Student Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

Regulation 3207R

A. Introduction: Tacoma School District strives to provide students with optimal conditions for learning by maintaining a safe and civil educational environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is harmed.

In order to ensure respect and prevent harm, it is a violation of district policy for a student to be harassed, intimidated or bullied by others in the school community, at school sponsored events or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process. The school community includes all students, staff members, parent/legal guardians, family members and guests. Student(s) will not be harassed because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics such as, but not limited to, physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, marital status or weight.

District staff who observe, overhear, or otherwise witness harassment, intimidation or bullying, or to whom such actions have been reported, must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence.

B. Definitions:

Aggressor: a student, staff member or other member of the school community who engages in the harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student.

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying: is an intentional electronic, written, verbal, auditory or physical act that:

  1. physically harms a student; or
  2. damages the student’s property; or
  3. has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
  4. is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
  5. has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Conduct that is "substantially interfering with a student’s education" will be determined by, but not limited to, the following considerations: grades, attendance, demeanor, interaction with peers, participation in activities or other indicators.

Conduct that may rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying may take many forms, including, but not limited to: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, ostracism, physical attacks, threats, gestures or acts relating to an individual or group whether written, verbal, auditory, or physically or electronically transmitted messages or images. There is no requirement that the targeted student actually possess the characteristic that is the basis for the harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Retaliation: is an act of harm or discrimination in response to a report of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying by anyone involved in the incident.

Staff: includes, but is not limited to, certificated employees, classified employees, school board members, substitute and temporary employees or volunteers.

Targeted student: is a student against whom harassment, intimidation or bullying has allegedly been perpetrated.

C. Relationship to other laws: This procedure applies only to RCW 28A.300.285 – Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying prevention.

There are other laws and procedures to address related issues such as sexual harassment or discrimination. At least four Washington laws may apply to harassment or discrimination:

  1. RCW 28A.300.285 – Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
  2. RCW 28A.640.020 – Sexual Harassment
  3. Chapter 28A.642 RCW – Prohibition of Discrimination in Public Schools
  4. Chapter49.60 RCW – The Law Against Discrimination

The district will ensure its compliance with all state laws regarding harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/legal guardian, family member, guest, school or district from taking action to remediate harassment and/or discrimination based on a person’s gender or membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law.

D. Education/Prevention:

Dissemination: In each district facility, and on the district’s website, the district will prominently post information on reporting harassment, intimidation and bullying, the name and contact information of the school administrator to whom a report is made and the name and contact information for the district compliance officer. The district’s policy and regulation, upon request, will be available in each facility in a language that families can understand. Annually, the superintendent will ensure that a statement summarizing the policy and regulation is provided in student, staff, and volunteer and parent/legal guardian handbooks. Additional distribution of the policy and regulation is subject to the requirements of Washington Administrative Code 392-400-226.

Student education: Annually students will receive age-appropriate education on the recognition of, prevention of and intervention strategies in response to harassment, intimidation or bullying. The presentation will include information about incident reporting.

Staff training: Staff will receive annual education and training on the school district’s policy and regulation, including staff roles and responsibilities, how to monitor common areas and the use of the district’s Incident Reporting Form for preventing and intervening in cases of harassment, intimidation and bullying while acting in the role of a Tacoma School District staff member.

District strategies: The district will implement a range of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies designed to increase social competency, improve school climate and to reduce and ultimately eliminate harassment, intimidation and bullying in schools. 21 | Parents' Rights to Participate in Student's Education

E. Staff intervention: All staff members shall intervene when witnessing or receiving reports or complaints of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Minor incidents that staff are able to resolve immediately or incidents that do not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying, may be documented, but may not require further action under this regulation.

In cases where a targeted student experiences harassment, intimidation or bullying that threatens the student’s health and safety, the principal or designee may facilitate a meeting with the child’s parent/legal guardian to develop a safety plan to protect the student.

F. Compliance officer:

The district compliance officer will:

  1. Serve as the district’s primary contact for regulations regarding harassment, intimidation and bullying.
  2. Provide support and assistance to the principal or designee in resolving complaints.
  3. Receive copies of all Incident Reporting Forms, Discipline Referral Forms (as it relates to harassment, intimidation and/or bullying incidents) and letters to parents/legal guardians providing the results of investigations.
  4. Be familiar with the use of the student information system. The compliance officer may use this information to identify patterns of behavior and areas of concern.
  5. Ensure implementation of the policy and regulation by overseeing the investigative processes, including ensuring that investigations are prompt, impartial and thorough.
  6. Assess the training needs of staff and students to ensure successful implementation of district policy and regulation throughout the district and ensure staff and students receive annual training.
  7. Provide the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) School Safety Center with notification of policy or regulation updates or changes on an annual basis.
  8. In cases where, despite school efforts, a targeted student continues to experience harassment, intimidation or bullying that threatens the student’s health and safety, the compliance officer will facilitate a meeting between district staff and the child’s parent/legal guardian to evaluate and/or amend the safety plan to protect the student.

G. Reporting an incident: The formal Incident Reporting Form will be available for students, families or staff to report incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying. This form can be found on the district’s website, in school main offices and in school counseling departments.

Any student who believes he or she has been the target of harassment, intimidation or bullying, or any other person in the school community who observes or receives notice that a student has or may have been the target of harassment, intimidation or bullying, may report incidents verbally or in writing to any staff member in one of three ways:

  1. Informal verbal complaint;
  2. Informal written complaint; or
  3. Formal written complaint (Incident Reporting Form)

All staff are responsible for receiving informal or formal reports. Staff who initially receive an informal report of harassment, intimidation or bullying will attempt to resolve the incident. If the incident is resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved, or if the incident does not meet the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the incident may be documented, but may not require further action under this regulation.

All unresolved informal reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be recorded on the Incident Reporting Form and submitted to the principal or designee.

All formal reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be submitted to the principal or designee.

If the designee is the subject of the complaint, the Incident Reporting Form will be submitted to the principal. If the principal is the subject of the complaint, the Incident Reporting Form will be submitted to the appropriate district-level director.

H. Addressing complaints/reports

Step 1: Filing an incident reporting form: In order to protect a targeted student from retaliation, a student need not reveal their identity on the Incident Reporting Form. The form may be filed anonymously, confidentially or non-confidentially.

Status of reporter

  1. Anonymous: Students, parent/legal guardian and/or community members may file a report without revealing their identity. Staff may not file anonymously. No disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on an anonymous report. Schools will offer methods for receiving anonymous, unsigned reports.
  2. Confidential: Individuals may ask that their identities be kept secret from the alleged aggressor and other students. The district may not be able to take action against an alleged aggressor based solely on a confidential report. Individuals filing complaints shall be advised that the district will treat the complaint as confidential to the extent permitted by state and federal law and due process requirements, and that the district will implement the anti-retaliation requirements of the policy and regulation to protect complainants and witnesses.
  3. Non-confidential: Complainants agreeing to make their complaint non-confidential will be informed that due process requirements may require that the district release all information regarding the complaint to any individuals involved in the incident. The information will be restricted to those with a need to know, both during and after the investigation.

Step 2: Investigations of harassment, intimidation and bullying: All complaints of harassment, intimidation or bullying, which have not been immediately resolved by the supervising staff, will be investigated with reasonable promptness. Any student may be accompanied by a trusted adult, of their choosing, throughout the reporting and investigative processes.

  1. Upon receipt of the complaint or Incident Report Form that alleges harassment, intimidation or bullying, the school or

district designee will begin the investigation. If there is a clear threat of serious physical harm to the targeted student, the district will take appropriate action including, but not limited to, notifying law enforcement and informing the parent/legal guardian(s).

• During the course of the investigation, the school or district will take reasonable measures to ensure that no further incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying occur between the targeted student and the alleged aggressor. If necessary, the school or district will implement a safety plan for the student(s) involved. The plan may include the following: implementing a school or district no contact order or agreement; changing seating arrangements and/or schedules for the alleged aggressor and/or the targeted student; identifying a staff member who will act as a safe person for the targeted student; and other measures.

• Within two (2) school days after receiving the complaint or incident report, the principal or designee will notify the parents/legal guardians of the students involved that a complaint was received and direct the parents/legal guardians to the district’s policy and regulation on harassment, intimidation and bullying. If the notification, in the person’s judgment, would threaten the health and safety of the targeted student or the alleged aggressor, the person may initially refrain from contacting the parent/legal guardian. Staff who are mandatory reporters under Policy 3421 and Regulation 3421R, Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, must report.

• The investigation will include, at a minimum:

Interviews with:

the complainant, when known;

the targeted student(s);

the alleged aggressor(s);

other students, staff or individuals who may have knowledge of the alleged incident.

A review of any previous complaints involving either the targeted student or the alleged aggressor.

  1. The principal or designee may determine that other steps must be taken before the investigation is complete.
  2. The investigation will be completed no later than five (5) school days after the initial complaint or receipt of the Incidence Report Form. If additional time is needed the school or district will provide the affected parties with weekly updates.
  3. No later than two (2) school days after the investigation has been completed and submitted to the compliance officer, the principal or designee shall respond in writing or in person to the parent/ legal guardian of the targeted student and the alleged aggressor stating:

The results of the investigation.

Whether the allegations were found to be factual

Whether there was a violation of policy.

The process for filing an appeal.

Because of the legal requirement regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee may not be able to report specific information to the targeted student’s parent/legal guardian about any disciplinary action taken unless it involves a directive that the targeted student must be aware of in order to report violations.

Step 3: Discipline/Corrective measures: After completion of the investigation, the school or district designee will institute any corrective measures necessary within its authority on findings of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Corrective measures will be instituted as quickly as possible, but no later than five (5) school days after contact has been made to the parents/legal guardians regarding the outcome of the investigation. Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective measures may include, but are not limited to, school counseling, education, discipline and/or referral to appropriate agencies. Corrective measures for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying will vary according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student’s behavior history. Corrective measures that involve student discipline will be implemented according to district Policy 3241, Student Conduct/Discipline. If the conduct was of a public nature or involved groups of students or bystanders, the school or district will consider school-wide training or other activities to address the incident.

If in an investigation a principal or designee found that a student knowingly made a false allegation of harassment, intimidation or bullying, that student may be subject to corrective measures, including discipline.

Step 4: Right to appeal

  1. If the targeted student and/or their respective parent/legal guardian is dissatisfied with the results of theinvestigation, they may appeal to the superintendent orhis/her designee by filing a written notice of appeal withinfive (5) school days of receiving the written decision.Discipline, including corrective action(s) of the allegedaggressor is subject to appeal per policy 3241, StudentConduct/Discipline. Thhe superintendent or his/herdesignee will review the investigative report and issue awritten decision onthe merits of the appeal within five (5) school days ofreceiving the notice of appeal.
  2. If the targeted student, and/or their respective parent/legal guardian remains dissatisfied after the initial appeal to the superintendent or his/her designee, they may appeal to the school board by filing a written notice of appeal with the secretary of the school board on or before the fifth (5) school day following the date upon which the complainant received the superintendent’s or his/ her designee’s written decision.
  3. An appeal before the school board must be reviewed on or before the tenth (10) school day following the filing of the receipt of the written notice of appeal to the school board. The school board will review the record and render a written decision on the merits of the appeal on or before the fifth (5) school day following its review, and shall provide a copy to all parties involved. The board’s decision will be the final district decision.

Step 5: Support for the targeted student: Students found to have been subjected to harassment, intimidation or bullying will have district support services made available to them as feasible and appropriate.

Immunity/Retaliation: Retaliation is prohibited. Any staff, student or individual who engages in retaliation will be subject to appropriate discipline. Students and staff who promptly report an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying per the regulation are immune from a cause of action for damages arising from a failure to remedy a reported incident per RCW 28A.600.480.

Other resources: Students, parents/legal guardians and families should use the district’s complaint and appeal procedures as a first response to allegations of harassment, intimidation or bullying. However, nothing in this regulation prevents a student, parent/legal guardian, school or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law. A harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint may also be reported to the following local, state or federal agencies:

  1. OSPI Equity and Civil Rights Office 360-725-6162 Email: equity@k12.wa.us, Web: k12.wa.us/Equity/default.aspx
  2. Washington State Human Rights Commission 800-233-3247 Web: www.hum.wa.gov/
  3. Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region IX 206-607-1600 Email: OCR.Seattle@ed.gov, Web: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
  4. Office of Education Ombudsman, 1-866-297-2597 Email: OEOinfo@gov.wa.gov, Web: http://oeo.wa.gov/
  5. Department of Justice Community Relations Services 877-292-3804, Web: justice.gov/crt/
  6. OSPI Safety Center 360-725-6044 k12.wa.us/SafetyCenter/BullyingHarassment/default.aspx

K. Other district policies and regulations: Nothing in the policy and regulation is intended to prohibit discipline or remedial action for inappropriate behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying as defined herein, but which are, or may be, prohibited by other district regulations or school rules.

Sexual Harassment: (Policy 3215)

Tacoma School District No. 10 is committed to a positive and productive education for all students free from discrimination, including sexual harassment. This commitment extends to all students involved in academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of the school, whether that program or activity is in a school facility, on school transportation or at a class or school training held elsewhere.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment means unwelcome conduct or communication of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can occur adult to student, student to student or can be carried out by a group of students or adults and will be investigated by the District even if the alleged harasser is not a part of the school staff or student body. The district prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, employees or third parties involved in school district activities, including volunteers.

Under federal and state law, the term "sexual harassment" may include:

  1. acts of sexual violence;
  2. unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication that interferes with a student’s educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment;
  3. unwelcome sexual advances;
  4. unwelcome requests for sexual favors;
  5. sexual demands when submission is a stated or implied condition of obtaining an educational benefit; and
  6. sexual demands where submission or rejection is a factor in an academic, or other school-related decision affecting a student.

A "hostile environment" has been created for a student when sexual harassment is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to demonstrate a repetitive series of incidents. In fact, a single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe, violent, or egregious.

Investigation and Response

If the district knows, or reasonably should know, that sexual harassment has created a hostile environment, it will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. If an investigation reveals that sexual harassment has created a hostile environment, the district will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and as appropriate, remedy its effects. The district will take prompt, equitable and remedial action within its authority on reports, complaints and grievances alleging sexual harassment that come to the attention of the district, either formally or informally. The district will take these steps every time a complaint, alleging sexual harassment comes to the attention of the district, either formally or informally.

Allegations of criminal misconduct will be reported to law enforcement and suspected child abuse will be reported to law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Regardless of whether the misconduct is reported to law enforcement, school staff will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation, to the extent that such investigation does not interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation. A criminal investigation does not relieve the district of its independent obligation to investigate and resolve sexual harassment.

Engaging in sexual harassment will result in appropriate discipline or other appropriate sanctions against offending students, staff or other third parties involved in school district activities. Anyone else who engages in sexual harassment on school property or at school activities will have their access to school property and activities restricted, as appropriate.

Retaliation and False Allegations

Retaliation against any person who makes or is a witness in a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. The district will take appropriate actions to protect involved persons from retaliation.

It is a violation of this policy to knowingly report false allegations of sexual harassment. Persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Staff Responsibilities

The superintendent will develop and implement formal and informal procedures for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints or reports of sexual harassment. The procedures will include reasonable and prompt time lines and delineate staff responsibilities under this policy.

Any school employee who witnesses sexual harassment of a student or receives a report, informal complaint, or written complaint about sexual harassment of a student is responsible for informing the district Title IX or Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator. All staff are also responsible for directing complainants to the formal complaint process.

Reports of discrimination and discriminatory harassment will be referred to the district’s Title IX/Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator. Reports of disability discrimination or harassment will be referred to the district’s Section 504 Coordinator.

Notice and Training

The superintendent will develop procedures to provide age-appropriate information and education to district staff, students, parents and volunteers regarding this policy and the recognition and prevention of sexual harassment. At a minimum sexual harassment recognition and prevention and the elements of this policy will be included in staff, student and regular volunteer orientation. This policy and the procedure, which includes the complaint process, will be posted in each district building in a place available to staff, students, parents, volunteers and visitors. Information about the policy and procedure will be clearly stated and conspicuously posted throughout each school building, provided to each employee and reproduced in each student, staff, volunteer and parent handbook. Such notices will identify the District’s Title IX coordinator and provide contact information, including the coordinator’s email address.

Title IX Coordinators: Title IX Coordinator: The District’s Title IX Coordinator is the Assistant Director of Secondary Education. Their responsibilities include overseeing all complaints of sex discrimination and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. They can be reached at 571-1191. District’s Title IX Coordinator is also the District’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Compliance Coordinator, and can answer questions about how to address allegations of sexual harassment involving students under this Policy and the District’s Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying of Students..

Responding to Complaints of Sexual Harassment (3215R):

Informal Complaint Process Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of sexual harassment or retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint or participation in a complaint investigation. Informal reports may be made to any staff member. Staff will always notify complainants of their right to file a formal complaint and the process for same. Staff will also direct potential complainants to the Student Compliance Coordinator Tel: (253) 571-1113. Additionally, staff will also inform an appropriate supervisor or professional staff member when they receive complaints of sexual harassment, especially when the complaint is beyond their training to resolve or alleges serious misconduct.

During the course of the informal complaint process, the district will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end any harassment and to correct any discriminatory effects on the complainant. If an investigation is needed to determine what occurred, the district will take interim measures to protect the complainant before the final outcome of the district’s investigation (e.g., allowing the complainant to change academic or extracurricular activities or break times to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator).

Allegations of criminal misconduct will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency and suspected child abuse (including, if warranted, sexual abuse as indicated by a student’s expression of sexual behaviors at school) will be reported to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.

Informal remedies may include:

  1. An opportunity for the complainant to explain to the alleged harasser that his or her conduct is unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate, either in writing or face-to-face;
  2. A statement from a staff member to the alleged harasser that the alleged conduct is not appropriate and could lead to discipline if proven or repeated;
  3. A general public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the district sexual harassment policy without identifying the complainant;
  4. Developing a safety plan;
  5. Separating students; or
  6. Providing staff and/or student training

Informal complaints may become formal complaints at the request of the complainant, parent/guardian, or because the district believes the complaint needs to be more thoroughly investigated.

The district will inform the complainant and their parent/guardian how to report any subsequent problems. Additionally, the district will conduct follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or instances of retaliation, and to promptly respond and appropriately address continuing or new problems. Follow-up inquiries will follow a timeline agreed to by the district and complainant.

Formal Complaint Process

Level One – Complaint to District

Anyone may initiate a formal complaint of sexual harassment, even if the informal complaint process is being utilized. At any level in the

formal complaint process, the district will take interim measures to protect the complainant before the final outcome of the district’s investigation.

The following process will be followed:

Filing of Complaint

  1. All formal complaints will be in writing and will set forth the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to have occurred and to constitute sexual harassment. The Title IX Coordinator may draft the complaint based on the report of the complainant for the complainant to review and approve. The superintendent or Title IX Coordinator may also conclude that the district needs to conduct an investigation based on information in his or her possession, regardless of the complainant’s interest in filing a formal complaint.
  2. The time period for filing a complaint is one year from the date of the occurrence that is the subject matter of the complaint. However, a complaint filing deadline may not be imposed if the complainant was prevented from filing due to: 1) Specific misrepresentations by the district that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the complaint; or 2) Withholding of information that the district was required to provide under WAC 392-190-065 or WAC 392-190-005.
  3. Complaints may be submitted by mail, fax, e-mail or hand-delivery to the district Title IX Coordinator, the Student Compliance Coordinator at (253) 571-1113. Any district employee who receives a complaint that meets these criteria will promptly notify the Coordinator.

Investigation and Response

  1. The Title IX Coordinator will receive and investigate all formal, written complaints of sexual harassment or information in the coordinator’s possession that they believe requires further investigation. The Coordinator will delegate his or her authority to participate in this process if such action is necessary to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Coordinator will provide the complainant a copy of this regulation.
  2. Investigations will be carried out in a manner that is adequate in scope, reliable and impartial. During the investigation process, the complainant and accused party or parties, if the complainant has identified an accused harasser(s), will have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and relevant evidence. Complainants and witnesses may have a trusted adult with them during any district-initiated investigatory activities. The school district and complainant may also agree to resolve the complaint in lieu of an investigation. When the investigation is completed, the Coordinator will compile a full written report of the complaint and the results of the investigation.

Superintendent Response

The superintendent will respond in writing to the complainant and the alleged perpetrator within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the complaint, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant or if exceptional circumstances related to the complaint require an extension of the time limit. In the event an extension is needed, the district will notify the complainant in writing of the reason for the extension and the anticipated response date. At the time the district responds to the complainant, the district must send a copy of the response to the office of the superintendent of public instruction.

The response of the superintendent or designee will include: 1) a summary of the results of the investigation; 2) a statement as to whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes that the complainant was sexually harassed ; 3) if sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the corrective measures the district deems necessary, including assurance that the district will take steps to prevent recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate; 4) notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the school board and the necessary filing information; and 5) any corrective measures the district will take, remedies for the complainant (e.g., sources of counseling, advocacy and academic support), and notice of potential sanctions for the perpetrator(s) (e.g., discipline).

The superintendent’s or designee’s response will be provided in a language the complainant (and, if the complainant is a student, a language his/her parents/guardians can understand) and may require language assistance for complainants with limited English proficiency in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the complaint alleges discriminatory harassment by a named party or parties, the coordinator will provide the accused party or parties with notice of the outcome of the investigation and notice of their right to appeal any discipline or corrective action imposed by the district.

Any corrective measures deemed necessary will be instituted as quickly as possible, but in no event more than thirty (30) days after the superintendent’s mailing of a written response, unless the accused is appealing the imposition of discipline and the district is barred by due process considerations or a lawful order from imposing the discipline until the appeal process is concluded. Staff may also pursue complaints through the appropriate collective bargaining agreement process or anti-discrimination policy.

The district will inform the complainant and their parent/guardian how to report any subsequent problems. Additionally, the district will conduct follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or instances of retaliation, and to promptly respond and appropriately address continuing or new problems. Follow-up inquiries will follow a timeline agreed to by the district and complainant.

Level Two - Appeal to Board of Directors

Notice of Appeal and Hearing

  1. If a complainant disagrees with the superintendent’s or designee’s written decision, the complainant may appeal the decision to the district board of directors , by filing a written notice of appeal with the secretary of the board within ten (10) calendar days following the date upon which the complainant received the response.
  2. The board will schedule a hearing to commence by the twentieth (20th) calendar day following the filing of the written notice of appeal, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant and the superintendent or for good cause.
  3. Both parties will be allowed to present such witnesses and testimony as the board deems relevant and material. Board Decision
  4. Unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant, the board will render a written decision within thirty (30) calendar days

following the filing of the notice of appeal and provide the complainant with a copy of the decision.

•The decision will be provided in a language that the complainant can understand (and, if the complainant is a student, a language that his/her parents/guardians can understand) which may require language assistance for complainants with limited English proficiency in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

•The decision will include notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and will identify where and to whom the appeal must be filed. The district will send a copy of the appeal decision to the office of the superintendent of public instruction.

Level Three - Complaint to the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Filing of Complaint

  1. If a complainant disagrees with the decision of the board of directors, or if the district fails to comply with this regulation, the complainant may file a complaint with the superintendent of public instruction.
  2. A complaint must be received by the Superintendent of Public Instruction on or before the twentieth (20) calendar day following the date upon which the complainant received written notice of the board of directors’ decision, unless the Superintendent of Public Instruction grants an extension for good cause. Complaints may be submitted by mail, fax, electronic mail, or hand delivery.
  3. A complaint must be in writing and include: 1) A description of the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to violate applicable anti-sexual harassment laws; 2) The name and contact information, including address, of the complainant; 3) The name and address of the district subject to the complaint; 4) A copy of the district’s complaint and appeal decision, if any; and 5) A proposed resolution of the complaint or relief requested. If the allegations regard a specific student, the complaint must also include the name and address of the student, or in the case of a homeless child or youth, contact information.

Investigation, Determination and Corrective Action

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction may initiate an investigation, which may include conducting an independent on-site review. OSPI may also investigate additional issues related to the complaint that were not included in the initial complaint or appeal to the superintendent or board.
  2. Following the investigation, OSPI will make an independent determination as to whether the district has failed to comply with RCW 28A.642.010 or Chapter 392-190, WAC and will issue a written decision to the complainant and the district that addresses each allegation in the complaint and any other noncompliance issues it has identified. The written decision will include corrective actions deemed necessary to correct noncompliance and documentation the district must provide to demonstrate that corrective action has been completed.
  3. All corrective actions must be completed within the timelines established by OSPI in the written decision unless OSPI grants an extension. If timely compliance is not achieved, OSPI may take action including but not limited to referring the district to appropriate state or federal agencies empowered to order compliance.

A complaint may be resolved at any time when, before the completion of the investigation, the district voluntarily agrees to resolve the complaint. OSPI may provide technical assistance and dispute resolution methods to resolve a complaint.

Level Four - Administrative Hearing

A complainant or school district that desires to appeal the written decision of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction may file a written notice of appeal with OSPI within thirty (30) calendar days following the date of receipt of that office’s written decision. OSPI will conduct a formal administrative hearing in conformance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 34.05, RCW.

Other Complaint Options

Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education OCR enforces several federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discrimination in public schools on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. File complaints with OCR within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination. 206-607-1600 | TDD: 1-800-877-8339 | OCR.Seattle@ed.gov | www.ed.gov/ocr

Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) WSHRC enforces the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60), which prohibits discrimination in employment and in places of public accommodation, including schools. File complaints with WSHRC within six months of the date of the alleged discrimination. 1-800-233-3247 | TTY: 1-800-300-7525 | www.hum.wa.gov

Mediation

At any time during the complaint procedure set forth in WAC 392-190-065 through 392-190- 075, a district may, at its own expense, offer mediation. The complainant and the district may agree to extend the complaint process deadlines in order to pursue mediation.

The purpose of mediation is to provide both the complainant and the district an opportunity to resolve disputes and reach a mutually acceptable agreement through the use of an impartial mediator. Mediation must be voluntary and requires the mutual agreement of both parties. It may be terminated by either party at any time during the mediation process. It may not be used to deny or delay a complainant’s right to utilize the complaint procedures.

Mediation must be conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who may not: 1) Be an employee of any school district, public charter school, or other public or private agency that is providing education related services to a student who is the subject of the complaint being mediated; or 2) Have a personal or professional conflict of interest. A mediator is not considered an employee of the district or charter school or other public or private agency solely because he or she serves as a mediator. If the parties reach agreement through mediation, they may execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution and states that all discussions that occurred

during the course of mediation will remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent complaint, due process hearing or civil proceeding. The agreement must be signed by the complainant and a district representative who has authority to bind the district.