Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Violence, and Nondiscrimination
Title IX and Harassment Policy
HARASSMENTIt is essential that students and staff members have the confidence that the Boulder Valley School District will do everything in its power to protect victims and to take action against misconduct. Over the past year, BVSD has been working to strengthen our sexual harassment policies (GBAA and JBB) and investigation procedures (AC, AC-R, AC-E2).TITLE IXTitle IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Regardless of whether sexual harassment (that includes sexual violence) occurs at school, Title IX obligates school districts to address any impact of that conduct on students that interferes with their ability to access their education. This means that schools must provide students with their Title IX rights and the contact information for adults at school who can respond to allegations of misconduct and put in place interim remedies to support impacted students. If students experience harassment or retaliation resulting from the exercise of their Title IX rights, then schools are legally obligated to take action to stop it from recurring.
In terms of Title IX investigations, the School District is obligated to investigate and take action to stop misconduct that is impacting students at school, but there is not a strict timeline for such investigations. When the same allegations are being investigated by law enforcement, then the School District wants to minimize potential trauma for students by using information from law enforcement's investigation as much as possible. Most often, we do this by, among other things, using information in police reports, juvenile petitions, and information shared by the DA’s office as the substantive information for the School District’s Title IX investigation while also providing due process to the involved parties as required by the U.S. Department of Education rules and regulations governing school districts. While law enforcement investigations and any related legal proceedings are being conducted, the School District’s focus is on providing interim remedies to support students.WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE?According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. It is defined as any unwanted, forced, or coerced sexual contact without the consent or against the will of another person. It can range from inappropriate touching to penetration. It includes the crimes of sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse.MAKE A REPORTPeak to Peak Charter School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students. Victims of sexual harassment are encouraged to report the incident to an adult they trust, whether it is a school counselor, administrator or law enforcement. Reports can be made orally or in writing. Written reports can be made using the Board's Complaint form, AC-E2 or by email to TitleIX@bvsd.org.
If there is an immediate threat to your child or others call 911.
National Sexual Assault Telephone and Online Hotline
Colorado Crisis Services
Text "TALK" to 38255
In affirming that there shall be no discrimination, harassment, or violence against anyone in the school system, the Board of Education intends this regulation to define what constitutes a violation of the Board's nondiscrimination policy and to provide processes to prohibit discrimination, harassment, and violence. This regulation is further intended to delineate procedures to resolve conflicts that arise and to ensure accountability.
- It is recognized that discrimination or harassment complaints may arise from a variety of situations and circumstances. Students and adults are encouraged to report concerns of discrimination, whether actual or perceived, so that they may be investigated and resolved, either through discipline or education.
- It is the intent of these procedures to assure that discrimination or harassment complaints are resolved in a timely, orderly, and equitable manner that serves to fulfill the intent of the Board policy against discrimination. All administrators are required to make a conscientious effort to fully understand the nature and basis of any discrimination or harassment complaint and resolve it or refer it to the appropriate source for resolution in a timely manner.
- The filing of a discrimination or harassment complaint will not be used as a basis for actions that adversely affect any party's standing in the school system.
- The School District will support teachers and administrators in promoting high standards of academic scholarship in a safe, non-threatening environment that respects the potential of each student without regard for individual differences. Students will have an opportunity to participate in discussions advocating nondiscrimination. Staff development aimed at the elimination of harassment and discrimination will be provided to all employees in the School District.
- Support services, such as school counseling, and the nondiscrimination school liaison are available for students who experience discrimination or harassment.
Behavior toward students or adults based, in whole or in part, on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion which interferes with a person's school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment.
- Sexual Harassment
Verbal, visual, or physical sexual or gender-based behavior that occurs when one person has formal or informal power over the other and
- such behavior creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or
- such behavior interferes with an individual's educational performance or adversely affects an individual's learning opportunities.
- Violation or Suspected Violation of the Nondiscrimination Policy
It is a violation of the nondiscrimination policy if, on District property, in District vehicles, or in connection with any District program, activity, or event, a District employee or student
Procedures to Resolve ConflictsAny adult who witnesses a violation of the nondiscrimination policy is expected to take reasonable action to stop the violation at the time the violation occurs, and to report the incident to the appropriate personnel.
- engages in behavior that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or that interferes with or intrudes upon an individual's rights or educational performance, opportunities or benefits on the basis of an individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or religion;
- harasses, intimidates, threatens or harms an individual on the basis of the individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion;
- harasses or intimidates another individual or individuals by name-calling, using derogatory slurs, or wearing or displaying items or images that, depending upon the facts, circumstances, and context, are reasonably likely to or do create ill will or hatred toward the individual or individuals, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or religion;
- damages, defaces, or destroys the property of any individual because of that individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion; or
- excludes any qualified individual from participation in, denies any qualified individual the benefits of, or otherwise discriminates against any qualified individual in connection with any District program, activity, or event on the basis of the individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion.
Students who witness or know of a violation or suspected violation of the policy are encouraged to promptly report to the school principal or another adult staff member. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the process, with information made available only to persons having a legitimate educational interest in the records of the proceedings.ProcedureWhen a violation or suspected violation of the nondiscrimination policy occurs, the Board policies and regulations provide the following procedures for students dealing with an alleged violation:
- AC and the Related Regulations and Exhibits, which address nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex (Compliance with Title IX) and nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
- JFH Student Complaints and Grievances (regarding violation of Board policies or school rules)
Any violation or suspected violation of the nondiscrimination policy, AC, which is not addressed by the procedures specifically provided above, shall be handled by the following complaint procedure. Every effort shall be made to resolve the complaint at the lowest possible level below:LEVEL I Informal Complaint to Administrator/Supervisor
Students, employees, or members of the public who have personal knowledge of a violation or suspected violation of the nondiscrimination policy that does not fall under the specific procedures listed above, shall initiate a review by contacting the building principal or supervisor as soon as possible after the alleged violation. Students may also report to a teacher or counselor on the school's staff that will act or arrange for a staff member to act as the Student Grievance Liaison. The principal or supervisor shall investigate any allegation of violation of the nondiscrimination policy, and attempt to resolve the matter informally by facilitating a discussion between those involved. If the alleged violation is based upon the conduct of the principal or supervisor of the complainant, the report should be made to that person's immediate supervisor.
In determining whether there has been a violation of the nondiscrimination policy, the principal or supervisor should consider all the facts, the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, the relationships between the parties involved, and the context in which the alleged incident occurred.LEVEL II Formal Written Complaint to Administrator/Supervisor
If the matter has not been informally resolved, the complainant may submit the Report Form for Alleged Discrimination, Harassment, or Violence (Form AC-E1) to the principal or supervisor. The form will also advise the complainant about persons who are available to assist the complainant in the process. The principal or supervisor shall make, or shall designate another to make, such additional investigation as necessary to determine the complete facts involved. Any person investigating a complaint at this level is expected to have appropriate training in investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination. He or she shall make a written report within ten school days from the date the written complaint is received. The report shall be made on the Alleged Discrimination, Harassment, Violence Follow-Up Report Form (AC-E2) and shall contain the specific findings and conclusion as to the alleged violation of the nondiscrimination policy. Any report that contains the name of a District student shall be considered an educational record and shall be kept confidential pursuant to state and federal public records laws.LEVEL III District-Level Formal Complaint
If resolution is not achieved, the complainant may file a written appeal within ten days of review of the Level II report at the District level (Assistant Superintendents of Elementary, Secondary Education, the Chief Operations Officer or designee). The written appeal shall state, with specificity, the reasons and facts that support the disagreement with the Level II decision. The appropriate Director at the District level shall have ten days to review the records of the complaint and investigation and to issue a written decision.LEVEL IV Formal Written Complaint to Superintendent/Designee
If the issue has not been resolved by the Level III decision, a final appeal may be made to the Superintendent of Schools or designee within five days of receipt of the Level III decision. The Superintendent, or designee, based upon an independent investigation, shall issue a written decision as a final resolution of the complaint within ten (20) days of receiving the investigation report.Nondiscrimination Regulations Flow ChartLevelDecision-MakerRespondent ActionDistrict ActionISchool principal or immediate supervisorReport as soon after event giving rise to claimResolve informally utilizing District's disciplinary regulations (inappropriate behavior will constitute disciplinary actions). (See BVSD File: JG for reference.)IISchool principal or immediate supervisorFile a formal written complaint ASAP after event giving rise to claim or after failureReport findings (ten working days)1. No violation of District Policy;2. No violation of District'sNondiscrimination Policy; however, inappropriate behavior by respondent (disciplinary action may be taken); or3. Violation of District Nondiscrimination Policy (disciplinary action must be taken).IIIAssistant Superintendent (elementary, secondary), Chief Operations Officer or designeeFile a written appeal within ten days of review of report at Level II *Written decision sent within ten days of appeal or receipt of external investigation report (if applicable) which may: affirm; reverse; modify; remandIVSuperintendent or designeeFile a written complaint within ten days of appeal of Level IIIWritten decision within twenty days of appeal; which may affirm; reverse; modify; or remand.The Superintendent's or designee's decision is final.
The Nondiscrimination Flow Chart will be placed in the student-parent handbook, teacher handbook, and on posters that will be placed in all District buildings.
- Failure on the part of the student/family/employee to initiate and/or follow up on a complaint in a timely manner may result in the complaint being considered abandoned. A complaint must be filed within twenty school days of the alleged violation of the nondiscrimination policy.
- In general, students and employees shall continue attendance at school and pursue their studies or employment, as directed, while complaints are pending resolution.
- Records of an ongoing investigation shall be kept confidential pursuant to state and federal law.