for disciplinary action.
'126-18-7. County Board of Education Action.
7.1. Upon receipt of a report substantiated by the investigation, the head of the agency or the agency's governing board will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion or termination.
7.2. The head of the agency shall immediately file a report with the State Department of Education of all reports of harassment or violence when investigation shows that harassment or violence did occur.
8.1. The agency will develop discipline procedures to take appropriate action against any pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports alleged religious/ethnic, racial or sexual harassment or violence or any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, or who testifies, assists or
participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such harassment or violence. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.
'126-18-9. Right To Alternative Complaint Procedures.
9.1. These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, initiating civil action or seeking redress under the state criminal statutes and/or federal law.
'126-18-10. Prevention Programs.
10.1. Each agency must develop and implement an education program for each programmatic level, K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, as well as a program for all faculty and staff. The programs, at a minimum must: raise awareness of the different types of harassment, how it manifests itself, its devastating emotional and educational consequences, and its legal consequences. In addition, multi cultural education programs must be developed and implemented for faculty, staff and students to foster an attitude of understanding and
acceptance of individuals from a variety of cultural, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.
'126-18-11. Dissemination of Policy and Training.
11.1. This policy or a summary shall be conspicuously posted throughout each agency's facilities in areas accessible to pupils and staff members.
11.2. This policy shall appear in the student and staff handbooks and if no handbook is available, a copy will be distributed to all students, faculty, and staff.
11.3. The agency will develop and implement training for students and staff on the regulations and procedures contained in this policy.
11.4. The agency policy shall be reviewed at least biannually for compliance with state and federal law and state board of education policy.
'126-18-12. Assessment of Effectiveness.
12.1. The West Virginia Department of Education will prepare an annual report to the West Virginia Board of Education to include: reported and substantiated incidences of harassment and/or violence; training and staff development offered by the agencies; and agency reported numbers and types of multi cultural education offerings.
BACK || FORWARD
TOP || HOME || OFFICE || MODULES