Policy Details

4118.112 and 4218.112 Sexual Discrimination / Harassment

4118.112 / 4218.112

PERSONNEL - Certified / Non-Certified

Sexual Discrimination / Harassment

Sexual discrimination and/or harassment will not be tolerated in the Litchfield Public Schools. The Board of Education strictly forbids any form of sexual discrimination and/or sexual harassment by students, personnel, individuals under contract, or volunteers subject to the control of the Board of Education. Employees are expected to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful and courteous to fellow students, school employees, and to the public.

The Board encourages victims of sexual discrimination or sexual harassment to promptly report such claims. Timely reporting of improper conduct facilitates implementation of supportive measures and prompt resolution of any formal complaint that may be filed.

The Superintendent of Schools, at the direction of the Board, shall develop a comprehensive Administrative Regulation in furtherance of this Policy, which shall include due process procedures for compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the revised Regulations issued by the United States Department of Education on May 6, 2020.

Definitions
Sex Discrimination - occurs when a person, because of their sex, is denied participation in or the benefits of any educational program or activity operated by the Board of Education; and/or denied any privilege of employment, including, but not limited to, training, working conditions, interviewing and hiring, because of their sex.


Sex Harassment - is defined as any one of the following three types:

Quid pro quo sexual harassment, meaning that the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the educational program or school activity; and/or a decision regarding an individual's employment status and/or a term or condition of an individual's employment is made contingent, implicitly or explicitly, on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual advances or request for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature;

Hostile environment, meaning unwelcome sexual conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the Board's educational programs or activities, or unwelcome sexual conduct that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance; or

Any instance of sexual assault, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), dating violence, as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291 (a)(10), domestic violence, as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), and stalking, as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

Actual knowledgenotice of sexual harassment by and/or a report of allegations of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or to any employee of the Board of Education.

Complainant - an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Formal complaint - a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the District investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.

Respondent - an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Title IX Coordinator - the employee(s) designated and authorized by the Board of Education to coordinate its efforts to comply with its responsibilities under Title IX.

Additional definitions are set forth in the Administrative Regulations for this Policy.

Reporting of Discrimination / Harassment

Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment.

Reports may be made at any time (including during non-business hours); and may be filed in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the District's Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person's verbal or written report.

The Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for promptly responding once the District has actual knowledge of sexual harassment or discrimination, which shall include discussing with the complainant available supportive measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Board's educational programs or activities without unreasonably burdening the other party.

Further details regarding the District's procedures for responding to reports of sexual discrimination and/or harassment are set forth in the Administrative Regulation to this Policy.

Grievance Process

A complainant may file a formal Title IX grievance complaint alleging sexual discrimination and/or harassment against a respondent and requesting that the District investigate the allegation(s). The complaint should contain the complainant's physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint. Where necessary, the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to commence the grievance process.

Once the Title IX Coordinator has received a formal complaint of sexual harassment, the District shall follow a transparent grievance process that complies with the detailed Title IX regulations.

The grievance process, which is described fully in the Administrative Regulation to this Policy, shall adhere to the due process principles set forth in the revised May 6, 2020 Title IX Regulations.

The District may investigate any reported allegation of misconduct through its traditional employee discipline procedures if a complainant is not willing to file a formal Title IX complaint.

The District is forbidden from requiring a respondent to waive the right to a formal Title IX investigation and formal resolution of a sexual harassment complaint as a condition of continued employment or enjoyment of any other right in the District.

Further details regarding (a) filing of formal complaints; (b) notice of formal complaints, (c) investigation of complaints, (d) determination of responsibility regarding alleged sexual discrimination and/or harassment, (e) appeals of said determinations; (f) remedies for any Title IX violations; and (g) record keeping regarding investigations are set forth in the Administrative Regulation to this Policy.

Retaliation

The District, its employees and students may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this part.

Individuals alleging retaliation in violation of Title IX may follow the same grievance

procedures outlined in the Administrative Regulation to this Policy.

Confidentiality

The District will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except (a) as may be permitted by the FERPA statute, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, or FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99, or (b) as required by law, or (c) to carry out the purposes of the Title IX regulations.

Training

The District will take steps to ensure that the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), and decision-makers receive training on the following topics: (a) the definition of sexual harassment, (b) how to conduct an investigation and the grievance process, (c) the appeal process; and (d) how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.

Publication

The District shall make the following information publicly available on its website: (a) training materials for Title IX Coordinators, and all individuals involved in the formal complaint process; (b) contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and (c) details regarding the Title IX formal complaint procedures.

Record Keeping

The District will maintain records regarding responses to its actual knowledge of sexual discrimination and/or harassment, the conduct of the formal complaint grievance process, and training of all applicable individuals for a period of seven years.

The records should document that the District responded promptly and appropriately to reports of sexual harassment.

Notice
Notice of the Board's Nondiscrimination Policy 4118.14/4218.14 and the Board's Sexual Discrimination / Harassment Policy 4118.112/4218.112, information regarding the reporting and complaint procedures for allegations of sexual discrimination and/or harassment shall be provided to all employees in the District and to all applicants for employment.

Notice of the Board's Sexual Discrimination / Harassment Policy 4118.12/4218.12 and reporting and complaint procedures shall be posted on the Board's website and each individual school's websites and placed in any handbooks provided to employees, including such documents published exclusively online.

Legal References: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000-e2
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681, et seq.
29 CFR §1604.11

34 C.F.R. §106.1, et seq.

Title IX Final Rule, 34 CFR §106.45, et seq., May 6, 2020

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Policy Guidance (N-915.050) on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment, Effective 3/19/90

Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.

P.A. 19-16, An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Litchfield Board of Education
Policy adopted: 7/13/2011
Policy revised: 3/1/2017; 10/3/2018; 1/14/2021

Download a PDF of this Policy