Cf: GAAA, GAE, GAMC, GBK
Cf: GBRA, JAA, JAAA, JCEA
TITLE VII SEXUAL AND GENDER HARASSMENT
It is the policy of the Bossier Parish School Board to provide an employment environment that is free from unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications deemed to constitute sexual or gender harassment under federal and state laws and regulations. The Bossier Parish School Board shall not tolerate sexual or gender harassment by any student, employee, non-employee volunteer, or School Board member toward any individual.
All administrative and supervisory personnel shall be responsible for enforcing Bossier Parish School Board's sexual and gender harassment policy. Failure to enforce this policy in a prompt and strict manner may subject such personnel to disciplinary action.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly,
as a term or condition of any individual’s employment;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual
is used as a basis for employment affecting the individual; and
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of
unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, or
creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Examples of behavior which would constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, verbal harassment such as derogatory comments, jokes, slurs or remarks or questions of a sexual nature; physical harassment such as unnecessary or offensive touching; attempted or sexual rape or sexual assault; visual harassment such as derogatory or offensive posters, cards, cartoons, graffiti, drawings, looks or gestures; displaying sexually suggestive objects in the workplace or school settings; and quid quo pro sexual harassment, such as demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises or threats concerning an individual’s employment. Harassment depends not only upon the perpetrator’s intention, but also upon how the person who is the target perceives the behavior or is affected by it. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of sexual harassment from co-workers or others should make it clear that such behavior is offensive to them by saying so to the offender.
Gender harassment shall be defined as unequal and unfair handling based on a person’s gender or sex. It involves any unwelcome, out-of-context gender references or conduct, whether verbal, gestural, pictorial, or physical, which can create a hostile environment.
Any employee or applicant for employment who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual or gender harassment by a student, an employee or non-employee volunteer of the Bossier Parish School Board, or any third person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute sexual or gender harassment should report the alleged acts immediately to the employee's immediate supervisor, who in turn shall submit it to the Director of Human Resources. If the alleged acts were committed by the employee's immediate supervisor, the complaint should be directed to the Superintendent and/or Director of Human Resources. If criminal activity is involved, the victim should also report the incident to local law enforcement. The person to whom the complaint is given shall immediately prepare a written report and forward it to the Superintendent. Failure to forward any sexual harassment report or complaint as provided herein will result in disciplinary action. Complaints may also be filed directly with the Director of Human Resources.
INVESTIGATION AND RECOMMENDATION
The School Board shall respect the confidentiality of the complainant and the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed as much as possible, consistent with the School Board's legal obligations and the necessity to investigate allegations of harassment and take corrective or disciplinary action when the conduct has occurred.
Upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging sexual or gender harassment by an employee or nonemployee volunteer, such a complaint shall be immediately investigated by the principal/Director of Human Resources and at least one other Central Office administrator designated by the Superintendent utilizing the procedures outlined in policy GAMC, Investigations. In addition, the investigation shall include 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 complaint, as well as a review of related charges, if any, personnel files, work records and other pertinent information.
In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual or gender harassment, the Superintendent or designee should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the sexually related conduct, relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
A report shall be made to the Superintendent upon completion of the investigation involving an employee or non-employee volunteer. The report may include a finding that the complaint was unfounded, informally resolved, or a recommendation to the Superintendent for disciplinary action. No record of an unfounded or unsubstantiated complaint shall be filed in an employee's personnel file.
Upon receipt of a recommendation that a complaint is valid, the Superintendent shall take such action as appropriate based on the results of the investigation which may include but not be limited to, suspension with or without pay, demotion, or termination.
If, based on the results of the investigation, the claim of sexual harassment is found to be intentionally false, the Superintendent shall take such action as appropriate, which may include but not be limited to, suspension with or without pay, demotion, or termination.
The results of the investigation of each complaint under these procedures shall be reported in writing to the complainant and the alleged harasser by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Any employee shall have the right to pursue a claim of sexual harassment under state or federal law, regardless of the outcome of the School Board’s investigation.
The School Board shall discipline any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged sexual or gender harassment or who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to a sexual or gender harassment complaint. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment at the time of a report or any time after a report.
The School Board recognizes that not every advance or conduct of a sexual nature constitutes harassment. Whether a particular action or incident is a personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances. Deliberate false accusations of sexual harassment can have serious detrimental effects on innocent parties and subject the accuser to disciplinary actions.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS SEXUAL ABUSE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment of a student may constitute sexual abuse under the Louisiana Children's Code. In such situations, School Board personnel become mandatory reporters and shall comply with Article 609(A) of the Louisiana Children's Code and directly report the sexual abuse to the Child Protection Unit of the Louisiana Department of Social Services. Also, activity of a criminal nature should be reported by the victim to local law enforcement.
Copies of this policy shall be circulated to all schools and departments of the Bossier Parish School Board and placed on the School Board’s website. Training sessions on the provisions of this policy and the prevention of sexual harassment shall be held in all schools on an annual basis. Training sessions for new non-teaching employees shall be conducted annually. Supervisors and other persons designated to accept or investigate complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace shall receive additional education and training.
Employees shall be apprised of applicable federal and state law on sexual harassment, including the right of the complainant to pursue a claim under state or federal law, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.
STUDENT-ON-STUDENT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OR HARASSMENT
Handling of complaints of student-on-student sexual misconduct or sexual harassment
are governed by Policy JAAA, Title IX Sexual Harassment or JCEA, Sexually Related Student Misconduct.
Revised: May 16, 2019
Revised: November, 2019
Revised: August 6, 2020
Ref: 20 USC 1681 (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)
42 USC Chapter 21 (Civil Rights)
42 USC 2000e (Civil Rights - Definitions)
29 CFR 1604.11 (Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex - Sexual Harassment)
34 CFR 100.6 et seq. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1, 14:43, 14:81.4, 17:81, 23:301, 23:302, 23:303, 23:332, 23:967, 42:341, 42:342, 42:343, 42:344, 42:345
La. Civil Code, Art. 2315
Board minutes, 5-16-19, 8-6-20
Bossier Parish School Board