Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment Procedure

  • General Policy Statement and Scope

     Franklin Community School Corporation (“Corporation”) does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in the education program or activity that it operates, employment therein, and admission thereto, including sexual harassment.

     The term “sexual harassment” as used in this procedure shall mean conduct on the basis of sex, failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculine or feminine traits, sexual orientation, or gender identity including: 

    1. A Corporation employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e., quid pro quo sexual harassment);
    2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the Corporation’s education program or activity; or
    3. Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined by Federal law.

    The Corporation designates the following staff member as the Corporation’s Title IX Coordinator and authorizes this individual to coordinate the Corporation’s Title IX compliance. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator.

     Title IX Coordinator 

    Michelle Bright, Director of Human Resources

    998 Grizzly Cub Dr., Franklin, IN  46131

    317-504-9642

    brightm@franklinschools.org

    The Corporation is committed to promptly responding to reports of sexual harassment. All reference to “days” within these procedures shall mean instructional days. The procedures described below may be subject to temporary delays based on good cause (e.g., law enforcement involvement, absence of a party, witness, or advisor, translation or accommodation needs) with written notice to both parties explaining the reason for the delay.

    Reporting Sexual Harassment

    Anyone who believes that a student or staff member has possibly been the target of sexual harassment should immediately report the situation to an appropriate staff member such as a teacher, counselor, administrator, or the Title IX Coordinator. Any person may report sexual harassment in person, by mail, by telephone, or email using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator.

    Any employee who has reason to believe that a student or staff member has been the target of sexual harassment must report the behavior to his/her building level leader, such as a principal.

    The “Complainant” is a person alleged to be the victim of sexual harassment and the “Respondent” means any individual who is reported to be the perpetrator of sexual harassment.

    The Corporation accepts anonymous reports. However, anonymous reports may hamper the Corporation’s ability to respond to allegations of sexual harassment.

    Emergency Removal

     In situations where a Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health and safety of any individual (including self) before or at any time during the proceedings described herein, the Corporation may remove Respondent from all programs and activities. In order to do so, the Corporation must i) undertake an individualized safety and risk analysis, ii) determine that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal, and iii) provide the Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.

     An emergency removal does not affect or modify any rights a student receiving special education may have under the IDEA, Section 504, or the ADA.

    Response to a Report and Supportive Measures

    Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator must promptly, usually within two (2) days, contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures.

    Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the Corporation's educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.

    Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, leaves of absence in the case of employees, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.

     In addition to discussing the availability of supportive measures, the Title IX Coordinator will also consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures, inform the Complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will make contact with the Complainant in person, via phone, or via virtual meeting in order for the Complainant to ask questions. If the Complainant is a student under the age of eighteen, the student’s parent will be contacted simultaneously.

    A “formal complaint” is a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting the Corporation investigate the allegation(s) of sexual harassment.

    Even in instances where a Complainant chooses not to file a formal complaint, supportive measures may continue at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.

    The Title IX Coordinator may decide sign a formal complaint to investigate the allegation(s) of sexual harassment against the wishes of the Complainant where moving forward without an investigation would be unreasonable. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, reports that indicate multiple Respondents, the involvement of a Corporation employee, and/or continued sexual harassment of the Complainant and others.

    While there is no deadline by which a Complainant must file a formal complaint, the Corporation encourages Complainants to submit a formal complaint within ten (10) days of meeting with the Title IX Coordinator. In instances where enough time has passed that the Corporation cannot gather evidence, the Corporation may not be able to investigate.

    The Corporation will offer supportive measures to a Complainant who is the subject of an anonymous report. However, should a Complainant desire to initiate the grievance process, the Complainant cannot remain anonymous or prevent the Complainant’s identity from being disclosed to the Respondent.

    Dismissal and Consolidation

    In certain instances, the Corporation may dismiss or consolidate formal complaints. Such instances of dismissal include, but are not limited to, when the alleged conduct, even if true, would not constitute sexual harassment, when the Respondent is a non-student or non-employee of the Corporation, or when a Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator they would like to withdraw the formal complaint. A dismissal does not preclude the Corporation from taking action under another provision of the student code of conduct. If a formal complaint is dismissed, the Corporation will promptly inform the parties of the reason for dismissal and the right to appeal.

    Further, the Corporation may consolidate formal complaints where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

    Grievance Procedures

    The Corporation will treat Complainants and Respondents equitably throughout this process. As such, the Corporation will only impose disciplinary sanctions following the completion of the informal process or investigation and determination process. All Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution will receive training regarding topics related to this procedure, including: the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the Corporation’s education program and activity, and how to conduct these grievance procedures.

    All Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence – both inculpatory and exculpatory. Further, no credibility determinations will be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.

    Consistent with the law, the Corporation will presume the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. The Corporation will utilize the preponderance of the evidence standard when determining responsibility. The Corporation will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege. Further, questions or evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions or evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant or to prove consent.

    Notice

     Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to the parties (to the extent known) containing the following information: 

    1. Notice of the Corporation’s grievance process, including the informal resolution process;
    2. Notice of the allegations of sexual harassment, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include: the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known;
    3. A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
    4. The parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
    5. The Corporation’s code of conduct prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

    If, in the course of an investigation, additional allegations are uncovered and therefore investigated, the Corporation will provide a supplemental notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known.

    Informal Process

    Upon receipt of a formal complaint and after providing sufficient notice to the parties, the Corporation may facilitate an informal resolution process, such as mediation, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication of the allegations. The Corporation may not require the parties to participate in the informal process, but instead must obtain the parties’ voluntary, written consent to participate.

    The informal process is not available to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student. Further, at any time during the informal process any of the parties may end the informal process and initiate the investigation and determination process.

    Investigation and Determination

    Unless the Corporation dismisses a formal complaint or the parties resolve a formal complaint through the informal process, the Corporation will investigate the allegations of sexual harassment and make a determination regarding responsibility.

    The burden of proof and collection of evidence rests with the Corporation. To that end, the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with a designated building-level leader will conduct an investigation. The means of investigating a formal complaint include, but are not limited to Complainant, Respondent, and witness interviews and review of documentation. The parties shall have an equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The Corporation will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence. Evidence or information related to the allegations under investigation may not be discussed by the parties, except with their chosen advisors. The parties may not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Absent extenuating circumstances, the collection of evidence for an investigation should conclude within thirty (30) days.

    The parties may be accompanied to any meeting or proceeding related to the investigation by an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be an attorney. Apart from a union representative accompanying an employee who is a party, employees are discouraged from serving as advisors to students.

    Advisors may not present on behalf of the party they accompany and should request or wait for a break in the meeting if they wish to interact with the Title IX Coordinator or building level leader. Advisors may confer quietly with Parties as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the party and their advisors should ask for a break or step out of the meeting. An advisor who disrupts the process will receive one warning, after which if continued disruption occurs the advisor will be removed from the meeting/proceeding. In such an event, the parties will be given the opportunity to reschedule and be accompanied by another advisor.

    When the Title IX Coordinator and building level leader have completed their collection of evidence, they will provide both parties with an equal opportunity to inspect and review the evidence obtained that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation.

    The parties and any advisors must execute the provided non-disclosure agreement before they may receive the evidence for review. Following execution of the non-disclosure agreement, the Title IX Coordinator and/or building level leader will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if applicable, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or hard copy, and parties will have ten (10) days to submit a written response, which the Title IX Coordinator will consider prior to completion of the investigative report.

    Following the period for the parties’ review and inspection of the evidence, the Title IX Coordinator and building level leader will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. At least ten (10) days prior to the time of determination, the Title IX Coordinator and building level leader will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if applicable, the investigative report in an electronic or a hard copy, for their review and written response.

    The Superintendent will act as the decision-maker. After the investigative report has been sent to the parties and before a determination regarding responsibility, each party will be afforded the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that a party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party.

    The Superintendent may exclude questions as not relevant, including questions that seek disclosure of information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege. Further, questions about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant or to prove consent. Any decision to exclude a question as not relevant will be explained to the party proposing the question. The process of written questions and follow up questions should take thirty (30) days or less.

    Within a reasonable time period following the written questions, the Superintendent, acting as the decision-maker, will issue a written determination regarding responsibility applying the preponderance of the evidence standard. The written determination must include: 

    1. Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;
    2. A description of the procedural steps taken;
    3. Findings of fact supporting the determination;
    4. Conclusions regarding the application of the recipient’s code of conduct to the facts;
    5. A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation;
    6. The recipient’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.

    The Superintendent will provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies.

    Remedies

    Where, following the formal or informal process, the Corporation determines a Respondent responsible for sexual harassment, the Corporation shall provide remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include supportive measures and/or discipline up to and including expulsion.

    Appeals

    Following the Superintendent’s determination regarding responsibility, either party may appeal to the designated governing body representative. An appeal should be submitted in writing within ten (10) days of the party’s receipt of the Superintendent’s determination. Note, appeals will only be considered if based on one of the following:

     There was a procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;

    1. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; or
    2. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

    Both parties shall have five (5) days after the submission of an appeal to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging the Superintendent’s determination. The governing body representative will issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result within forty-five (45) days. The governing body representative’s decision will be provided simultaneously to the parties.

    Retaliation

    The Corporation prohibits retaliation against persons who report, testify, assist, or participate or refuse to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Retaliation includes intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX.

    Recordkeeping

    The Corporation will maintain records from the investigation, determination, appeal, and informal resolution for seven (7) years.

    Reports otherwise required by Law

    These procedures do not affect or alleviate mandatory reporting required by state or federal law, for example, reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or Department of Child Services.

     

     

    Legal Citations:

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 9172, 20 USC § 1681

    34 CFR part 106

    Clery Act, 20 USC § 1092

    Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), 34 USC § 12291

     

    Printable version


  • 2266 – NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SEX IN EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES

    Introduction

    The School Board of the Franklin Community School Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “the Board” or “the Corporation”) does not discriminate on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation or gender identity) in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations not to discriminate in such a manner. The requirement not to discriminate in its education program or activity extends to admission and employment. The Board is committed to maintaining an education and work environment that is free from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment.

    The Board prohibits Sexual Harassment that occurs within its education programs and activities. When the Corporation has actual knowledge of Sexual Harassment in its education program or activity against a person in the United States, it shall promptly respond in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent.

    Pursuant to its Title IX obligations, the Board is committed to eliminating Sexual Harassment and will take appropriate action when an individual is determined responsible for violating this policy. Members of the Corporation Community who commit Sexual Harassment are subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions set forth in this policy. Third Parties who engage in Sexual Harassment also are subject to the disciplinary sanctions listed in this policy. The Board will provide persons who have experienced Sexual Harassment ongoing remedies as reasonably necessary to restore or preserve access to the Corporation’s education programs and activities.

    Coverage

    This policy applies to Sexual Harassment that occurs within the Corporation’s education programs and activities and that is committed by a member of the Corporation Community or Third Party.

    This policy does not apply to Sexual Harassment that occurs off school grounds, in a private setting, and outside the scope of the Corporation’s education programs and activities; such Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Activity may be prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct if committed by a student, or by Board policies and administrative guidelines, applicable State and/or Federal laws, and/or Employee/Administrator Handbook(s) if committed by a Corporation employee.

    Consistent with the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations for Title IX, this policy does not apply to Sexual Harassment that occurs outside the geographic boundaries of the United States, even if the Sexual Harassment occurs in the Corporation’s education programs or activities. Sexual Harassment that occurs outside the geographic boundaries of the United States is governed by the Student Code of Conduct if committed by a student or by Board policies and administrative guidelines, applicable State and/or Federal laws, and/or Employee/Administrator Handbook(s) if committed by a Corporation employee.

    Complaints alleging sexual harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of sex also are covered by and subject to the investigation procedures in Board Policy 5517 - Anti-Harassment. Complaints not covered by this policy still may be governed by and subject to the procedures in Policy 5517 - Anti-Harassment.

    Definitions

    Terms used in this policy shall have those meanings defined herein; terms not defined herein shall be construed according to their plain and ordinary meanings.

    Sexual Harassment:  “Sexual Harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one (1) or more of the following:

    1. a Corporation employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the Corporation on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (often called “quid pro quo” harassment);
       
    2. unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the Corporation’s education program or activity; or
       
    3. “sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), or “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
       
      1. “Sexual assault” means any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault includes rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest, and statutory rape.
         
        1. Rape is penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Attempted rape is included.
           
        2. Sodomy is oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
           
        3. Sexual Assault with an Object is using an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. An “object” or “instrument” is anything used by the offender other than the offender’s genitalia.
           
        4. Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
           
        5. Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by State law.
           
        6. Statutory Rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent as defined by State law.
           
        7. Consent refers to words, actions, inactions, or any other conduct that a reasonable person would understand as agreement to engage in the sexual conduct at issue. A person may be incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. A person who is incapacitated is not capable of giving consent.
           
        8. Incapacitated refers to the state where a person does not understand and/or appreciate the nature or fact of sexual activity due to the effect of drugs or alcohol consumption, medical condition, disability, or due to a state of unconsciousness or sleep.
           
      2. “Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:
         
        1. a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
           
        2. a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
           
        3. a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
           
        4. a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred; or
           
        5. any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred.
           
      3. “Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
         
      4. “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to – (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

    Complainant: “Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.

    Respondent: “Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.

    Formal Complaint: “Formal Complaint” means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Officer alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the Corporation investigate the allegation(s) of Sexual Harassment. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint with the Corporation, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the Corporation's education program or activity. A “document filed by a complainant’’ means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal that the Board provides for this purpose) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint. Where the Title IX Officer signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Officer is not a Complainant or a party to the Formal Complaint and must not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.

    Actual Knowledge: “Actual knowledge” means notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment to the Corporation's Title IX Officer, or any Corporation official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the Board or any Corporation employee. The mere ability or obligation to report Sexual Harassment or to inform a student about how to report Sexual Harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the Corporation. “Notice” includes, but is not limited to, a report of Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Officer. This standard is not met when the only Corporation official with actual knowledge is the Respondent.

    Supportive Measures: “Supportive measures” means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the Corporation's educational environment or deter Sexual Harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, school/campus escort services, mutual restrictions of contact between the parties, changes in work locations), leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus (including school buildings and facilities), and other similar measures.

    Education Program or Activity: “Education program or activity” refers to all operations of the Corporation, including but not limited to in-person and online educational instruction, employment, extracurricular activities, athletics, performances, and community engagement, and outreach programs. The term applies to all activity that occurs on school grounds or on other property owned or occupied by the Corporation. It also includes locations, events, and circumstances that take place off-school property/grounds over which the Board exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the Sexual Harassment occurs.

    Corporation Community: “Corporation Community” refers to students and Corporation employees (i.e., administrators and professional and classified staff), as well as Board members, agents, volunteers, contractors, and other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.

    Third Parties: “Third Parties” include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on Corporation property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the Corporation Community at school-related events/activities (whether on or off Corporation property).

    Inculpatory Evidence: “Inculpatory evidence” is evidence that tends to establish a Respondent’s responsibility for alleged Sexual Harassment.

    Exculpatory Evidence: “Exculpatory evidence” is evidence that tends to clear or excuse a Respondent from allegations of Sexual Harassment.

    Day(s): Unless expressly stated otherwise, the term “day” or “days” as used in this policy means business day(s) (i.e., a day(s) that the Board office is open for normal operating hours, Monday – Friday, excluding State-recognized holidays).

    Eligible Student: “Eligible Student” means a student who has reached eighteen (18) years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

    Title IX Officer(s)

    The Board designates and authorizes the following individual(s) to oversee and coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX and its implementing regulations:

    Anti-Harassment Title IX Officer

    998 Grizzly Cub Drive, Franklin, IN 46131

    317-346-8700

    titleix@franklinschools.org

    The Title IX Officer shall report directly to the Superintendent except when the Superintendent is a Respondent. In such matters, the Title IX Coordinator shall report directly to the Board of School Trustees. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Title IX Officer.

    The Superintendent shall notify applicants for admission and employment, students, parents or legal guardians of elementary and secondary school students, Corporation employees, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with the Board of the following information:

    The Board of the Franklin Community School Corporation does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education program or activity and is required by Title IX and its implementing regulations not to discriminate in such a manner. The requirement not to discriminate in its education program or activity extends to admission and employment. The Corporation's Title IX Officer(s) is/are:

    Anti-Harassment Title IX Officer

    998 Grizzly Cub Drive, Franklin, IN 46131

    317-346-8700

    titleix@franklinschools.org

    Any inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations to the Corporation may be referred to the Title IX Officer(s), the Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or both.

    The Board has adopted a grievance process that provides for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints alleging any action that is prohibited by Title IX and/or its implementing regulations. The grievance process is included in Policy 2266 – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities. The grievance process specifically addresses how to report or file a complaint of sex discrimination, how to report or file a formal complaint of Sexual Harassment, and how the Corporation will respond.

    The Superintendent also shall prominently display the Title IX Officer’s(s’) contact information – including Name(s) and/or Title(s), Phone Number(s), Office Address(es), and Email Address(es) – and this Policy on the Corporation's website and in each handbook or catalog that the Board makes available to applicants for admission and employment, students, parents or legal guardians of elementary and secondary school students, Corporation employees, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements.

    Grievance Process

    The Board is committed to promptly and equitably resolving student and employee complaints alleging Sexual Harassment. The Corporation's response to allegations of Sexual Harassment will treat Complainants and Respondents equitably, including providing supportive measures to the Complainant and Respondent, as appropriate, and following this Grievance Process before the imposition of any disciplinary sanctions or other actions, other than supportive measures, against the Respondent.

    The Title IX Officer(s), along with any investigator(s), decision-maker(s), or any person(s) designated to facilitate an informal resolution process, shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.

    If a determination of responsibility for Sexual Harassment is made against the Respondent, the Board will provide remedies to the Complainant. The remedies will be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity. Potential remedies include, but are not limited to, individualized services that constitute supportive measures. Remedies also may be disciplinary or punitive in nature and may burden the Respondent.

    The Process described herein relates exclusively to complaints brought under this Policy. The Corporation will continue to handle complaints subject to the Corporation's other nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies, including Policy 5517 - Anti-Harassment; Policy 5517.01 - Bullying; Policy 2260 - Nondiscrimination and Access to Equal Educational Opportunity; Policy 2260.01 - Section 504/ADA Prohibition Against Discrimination Based on Disability; Policy 1422/3122/4122 - Nondiscrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity; and Policy 1662/3362/4362 - Anti-Harassment.

    Report of Sexual 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), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the Title IX Officer’s(s’) contact information listed above, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Officer receiving the person’s oral or written report. Reports may be made at any time (including during non-business hours), by using the telephone number(s) or electronic mail address(es), or by mail to the office address(es), listed for the Title IX Officer(s). Anonymous reports may be submitted using the STOPit website.

    Students, Board members, and Corporation employees are required, and other Corporation Community members and Third Parties are encouraged, to report allegations of sex discrimination or Sexual Harassment promptly to the/a Title IX Officer or to any Corporation employee, who will, in turn, notify the/a Title IX Officer. Reports can be made orally or in writing and should be as specific as possible. The person making the report should, to the extent known, identify the alleged victim(s), perpetrator(s), and witness(es), and describe in detail what occurred, including date(s), time(s), and location(s).

    If a report involves allegations of Sexual Harassment by or involving the Title IX Officer, the person making the report should submit it to the Superintendent, or another Board employee who, in turn, will notify the Superintendent of the report. The Superintendent will then serve in place of the Title IX Officer for purposes of addressing that report of Sexual Harassment.

    The Board does business with Third Parties who are not students or employees of the Board. Notwithstanding any rights that a given Third-Party Respondent may have under this policy, the Board retains the right to limit any vendor’s, contractor’s, or Third Party’s access to school grounds for any reason. The Board further retains all rights it enjoys by contract or law to terminate its relationship with any Third Party irrespective of any process or outcome under this policy.

    A person may file criminal charges simultaneously with filing a Formal Complaint. A person does not need to wait until the Title IX investigation is completed before filing a criminal complaint. Likewise, questions or complaints relating to Title IX may be filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights at any time.

    Any allegations of Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Activity not involving Sexual Harassment will be addressed through the procedures outlined in Board policies and/or administrative guidelines, the applicable Student Code of Conduct, or Employee/Administrator Handbook(s).

    Because the Board is considered to have actual knowledge of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment if any Corporation employee has such knowledge, and because the Board must take specific actions when it has notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment, a Corporation employee who has independent knowledge of or receives a report involving allegations of sex discrimination and/or Sexual Harassment must notify the/a Title IX Officer within two (2) days of learning the information or receiving the report. The Corporation employee must also comply with mandatory reporting responsibilities regarding suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect of a child pursuant to I.C. 31-33-5-1 and Policy 8462– Student Abuse and Neglect, if applicable. If the Corporation employee’s knowledge is based on another individual bringing the information to the Corporation employee’s attention and the reporting individual submitted a written complaint to the Corporation employee, the Corporation employee must provide the written complaint to the Title IX Officer.

    If a Corporation employee fails to report an incident of Sexual Harassment of which the Corporation employee is aware, the Corporation employee may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    When a report of Sexual Harassment is made, the Title IX Officer shall promptly (i.e., within two (2) days of the Title IX Officer’s receipt of the report of Sexual Harassment) contact the Complainant (including the parent/guardian if the Complainant is under eighteen (18) years of age or under guardianship) to discuss the availability of supportive measures, consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures, inform the Complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint. The Title IX Officer is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. Any supportive measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent shall be maintained as confidential, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the ability of the Corporation to provide the supportive measures.

    Emergency Removal: Subject to limitations and/or procedures imposed by State and/or Federal law, the Corporation may remove a student Respondent from its education program or activity on an emergency basis after conducting an individualized safety and risk analysis. The purpose of the individualized safety and risk analysis is to determine whether the student Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of Sexual Harassment that justifies removal. If the Corporation determines the student Respondent poses such a threat, it will so notify the student Respondent and the student Respondent will have an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. See Policy Policy 5605 – Suspension and Expulsion of Students with Disabilities, Policy 5610 – Suspension and Expulsion of Students, Policy 5611 – Due Process Rights, and Policy 5620 – Court Assisted Resolution of Suspension and Expulsion.

    If the Respondent is a non-student employee, the Corporation may place the Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the grievance process.

    For all other Respondents, including other members of the Corporation Community and Third Parties, the Board retains broad discretion to prohibit such persons from entering onto its school grounds and other properties at any time and for any reason, whether after receiving a report of Sexual Harassment or otherwise.

    Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment

    A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Officer in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information set forth above and by the STOPit website. If a Formal Complaint involves allegations of Sexual Harassment by or involving the Title IX Officer, the Complainant should submit the Formal Complaint to the Superintendent, who will designate another person to serve in place of the Title IX Officer for the limited purpose of implementing the grievance process with respect to that Formal Complaint.

    When the Title IX Officer receives a Formal Complaint or signs a Formal Complaint, the Corporation will follow its Grievance Process, as set forth herein. Specifically, the Corporation will undertake an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and will not make credibility determinations based solely on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.

    It is a violation of this policy for a Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and/or witness(es) to knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process, including intentionally making a false report of Sexual Harassment or submitting a false Formal Complaint. The Board will not tolerate such conduct, which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the Employee/Administrator Handbook.

    The Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.

    Timeline

    The Corporation will seek to conclude the grievance process within ninety (90) days of receipt of the Formal Complaint.

    If the Title IX Officer offers informal resolution processes, the informal resolution processes may not be used by the Complainant or Respondent to unduly delay the investigation and determination of responsibility. The timeline, however, may be subject to a temporary delay of the grievance process or a limited extension for good cause with written notice to the Complainant and the Respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as: the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; and the need for language assistance or an accommodation of disabilities. The Title IX Officer will provide the parties with reasonable updates on the status of the grievance process.

    Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Officer will provide written notice of the following to the parties who are known:

    1. notice of the Board’s grievance process, including any informal resolution processes;
       
    2. notice of the allegations of misconduct that potentially constitute Sexual Harassment as defined in this policy, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting Sexual Harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known. The written notice must:
       
      1. include a statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility will be made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
         
      2. inform the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may inspect and review evidence;
         
      3. inform the parties of any provision in the Student Code of Conduct, this policy, and/or Employee/Administrator Handbook that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

     If, during the course of the investigation, the investigator becomes aware of allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the original notice provided to the parties, the investigator will notify the Title IX Officer, and the Title IX Officer will decide whether the investigator should investigate the additional allegations; if the Title IX Officer decides to include the new allegations as part of the investigation, the Title IX Officer will provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known.

    Dismissal of a Formal Complaint

    The Corporation shall investigate the allegations in a Formal Complaint unless the conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint:

    1. would not constitute Sexual Harassment (as defined in this policy) even if proved;
       
    2. did not occur in the Corporation's education program or activity; or
       
    3. did not occur against a person in the United States.

    If one (1) of the preceding circumstances exist, the Title IX Officer shall dismiss the Formal Complaint. If the Title IX Officer dismisses the Formal Complaint due to one (1) of the preceding reasons, the Corporation may still investigate and take action with respect to such alleged misconduct pursuant to another provision of an applicable code of conduct, Board policy, and/or Employee/Administrator Handbook.

    The Title IX Officer may dismiss a Formal Complaint, or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation:

    1. a Complainant notifies the Title IX Officer in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein;
       
    2. the Respondent is no longer enrolled in the Corporation or employed by the Board; or
       
    3. specific circumstances prevent the Corporation from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or allegations therein.

     If the Title IX Officer dismisses a Formal Complaint or allegations therein, the Title IX Officer promptly must send written notice of the dismissal and the reason(s) therefore simultaneously to the parties.

    Consolidation of Formal Complaints

    The Title IX Officer may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of Sexual Harassment against more than one (1) Respondent, or by more than one (1) Complainant against one (1) or more Respondents, or by one (1) party against the other party, where the allegations of Sexual Harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

    Where a grievance process involves more than one (1) Complainant or more than one (1) Respondent, references in this policy to the singular ‘‘party,’’ ‘‘Complainant,’’ or ‘‘Respondent’’ include the plural, as applicable.

    Informal Resolution Process

    Under no circumstances shall a Complainant be required as a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right, to waive any right to an investigation and adjudication of a Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment. Similarly, no party shall be required to participate in an informal resolution process.

    If a Formal Complaint is filed, the Title IX Officer may offer to the parties an informal resolution process. If the parties mutually agree to participate in the informal resolution process, the Title IX Officer shall designate a trained individual to facilitate an informal resolution process, such as mediation, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication. The informal resolution process may be used at any time prior to the decision-maker(s) reaching a determination regarding responsibility.

    If the Title IX Officer is going to propose an informal resolution process, the Title IX Officer shall provide to the parties a written notice disclosing:

    1. the allegations;
       
    2. the requirements of the informal resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a Formal Complaint arising from the same allegations; and
       
    3. any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.

    Any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the Formal Complaint.

    Before commencing the informal resolution process, the Title IX Officer shall obtain from the parties their voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process.

    During the pendency of the informal resolution process, the investigation and adjudication processes that otherwise would occur are stayed and all related deadlines are suspended.

    The informal resolution process is not available to resolve allegations that a Corporation employee or another adult member of the Corporation Community or Third Party sexually harassed a student.

    The informal resolution process is not available to resolve allegations regarding a sexual assault involving a student Complainant and a student Respondent.

    Investigation of a Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment

    In conducting the investigation of a Formal Complaint and throughout the grievance process, the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility is on the Corporation, not the parties.

    In making the determination of responsibility, the decision-maker(s) is/are directed to use the preponderance of the evidence standard. The decision-maker(s) is charged with considering the totality of all available evidence, from all relevant sources.

    The Corporation is not permitted to access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the party provides the Corporation with voluntary, written consent to do so; if a student party is not an Eligible Student, the Corporation must obtain the voluntary, written consent of a parent.

    Similarly, the investigator(s) and decision-maker(s) may not require, allow, rely upon or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege in writing.

    As part of the investigation, the parties have the right to

    1. present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence; and
       
    2. have others present during any grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. The Corporation may not limit the choice or presence of an advisor for either the Complainant or Respondent in any meeting or grievance proceeding.

    Neither party shall be restricted in their ability to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.

    The Corporation will provide to a party whose participation is invited or expected written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate. The investigator(s) and decision-maker(s) must provide a minimum of three (3) days’ notice with respect to investigative interviews and other meetings and three (3) days' notice with respect to hearings.

    Both parties shall have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including the evidence upon which the Corporation does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to the conclusion of the investigation.

    Prior to completion of the investigative report, the Title IX Officer will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy, and the parties will have at least ten (10) calendar days to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to completion of the investigative report.

    At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and send the report to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, for their review and written response. The investigator will send the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the decision-maker(s) issuing a determination regarding responsibility.
     

    Determination of Responsibility

    The Title IX Officer shall appoint a decision-maker(s) to issue a determination of responsibility. The decision-maker(s) cannot be the same person(s) as the Title IX Officer(s) or the investigator(s).

    After the investigator sends the investigative report to the parties and the decision-maker(s), and before the decision-maker(s) reaches a determination regarding responsibility, the decision-maker(s) will afford each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that a party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party. The decision-maker(s) must explain to the party proposing the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

    Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

    Determination regarding responsibility: The decision-maker(s) will issue a written determination regarding responsibility. To reach this determination, the decision-maker(s) must apply the preponderance of the evidence standard.

    The written determination will include the following content:

    1. identification of the allegations potentially constituting Sexual Harassment pursuant to this policy;
       
    2. a description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, and methods used to gather other evidence;
       
    3. findings of fact supporting the determination;
       
    4. conclusions regarding the application of the applicable code of conduct to the facts;
       
    5. a statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the decision-maker(s) is recommending that the Corporation impose on the Respondent(s) and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity should be provided by the Corporation to the Complainant(s); and
       
    6. the procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) to appeal.

    Disciplinary sanctions/consequences may be imposed on a student Respondent who is determined responsible for violating this policy (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment), including but not limited to:

    1. Informal Discipline
       
      1. writing assignments;
         
      2. changing of seating or location;
         
      3. before-school, lunchtime, and/or after-school detention;
         
      4. in-school discipline;
         
      5. Saturday school.
         
    2. Formal Discipline
       
      1. suspension of bus riding/transportation privileges;
         
      2. removal from co-curricular and/or extra-curricular activity(ies), including athletics;
         
      3. emergency removal;
         
      4. suspension for up to ten (10) school days;
         
      5. expulsion for up to eighty (80) school days or the number of school days remaining in a semester, whichever is greater;
         
      6. expulsion for up to one (1) year; and
         
      7. any other sanction authorized by the Student Code of Conduct.

    If the decision-maker(s) determines the student Respondent is responsible for violating this policy (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment), the decision-maker(s) will recommend appropriate remedies, including disciplinary sanctions/consequences. The Title IX Officer will notify the Superintendent of the recommended remedies, so an authorized administrator can consider the recommendation(s) and implement an appropriate remedy(ies) in compliance with Policy 5600 – Student Discipline, Policy 5605 – Suspension/Expulsion of Students with Disabilities, Policy 5610 – Suspension and Expulsion of Students, Policy 5610.02 – In-School Discipline, and Policy 5611 – Due Process Rights. Discipline of a student Respondent must comply with the applicable provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended, and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972, and their respective implementing regulations.

    Disciplinary sanctions/consequences may be imposed on an employee Respondent who is determined responsible for violating this policy including but not limited to (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment):

    1. oral or written warning;
       
    2. written reprimands;
       
    3. performance improvement plan;
       
    4. required counseling;
       
    5. required training or education;
       
    6. demotion;
       
    7. suspension with pay;
       
    8. suspension without pay;
       
    9. termination;
       
    10. any other sanction authorized by any applicable Employee/Administrator Handbook and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement.

    If the decision-maker(s) determines the employee Respondent is responsible for violating this policy (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment), the decision-maker(s) will recommend appropriate remedies, including disciplinary sanctions/consequences. The Title IX Officer will notify the Superintendent of the recommended remedies, so an authorized administrator can consider the recommendation(s) and implement an appropriate remedy(ies) in compliance with applicable due process procedures, whether statutory or contractual. If the Superintendent is the Respondent, the Title IX Officer will notify the Board of the recommended remedies for consideration and, if necessary and appropriate, implementation in compliance with applicable due process procedures, whether statutory or contractual.

    Discipline of an employee will be implemented in accordance with Federal and State law, Board policy, and applicable provisions of any relevant collective bargaining agreement.

    Disciplinary sanctions/consequences may be imposed on a non-student / non-employee member of the Corporation Community or a Third Party who is determined responsible for violating this policy (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment), including but not limited to: 

    1. oral or written warning;
       
    2. suspension or termination/ cancellation of the Board’s contract with the third-party vendor or contractor;
       
    3. mandatory monitoring of the third party while on school property and/or while working/interacting with students;
       
    4. restriction/prohibition on the third party’s ability to be on school property; and
       
    5. any combination of the same.

    If the decision-maker(s) determines the third party Respondent is responsible for violating this policy (i.e., engaging in Sexual Harassment), the decision-maker(s) will recommend appropriate remedies, including the imposition of sanctions. The Title IX Officer will notify the Superintendent of the recommended remedies, so appropriate action can be taken.

    The decision-maker(s) will provide the written determination to the Title IX Officer who will provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously.

    In ultimately imposing a disciplinary sanction/consequence, the Superintendent (or the Board when the Superintendent is the Respondent) will consider the severity of the incident, previous disciplinary violations (if any), and any mitigating circumstances. If the Respondent is a Member of the Board, s/he shall be excluded from any determination regarding the imposition of a disciplinary sanction/consequence by the remaining School Board members.

    The Corporation's resolution of a Formal Complaint ordinarily will not be impacted by the fact that criminal charges involving the same incident have been filed or that charges have been dismissed or reduced.

    At any point in the grievance process and procedures, the Superintendent (or the Title IX Officer if the Superintendent is the Respondent) may involve local law enforcement and/or file criminal charges related to allegations of Sexual Harassment that involve a sexual assault.

    The Title IX Officer is responsible for the effective implementation of any remedies.

    Appeal

    Both parties have the right to file an appeal from a determination regarding responsibility, or from the Title IX Coordinator’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:

    1. procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter (e.g., material deviation from established procedures);
       
    2. new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made that could affect the outcome of the matter;
       
    3. the Title IX Officer, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant(s) or Respondent(s) that affected the outcome of the matter; and
       
    4. the recommended remedies (including disciplinary sanctions/consequences) are unreasonable in light of the findings of fact (i.e., the nature and severity of the Sexual Harassment).

    Any party wishing to appeal the decision-maker(s)’s determination of responsibility or the Title IX Officer’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein must submit a written appeal to the Title IX Officer within five (5) days after receipt of the decision-maker(s)’s determination of responsibility or the Title IX Officer’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein.

    Nothing herein shall prevent the Superintendent (or the Board when the Superintendent is the Respondent) from imposing any remedy, including disciplinary sanction, while the appeal is pending.

    As to all appeals, the Title IX Officer will notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed and implement appeal procedures equally for both parties.

    The decision-maker(s) for the appeal shall not be the same person(s) as the decision-maker(s) that reached the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the investigator(s), or the Title IX Officer(s). The decision-maker(s) for the appeal shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or an individual Complainant(s) or Respondent(s) and shall receive the same training as required of other decision-makers.

    Both parties shall have a reasonable, equal opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome.

    The decision-maker(s) for the appeal shall determine when each party’s written statement is due.

    The decision-maker(s) for the appeal shall issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The original decision-maker’s(s’) determination of responsibility will stand if the appeal request is not filed in a timely manner or the appealing party fails to show clear error and/or a compelling rationale for overturning or modifying the original determination. The written decision will be provided to the Title IX Officer who will provide it simultaneously to both parties. The written decision will be issued within five (5) days of when the parties’ written statements were submitted.

    The determination of responsibility associated with a Formal Complaint, including any recommendations for remedies/disciplinary sanctions, becomes final when the time for filing an appeal has passed or, if an appeal is filed, at the point when the decision-maker(s) for the appeal’s decision is delivered to the Complainant and the Respondent. No further review beyond the appeal is permitted.

    Retaliation

    Neither the Board nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, its implementing regulations, or this policy, or because the individual made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or Sexual Harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, its implementing regulations, or this policy, constitute(s) retaliation. Retaliation against a person for making a report of Sexual Harassment, filing a Formal Complaint, or participating in an investigation is a serious violation of this policy that can result in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions/consequences and/or other appropriate remedies.

    Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the grievance process set forth above.

    The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not constitute retaliation prohibited under this policy.

    Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy shall not constitute retaliation, provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.

    Confidentiality

    The Corporation 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 as may be permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, or FERPA's regulations, 34 CFR part 99, or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR part 106, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising thereunder (i.e., the Corporation's obligation to maintain confidentiality shall not impair or otherwise affect the Complainant’s and Respondent’s receipt of the information to which they are entitled related to the investigative record and determination of responsibility).  

    Application of the First Amendment

    The Board will construe and apply this policy consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In no case will a Respondent be found to have committed Sexual Harassment based on expressive conduct that is protected by the First Amendment.

    Training

    The Corporation's Title IX Officer, along with any investigator(s), decision-maker(s), or person(s) designated to facilitate an informal resolution process, must receive training on:

    1. the definition of Sexual Harassment (as that term is used in this policy);
       
    2. the scope of the Corporation's education program or activity;
       
    3. how to conduct an investigation and implement the grievance process, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable; and
       
    4. how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interests, and bias.

    All Corporation employees will be trained concerning their legal obligation to report Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Officer. This training will include practical information about how to identify and report Sexual Harassment.

    Record-keeping

    As part of its response to alleged violations of this policy, the Corporation shall create, and maintain for a period of seven (7) calendar years, records of any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment. In each instance, the Corporation shall document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity. If the Corporation does not provide a Complainant with supportive measures, then the Corporation will document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The documentation of certain bases or measures does not limit the Corporation in the future from providing additional explanations or detailing additional measures taken.

    The Corporation shall maintain for a period of seven (7) calendar years the following records:

    1. each Sexual Harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions recommended and/or imposed on the Respondent(s), and any remedies provided to the Complainant(s) designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Corporation's education program or activity;
       
    2. any appeal and the result therefrom;
       
    3. any informal resolution and the result therefrom; and
       
    4. all materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process.

    The Corporation will make its training materials publicly available on its website. If a person is unable to access the Corporation's website, the Title IX Officer will make the training materials available upon request for inspection by members of the public.

    Outside Appointments, Dual Appointments, and Delegations

    The Board retains the discretion to appoint suitably qualified persons who are not Corporation employees to fulfill any function of the Board under this policy, including, but not limited to, Title IX Officer, investigator, decision-maker, decision-maker for appeals, facilitator of informal resolution processes, and advisor.

    The Board also retains the discretion to appoint two (2) or more persons to jointly fulfill the role of Title IX Officer, investigator, decision-maker, decision-maker for appeals, facilitator of informal resolution processes, and advisor.

    The Superintendent may delegate functions assigned to a specific Corporation employee under this policy, including but not limited to the functions assigned to the Title IX Officer, investigator, decision-maker, decision-maker for appeals, facilitator of informal resolution processes, and advisor, to any suitably qualified individual, and such delegation may be rescinded by the Superintendent at any time.

    Discretion in Application

    The Board retains the discretion to interpret and apply this policy in a manner that is not clearly unreasonable, even if the Board’s interpretation or application differs from the interpretation of any specific Complainant and/or Respondent.

    Despite the Board’s reasonable efforts to anticipate all eventualities in drafting this policy, it is possible unanticipated or extraordinary circumstances may not be specifically or reasonably addressed by the express policy language, in which case the Board retains the discretion to respond to the unanticipated or extraordinary circumstance in a way that is not clearly unreasonable.

    The provisions of this policy are not contractual in nature, whether in their own right or as part of any other express or implied contract. Accordingly, the Board retains the discretion to revise this policy at any time, and for any reason. The Board may apply policy revisions to an active case provided that doing so is not clearly unreasonable.

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