HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION:

File: ACAB

POLICY:

The Blackstone-Millville Regional School District deems that harassment and discrimination within the workplace/schools is unlawful and prohibits any harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, political belief or marital status in the educational programs and activities of the school district as well as all employment opportunities.

The Blackstone-Millville Regional School District is committed to maintaining an educational and employment atmosphere in which every student and employee is free to pursue their need and fulfill their responsibilities free from behaviors that would prove to be destructive.

Harassment and Discrimination are considered to be destructive and will not be tolerated. It is considered to be unlawful to retaliate against an employee or student who files a complaint of harassment or discrimination or cooperated in the investigation of such complaint. The purpose of this policy is to define harassment/discrimination and establish appropriate standards of conduct and set guidelines for recognizing and dealing with harassment and discrimination.

DEFINATION:

“Harassment” and Discrimination refer to intentional or unintentional behavior for which there is no reasonable justification. Such behavior by a member of the staff or student body that adversely affects an individual (a member of the staff or body) or groups of individuals on the basis of characteristics such as: color, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, gender or sexual orientation. Harassment also includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual behavior, particularly sexual behavior accompanied by promises of academic or employment opportunities or the threat of loss of such opportunities.

Harassment may also include but is not limited to sexual harassment, racial harassment or harassment due to physical condition or disability. It may also include but is not limited to hostile, demeaning or intimidating behavior or conversation.

PROCESS FOR FILING A COMPLAINT:

  1. Present a formal (written or oral) complaint to your immediate superior for an employee or the building administrator in the case of a student.
  2. File a written complaint (written or oral) with the assistant superintendent or the superintendent, if the filing of a complaint with the individual(s) in step 1 would prove to be difficult; or seek state or federal remedies.

COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION:

When the Blackstone-Millville School District receives a complaint, it will promptly investigate the complaint in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The District’s investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. The District will also interview the person alleged to have committed the harassment. When the District has completed investigation, it will, to the extent appropriate inform the person filing the complaint and the person against whom the complaint was filed the results of the investigation.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION:

  1. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by an employee of the District, action shall be taken which is appropriate under the circumstances. Such action may range from a reprimand to termination of employment.
  2. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by a student, the District will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Such action may range from counseling to suspension/expulsion, and may include such forms of disciplinary action deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

STATE AND FEDERAL REMEDIES:

In addition to the local remedies outlined above, if you believe you have been subjected to harassment/discrimination, you may file with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Using the District’s complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC – 180 days; MCAD – 6 months).

  1. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) 10 Congress Street – 10th Floor Boston, MA 02114 (617) 565-3200
  2. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) Boston Office: One Ashburton Place – Room 601 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 727-3990

Individuals seeking information, advice and legal assistance with issues of Harassment involving sexual orientation may contact any of the following:

  1. The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth PO Box 814 Boston, MA 02100 (617) 227-4313 Email: www.Bagly.org
  2. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 99 Chancy St. Boston, MA 02111 (617) 482-3170
  3. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund 120 Wall St., Suite 1500 New York, NY 1005-3904 (212) 890-8585

ADOPTED: February 10, 2000