Office of Coordinated School Health Annual Training Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination For School System Employees July 2019
Loudon County Schools is committed to the safety of its students and employees; therefore, all certified and non-certified staff are required to receive annual training on recognizing and responding to Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination. • For your convenience and to provide a more effective program, these trainings are now available electronically and on the school system’s website at www.loudoncounty.org. • All employees must complete the training by September 15thof each school year.
Non-Discrimination Policies It is the policy of the Loudon County School System to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination or harassment of any type. The school system prohibits any form of discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, or disability in its educational programs, activities or employment practices; and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups in accordance with the requirements of Titles VI and VII or the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and the 1975 Age Discrimination and Employment Act.
Loudon County Schools Coordinators All coordinators are located in Loudon County Schools’ Central Office at 100 River Road, Loudon, TN 37774. Telephone: 865-458-5411 • Title VI Coordinator: Matthew Tinker • Title IX Coordinators: Matthew Tinker, Mike Garren, Melanie Amburn • 504 Coordinator: Melanie Amburn
Loudon County Board of Education Policies • 5.500 Discrimination/Harassment of Employees • 6.304 Discrimination/Harassment of Students • These policies are in compliance with TSBA policies; state laws: TCA 49-6-3109, 49-6-1014-1019, and TCA 49-2-120; and federal non-discrimination laws.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964The Civil Rights Act of 1991 Prohibits discrimination based on • race • color • national origin • religion • sex
Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 Amendment to Civil Rights Act Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 • Prohibits discrimination against persons aged 40 and over based on age: • By employers in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, conditions and privileges of employment, in classifying, limiting or segregating employees or job applicants
Sexual Harassment in School Sexual harassment of students is illegal. A federal law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in education programs and activities. All public and private education institutions that receive any federal funds must comply with Title IX, which protect students from harassment connected to any of the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools, regardless of the location. Both male and female students are protected from sexual harassment by any school employee, another student, or a non-employee third party.
Definition of Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual or gender-based behavior that occurs when one person has formal or informal power over the other. There are three elements to sexual harassment: • The behavior is unwanted or unwelcome. • The behavior is sexual or related to the gender of the person. • The behavior occurs in the context of a relationship where one person has more formal power than the other, such as a supervisor over an employee or a faculty member over a student; or more informal power, such as one peer over another.
Types of Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment exists when any of four conditions are met: • Submission to the conduct is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining education or employment; (quid pro quo harassment) • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a factor in decisions affecting that person’s education or employment; (quid pro quo harassment) • The conduct has either the purpose or effect of “substantially interfering: with a person’s education or employment; (hostile environment harassment) • The conduct creates an “intimidating, hostile or offensive: educational or work environment. (hostile environment harassment)
Important Legal Terms • Quid pro quo harassment: Harasser requires sexual favors of victim in return for some action by harasser, or harasser retaliates against victim for denying sexual favors. • Hostile environment harassment: • Victim is usually subjected to unwelcome repeated sexual comments, innuendoes or touching, which alter conditions or interfere with school or employment performance or access to opportunities provided by the institution. • Conduct is gender-based, and creates an intimidating or offensive place for employees to work or students to go to school. • Can occur off campus grounds, e.g., school sporting event, on bus, on school trip, in college-sponsored internship programs. • Can be caused by teachers, administrators, bus drivers or other staff, students, vendors, or persons temporarily on campus.
Important Legal Terms • Unwelcome: A way of determining whether conduct is sexual harassment. “Unwelcome: means conduct was not wanted or willingly permitted. Victim may “voluntarily” submit to sexual intercourse, but behavior may still be considered unwelcome. • Reasonable person: A standard used by the U.S. Supreme Court to determine if conduct is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment if a reasonable person with the victim’s perspective would consider it so.
What is Sexual Harassment? • Conduct of a sexual nature • Is unwelcome • Denies or limit’s an individual’s ability to participate in or receive the benefits of the recipient’s program.
What is Sexual Harassment? • Can take on may different forms depending on the harasser and the nature of the harassment • Conduct can occur in any school program or activity and can take place in school facilities, on a school bus, or at other off-campus locations, such as a school-sponsored field trip or a training program at another location. • Conduct can be verbal, nonverbal, or physical.
Types of Prohibited Conduct • Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions • Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, degrading descriptions • Sexual jokes, pictures, notes, gestures • Unwanted touching • Graphic verbal comments about a person’s body, or overly personal conversation • Spreading sexual rumors • Blocking normal movement • An act of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment
Statistics on Sexual Harassment in School • 8 in 10 students (81 percent) say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment in school • 2 in 3 students have been targets of sexual comments, touching, grabbing or pinching in a sexual way at school • More than one-third (35 percent) of students who experience harassment report their first occurrence in 6th grade or earlier
Statistics on Sexual Harassment in School • 10th- and 11th- graders are more likely than 8th- and 9th- graders to experience physical harassment • Slightly more than half (54 percent) of students said they have sexually harassed someone during their school lives • Students who experience sexual harassment are most likely to react by avoiding the person who bothered or harassed them (40 percent), talking less in class (24 percent), not wanting to go to school (22 percent), changing their seat in class to get farther away from someone (21 percent), and finding it hard to pay attention in school (20 percent)
Statistics on Sexual Harassment in School • Boys are more than twice as likely to say they have often or occasionally been called gay • 7% of students have been harassed by teachers, with boys and girls equally likely to have this experience • Not even half (40 percent) of students say they would be likely to complaint to a school adult if they were sexually harassed. Girls are twice as likely than boys • 20% of harassed students say they told no one, boys are more likely than girls to tell no one • from Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School (Commissioned by the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Educational Foundation), 2001.
Why Harassment Is Not Reported • Embarrassment • Belief that the behavior will end if ignored • Fear of losing job or status • Fear of retaliation • Fear of being blamed for inviting the harassment • Concern about not being believed • Concern about being labeled a troublemaker • Fear of harmful rumors and loss of privacy • Conviction that nothing will be done about the problem • Fear that the complaint process could be worse than the harassment
Psychological Effects of Sexual Harassment On the victim: shame, fear, humiliation, self-doubt, embarrassment, guilt, stress, powerlessness, withdrawal, isolation, degradation On the Work or Learning Unit: morale problems, tarnished reputations, decreased trust, confusion, shock On the Institution: lowered morale, public relations problems, loss of trust, hostile employee/student relations, polarization of men and women, anger toward institution, diminished reputation of institution, recruitment difficulties
Economic Effects of Sexual Harassment On the victim: loss of job, job search expenses, loss of seniority, loss of references, medical expenses, increased absenteeism, reduced productivity On the work or learning unit: reduced productivity, increased work load, supervisor’s performance review potentially affected, potential turnover costs for recruiting and training, safety can be jeopardized On the institution: legal expenses, cash settlements, reduced productivity, increase in use of benefits
What Victims of Sexual Harassment Can Do to Stop It • Tell the offender that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. • Adopt a formal approach. • Refuse to answer personal questions. • Place a copy of the school’s sexual harassment policy on the offender’s desk or in his mailbox. • Send the harasser a letter that: • Provides a factual account of what happened. • Describe how the incident(s) made you feel. • Explain what you want to happen next. • Deliver the letter in person or mail it. • Keep a copy.
Personal Behavior Checklist Maintaining harassment-free schools and campuses is critical for encouraging: • An open learning environment • Productive and happy employees • Good relationships between students and employees of both genders Use the following checklist to consider your own behavior: • Does this behavior contribute to getting our goals accomplished? • Could this behavior hurt my fellow employees or other students if they were here? • Could this behavior be interpreted as harmful or harassing by an outsider? • Could this behavior be sending out signals that invite harassing behavior on the part or others?
Sexual Harassment • Sexual harassment is prohibited regardless of the sex of the harasser or the victim, i.e., sexual harassment may occur if the harasser and the victim are of the same sex. • For Title IX to apply, the discrimination must be based on sex, even where the harasser and victim are he same sex.
Section 504 of theRehabilitation Act of 1973 • Prohibits discrimination against disabled Individuals • Serves as comprehensive component of civil rights legislation • Applies to all agencies that receive federal Funding • Incorporates broad definition of disability
Section 504 states: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability…shall solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Definition of a Disability UnderSection 504 • 1) Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities (self-care, walking, seeing, learning, breathing, speaking, working) • 2) Has a record of such an impairment • 3) Is regarded as having such an impairment
Section 504 requires: • Disabled students have an equal opportunity to compete when compared to their non-disabled peers. Requires that no qualified disabled person shall be discriminated against or be excluded from participation in any activity. • Reasonable accommodations and/or modifications must be made to provide access to programs and facilities.
School District’sResponsibilities Include: • 1) Naming a 504 coordinator • 2) Providing training for ALL employees annually on Section 504 • 3) Locating and identifying all children with disabilities who should be served • 4) Providing a free, appropriate public education • 5) Providing children with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities School Board Policy 1.802 relates to 504 school district’s responsibilities.
Workplace Bullying Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm.It can include verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and/or humiliation. Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be from employer or peers. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals and may lead to a decline in employee morale and change the organizational culture. Wikipedia Tennessee's Healthy Workplace Act of 2014 defines situations that may be considered workplace bullying. School Board Policies 5.500, 5.501, 5.502 & 5.600 should be referenced for additional information.
Sources • Tennessee Code Annotated http://www.state.tn.us/environment/permits/tcalink.shtml • Loudon County Board of Education Policy http://www.loudoncounty.org • Tennessee School Board Association http://www.tsba.net/ • U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Sexual Harassment: It’s Not Academic, Washington, D.C., 2008. • Thompson Publishing Group, Educator’s Guide to Controlling Sexual Harassment, 2002. • National Crime Prevention Council, 2006. • www.samhsa.gov • US Department of Health and Human Services