Sexual Harassment | Policy 6121 & Policy 7531

Personnel and Students

SECTION 1: Purpose

Under Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, no person may be discriminated against on the basis of sex in employment or education, respectively. Sexual Harassment is a form of prohibited sexual discrimination. This Policy shall apply to unlawful discrimination based on sex, including unlawful sexual harassment. In all cases “Discrimination” shall be read to include “Harassment”.

A. It is the policy of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District (“District”) that sexual discrimination of employees, applicants for employment, or students in any form is unacceptable conduct. The purpose of this regulation is to clearly state the District’s position on this issue; to notify all employees and students of the kinds of activities which constitute improper sexual discrimination; and to provide a procedure whereby any employee or student who believes he or she is the victim of sexual discrimination can submit a complaint which will be investigated by the District. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sexual discrimination, whether verbal or physical, and whether arising out of the work or school environment, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

B. This regulation shall also constitute the Grievance Procedure required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for complaints of gender discrimination within educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance. The Title IX Officer is identified in Section 7 of this Policy.

SECTION 2: Definition

A. Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace. Discrimination on the basis of sex is a violation of State and Federal law. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual discrimination when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexually discriminating conduct in the work place, whether committed by supervisors, non-supervisory personnel or third parties, is prohibited. Such prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to: (1) unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions; (2) verbal or written abuse of a sexual nature; (3) graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body; (4) sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; and, (5) the display in the work place of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.

B. Sexual Discrimination of and/or between Students. Sexual discrimination of students consists of verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, by an employee, agent, or another student of the District or a third party, that denies, limits, or conditions the provision of aid, benefits, services, or treatment protected under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 on the basis of sex. According to guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, in order to give rise to a complaint under Title IX, sexual harassment must be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it adversely affects a student’s education or creates a hostile or abusive educational environment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual discrimination when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education; or (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s education creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive environment. Such actions include, but are not limited to the following conduct directed at students: (1) unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions; (2) verbal or written abuse of a sexual nature; (3) graphic verbal comments about the student’s body; (4) sexually degrading words used to describe a student; and, (5) unwelcome and non-consensual physical touching of a sexual nature.

Given the special nature of the relationship between students and employees of the District, extreme caution should be exercised by employees of the District to avoid any situation involving comments of a sexual nature, particularly in the presence of students. It is recognized that discussions involving sexual relations and the human body are part of mandated curriculum in certain areas (e.g., health education) and are, therefore, not restricted by the District’s policy or this regulation. Nonetheless, there is no conflict between the District’s policy and the mandates of the District’s curriculum.

SECTION 3: Policy

A. The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District regards sexual discrimination as a very serious matter. Accordingly, sexual discrimination by any employee or agent of the District, or a third party, of any employee or agent of the District, or applicant for employment is hereby prohibited.

B. It is the policy of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District that all students be free from sexual discrimination in the classroom and school environment. Therefore, sexual discrimination of students is expressly prohibited. This policy also applies to conduct between students.

SECTION 4: Sexual Discrimination Policy Enforcement

A. Procedure for Employees.

Each supervisor has an affirmative duty to maintain his or her work place free from sexual discrimination. Each supervisor shall discuss the District’s policy and this regulation with all employees and assure them that they are not required to endure insulting, degrading, or exploitative conduct of a sexual nature.

(1) Informal Procedure. The District encourages employees, who believe they are being sexually discriminated against, to clearly and promptly notify the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome. If for any reason an individual does not wish to confront the offender directly or if such a confrontation does not successfully end the discrimination, the individual should notify his or her supervisor, a school Principal, the Superintendent of Schools, the Title IX Officer, or the President of the Board of Education. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers are located at Section 7 of this policy. If notification is made to anyone other than the Superintendent of Schools, then the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the Superintendent of Schools of the allegation of sexual discrimination (unless the allegation of sexual discrimination is made against the Superintendent in which case the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the President of the Board).

The informal procedure should be flexible and the best course of action in any case will depend on various factors. The informal procedure is intended to address allegations of sexual discrimination or harassment which lend themselves to expeditious and meaningful mediation between the parties involved, with or without the assistance of a supervisor. Any district supervisor receiving or involved in an informal complaint of sexual harassment should maintain a written record of the allegation and resolution. However, an individual reporting sexual discrimination should be aware that the District may decide it is necessary to take action to address the discrimination beyond an informal discussion. In addition, an employee may elect to proceed directly to the formal procedure and terminate the informal procedure at any time.

(2) Formal Procedure. The following steps should be followed to make a formal complaint about sexual discrimination.

(a) Notification: An individual who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual discrimination should report the incident to his or her supervisor, a school Principal, the Superintendent of Schools, the Title IX Officer, or the President of the Board of Education. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers are located at Section 7 of this policy. Any individual may initially report an allegation of sexual discrimination utilizing the informal procedure or utilizing the formal procedure if dissatisfied with the informal procedure. The complaint should be in writing using the District’s “Charge of Alleged Discrimination” form. In the case of a report made to anyone other than the Superintendent of Schools, the recipient of the complaint shall file the complaint with the Superintendent of Schools immediately (unless the allegation of sexual discrimination is made against the Superintendent in which case the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the President of the Board).

(b) Description of Misconduct: An accurate record of allegedly objectionable behavior is necessary to resolve a complaint of sexual discrimination. All oral allegations of sexual discrimination must be reduced to writing by either the complainant or the recipient of the complaint.

(c) Time for Reporting a Complaint: Prompt reporting of complaints is strongly encouraged. While no time limits for filing complaints are contained in this policy, the accurate resolution of sexual discrimination complaints will be expedited by timely filing of claims. Further, a complainant should be aware that applicable statutes of limitations do constrain the time for instituting outside legal action.

(d) Protection against Retaliation: The District will not retaliate against any individual who files a sexual discrimination complaint in good faith. Retaliation is a very serious violation of the District’s policy and should be reported immediately. Any employee or agent of the District found to have retaliated against an individual for good faith reporting of sexual discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including discharge from employment. Any third party found to have retaliated may be barred from District property or the complainant’s work area.

(3) The District will promptly investigate all allegations of sexual discrimination in as confidential and sensitive a manner as possible and shall make every reasonable effort, consistent with the best interests of all parties concerned, to complete an impartial investigation within thirty (30) days of receipt of the formal complaint or sooner if reasonably possible. Alleged harassers and complainants may present witnesses and other evidence to the District’s investigator(s) if they wish to do so.

(4) The individual submitting a complaint of sexual discrimination and the alleged harasser shall be notified of the results of the investigation and may be informed of the status of the investigation on a periodic basis.

(5) Any supervisor, agent, or other employee who is found, after appropriate investigation, to have engaged in sexual discrimination, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with any applicable statutory or collective bargaining procedures, up to and including discharge from employment.

Any third party found to have engaged in sexual discrimination may be barred from District property or the complainant’s building, work area, or presence.

B. Procedure for Students

(1) Informal Procedure. The District encourages students, who believe they are being sexually discriminated against, to clearly and promptly notify the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome. If for any reason a student does not wish to confront the offender directly, or if such a confrontation does not successfully end the discrimination, the student should notify the designated Title IX Officer or his or her building Principal. Any student who is uncomfortable for any reason in bringing the matter to the attention of his or her building Principal should report the matter to the Superintendent of Schools or Title IX officer, or if that it not deemed possible, to the President of the Board of Education. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers are located at Section 7 of this policy. If notification is made to anyone other than the Superintendent of Schools, then the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the Superintendent of Schools of the allegation of sexual discrimination (unless the allegation of sexual discrimination is made against the Superintendent in which case the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the President of the Board).

The informal procedure should be flexible and the best course of action in any case will depend on various factors. School personnel should consider the age and maturity of students when responding to allegations of sexual harassment. The informal procedure is intended to address allegations of sexual discrimination or harassment which lend themselves to expeditious and meaningful mediation between the parties involved, with or without the assistance of a supervisor. Any district supervisor receiving or involved in an informal complaint of sexual harassment should maintain a written record of the allegation and resolution. However, a student reporting sexual discrimination should be aware that the District may decide it is necessary to take action to address the discrimination beyond an informal discussion. In addition, a student may elect to proceed directly to the formal procedure and terminate the informal procedure at any time.

(2) Formal Procedure. The following steps should be followed to make a formal complaint about sexual discrimination.

(a) Notification: A student who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual discrimination by any employee, agent or other student of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District should report the incident to the designated Title IX Officer or his or her building Principal. Any student who is uncomfortable for any reason in bringing the matter to the attention of his or her building Principal should report the matter to the Superintendent of Schools or Title IX Officer, or if that is not deemed possible, to the President of the Board of Education. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers are located at Section 7 of this policy. In the case of a report made to anyone other than the Superintendent of Schools, the recipient of the complaint shall give notice of the complaint to the Superintendent of Schools immediately (unless the allegation of sexual discrimination is made against the Superintendent in which case the recipient of said notification shall immediately inform the President of the Board). Any individual may initially report an allegation of sexual discrimination utilizing the informal procedure or utilizing the formal procedure if dissatisfied with the informal procedure. The complaint should be in writing using the District’s “Charge of Alleged Discrimination” form. Students may be accompanied by a friend, relative, guardian or parent when making a claim of sexual discrimination. If a parent of a student of the District believes that his/her son/daughter has been subjected to sexual discrimination, then (s)he should follow the above referenced reporting procedure.

(b) Description of Misconduct: An accurate record of allegedly objectionable behavior is necessary to resolve a complaint of sexual discrimination. All allegations of sexual discrimination must be reduced to writing by either the complainant or the recipient of the complaint.

(c) Time for Reporting a Complaint: Prompt reporting of complaints is strongly encouraged. While no time limits for filing complaints are contained in this regulation, the accurate resolution of sexual discrimination complaints will be expedited by timely filing of claims. Further, a complainant should be aware that applicable statutes of limitations do constrain the time for instituting outside legal action.

(d) Protection against Retaliation: The District will not retaliate against any student who files a sexual discrimination complaint in good faith. Retaliation is a very serious violation of the District’s policy and should be reported immediately. Any employee, agent or student of the District found to have retaliated against a student for good faith reporting of sexual discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment for employees and agents, and up to and including suspension for students in accordance with the New York State Education Law. Any third party found to have retaliated against a student may be barred from District property or the complainant’s area.

(2) The School District will promptly investigate all allegations of sexual discrimination in as confidential and sensitive a manner as possible and shall make every reasonable effort, consistent with the best interests of all parties concerned, to complete an impartial investigation within thirty (30) days of receipt of the formal complaint or sooner if reasonably possible. Alleged harassers and complainants may present witnesses and other evidence to the District’s investigator(s) if they wish to do so.

(3) The student submitting a complaint of sexual discrimination and the alleged harasser shall be notified of the results of the investigation.

(4) Any supervisor, administrator, teacher, employee, agent or student of the District found to have engaged in sexual discrimination of any student shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with any applicable statutory or collective bargaining procedures, up to and including discharge from employment for employees and agents, and up to and including suspension from school for students in accordance with the New York State Education Law. Any third party found to have engaged in sexual discrimination of a student may be barred from District property or the complainant’s building, study area, and/or presence.

C. Appeal. Any employee or student who wishes to appeal investigation results that there is or is not sexual discrimination to the Board of Education may do so within ten (10) days of receipt of those results. Such appeal must be made in writing to the Board of Education by submission to the District Clerk. The employee or student shall be entitled to present evidence as to why the investigation results are incorrect. The Board’s consideration and review of any such appeal shall be conducted confidentially in executive session. Following a review of that evidence, as well as the information obtained in the investigation process and conclusions derived therefrom, the Board of Education, or its designee, shall render a decision. This decision shall be final and binding.

SECTION 5: Record Keeping

The District shall maintain a written record of all complaints of sexual discrimination for a period of at least six years. The District shall also document the steps taken with regard to investigations, as well as conclusions reached and disciplinary action (if any) taken. The District shall also maintain these documents for, at a minimum, six years.

SECTION 6: Questions

Any questions by employees or students of the District about the policy, this regulation or potential sexual discrimination should be brought to the attention of the Superintendent of Schools or Title IX Officer. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers are located at Section 7 of this policy.

Any questions regarding sexual discrimination and compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1973 may also be brought to the attention of the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, Washington D.C. 20202.

SECTION 7: Contact People

All contacts will be listed in Appendix “A.”

SECTION 8: Effective Date and Policy Dissemination

The effective date of this policy shall be April 26, 2004. The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that this policy is widely disseminated. A copy of this policy shall be posted in the office of each District building.

Form: Charge of Alleged Discrimination

Appendix A

Title IX Officers

Name: Mrs. Tabatha Biggane
Address: 112 Old Johnstown Rd, Fonda NY
Phone No.: 518-853-4415 ext. 4233

Name: Mr. David Zadoorian
Address: 112 Old Johnstown Rd, Fonda NY  12068
Phone No.: 518-853-4747 ext. 4249

Superintendent of Schools:
Name: Mr. Thomas Ciaccio
Address: 112 Old Johnstown Rd, Fonda NY
Phone No.: 518-853-4415 ext. 4230

Board of Education President:
Name: Mr. Matt Sullivan
Address: 112 Old Johnstown Rd, Fonda NY
Phone No.: 518-853-4415

Adopted: 03/21/1994
Revised: 04/26/2004
Revised: 09/24/2008

APPENDIX ‘‘A’’
Updated: 07/11/2012
Updated: 01/14/2013
Updated: 07/02/2013
Updated: 07/13/2015
Updated: 11/23/2015
Updated 07/18/19