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Policy 1020 Implementation Procedures - Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct

Implementation Procedures

I. Announcement/Dissemination/Training

  1. Notification regarding the provisions of Policy 1020 and these procedures will be provided on a regular basis to all students, families, employees, and third parties. Principals are responsible for notifying all students, families, third parties, and employees in their schools. Supervisors are responsible for notifying those under their supervision. Notification may be through these customary channels:

    1. Announced in schools over the public address system at the beginning of the school year and at other times deemed appropriate

    2. Published in school and system newsletters and/or handbooks

    3. Posted in commonly used areas

    4. Posted on school and system websites

    5. Reviewed with students by classroom teachers or other appropriate employees

    6. Provided to new students and parents through the registration process.

  2. Training for all Howard County Public School System(HCPSS) employees will include but not be limited to:

    1. Review of applicable laws and policies with regard to sexual misconduct.

    2. Duties and responsibilities as school system employees when dealing with incidents involving sexual misconduct.

    3. Education as appropriate to enhance understanding and increase awareness of Policy 1020 Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.

  3. School principals will develop and implement plans to help students recognize, understand, and prevent sexual misconduct, that will include:

    1. Guidelines for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct.

    2. Opportunities designed to develop behaviors and attitudes that mitigate against inappropriate sexual overtures and pressures in school, work, and social settings.

    3. Using available HCPSS student materials regarding sexual misconduct.

  4. Sexual misconduct information and complaint forms will be prominently displayed in school guidance offices, published on the HCPSS website, and available upon request from the Title IX Coordinator.

II. Reporting Violations of Policy

  1. General

    1. Employees who receive a complaint of sexual misconduct against a student should immediately consider whether the issue may constitute child abuse. If so, Policy 1030 Child Abuse and Neglect, must be followed, including all reporting requirements.

    2. Reports to the Title IX Coordinator should be directed to:

      Title IX Coordinator
      10910 Clarksville Pike
      Ellicott City, MD 21042
      410.313.6600

    3. Investigations regarding complaints of sexual misconduct will be conducted in a prompt, adequate, reliable, and impartial manner, which includes an opportunity for the parties to present witnesses and other evidence.

    4. Complaints will be investigated in a sensitive manner that is careful to protect the complainant from harm or blame.

    5. If no formal written complaint has been filed by or on behalf of a complainant who alleges he/she/they have been subjected to conduct that constitutes sexual misconduct, any school-based administrator who receives a report of a possible violation will, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, cause an informal investigation to proceed and will take all necessary interim actions reasonably calculated to prevent any violations from occurring during the period before the completion of informal and formal procedures under this policy. If the informal investigation suggests that there has been a violation, the school-based administrator, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will initiate a formal investigation under the procedures provided herein. If the informal investigation suggests that there has been no violation, a notice of outcome and appeal procedures will be forwarded to both parties. This informal procedure is optional and without prejudice to the complainant’s right to pursue a formal complaint.

    6. Timelines

      1. Reporting Timeline

        Prompt reporting of an alleged violation of this policy is encouraged in order to avoid compromising the quality of the investigation and so the issue can be addressed as quickly as possible. All allegations will be fully investigated regardless of the timeliness of the report.

      2. Investigation Commencement

        The school-based administrator or Title IX Coordinator will commence a formal investigation within two working days after the filing of an oral or written complaint under this policy, unless extenuating circumstances justify a reasonable extension of that deadline.

      3. Investigation Findings

        1. The school-based administrator assigned to investigate the complaint will prepare and send to the complainant and the respondent a letter of findings within fifteen (15) calendar days of commencing the investigation, unless additional time to complete the investigation is required. In that case, the school-based administrator or investigator will report on the status of the investigation to the complainant, the respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator at the expiration of the fifteen (15) day period and every fifteen (15) calendar days thereafter.

        2. Investigation timelines conducted by the Title IX Coordinator will be followed in accordance with Section III.A.1. and 2.

        3. If any party is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation conducted by a school-based administrator he/she/they may, within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the written report of findings, submit a letter of appeal, stating the grounds for the appeal. Appeals on investigations conducted by the Title IX Coordinator will occur in accordance with Section A.3. All appeals will be conducted by an impartial decision-maker.

    7. The HCPSS will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation and such cooperation may require that the fact-finding aspect of the investigation to be temporarily suspended while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering evidence. The HCPSS will promptly resume its evidence gathering process upon notification by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the investigation. Appropriate steps will be taken during the investigation to provide for the safety of the complainant and the school community.

  2. Sexual Misconduct Against Students by Other Students

    1. When a student reports sexual misconduct by other students to any staff member, that staff member will report it to a teacher, school counselor, school-based administrator, or the Title IX Coordinator. Such reports may be made orally or in writing. Students are encouraged to use the Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form which can be obtained from the HCPSS website, the school guidance office, or the Title IX Coordinator.

    2. Any staff person who receives a complaint of sexual misconduct from a student or who believes sexual misconduct has occurred will take immediate action to report and/or stop the behavior. The school-based administrator will report the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator immediately.

    3. School-based administrators receiving such complaints, regardless of how it is reported, will ensure that an investigation is conducted with sensitivity to all parties. The administrator will utilize available resources, maintain the applicable timelines, and take appropriate steps, which will include notifying the respondent(s) of the complaint(s), providing due process, implementing interim measures as needed, and contacting parents of all students involved to address any findings.

    4. The Title IX Coordinator will refer complaints received directly from students alleging student to student sexual misconduct to school-based administrators for investigation and appropriate action unless the Title IX Coordinator determines that extenuating circumstances, such as significant or repeated sexual misconduct by the same offender, warrant the Title IX Coordinator’s involvement.

  3. Sexual Misconduct Against Students by Employees/Third Parties

    1. When a student reports sexual misconduct by employees or third parties to a staff member, that staff member will promptly report it to a school-based administrator, or the Title IX Coordinator. Any complaint against an administrator will be filed with the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate supervisor. Such reports may be made orally or in writing. Students are encouraged to use the Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form which can be obtained from the HCPSS website, the school guidance office or the Title IX Coordinator.

    2. Administrators receiving complaints alleging sexual misconduct by a school system employee or third party must immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator.

    3. School-based administrators receiving such complaints, regardless of how it is reported, will ensure that an investigation is conducted with sensitivity to all parties. The administrator will utilize available resources, maintain the applicable timelines, and take appropriate steps, which will include notifying the respondent(s) of the complaint(s), providing due process, implementing interim measures as needed, and contacting parents of all students involved to address any findings.

  4. Sexual Misconduct Against Employees/Third Parties by other Employees/Third Parties and/or Students

    1. When an employee or third party reports sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or a school-based administrator or supervisor, as appropriate, school-based administrators and supervisors will promptly forward complaints of sexual misconduct from employees or third parties to the Title IX Coordinator.

    2. Employees/third parties are encouraged to use the Employee/Third Party Sexual Harassment Complaint Form, which can be obtained from the HCPSS website, the school guidance office, or the Title IX Coordinator.

    3. School-based administrators receiving such complaints, regardless of how it is reported, will ensure that an investigation is conducted with sensitivity to all parties. The administrator will utilize available resources, maintain the applicable timelines, and take appropriate steps, which will include notifying the respondent(s) of the complaint(s), providing due process, implementing interim measures as needed, and contacting parents of all students involved to address any findings.

III. Investigations Conducted by the Title IX Coordinator

  1. The Title IX Coordinator will document complaints received, investigate them, and render findings (except as noted in II.B.4.).

    1. The documentation, investigation, and forwarding of written findings to the complainants and the responding party will be completed within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the complaint.

    2. If the Title IX Coordinator is unable to complete these activities within the prescribed time limit, all parties will be notified and a revised timeline will be provided.

    3. If any party is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation conducted by the Title IX Coordinator, he/she/they may, within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the written report of findings, submit a letter of appeal, stating the grounds for the appeal, with the Director of Staff Relations. All appeals will be conducted by an impartial decision-maker.

  2. If the investigation reveals that a violation has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will make recommendations to the Superintendent/Designee designed to ensure an appropriate resolution.

IV. Resolution of Complaints

When violations have occurred, school system employees in supervisory or management positions are responsible for taking steps designed to end any existing sexual misconduct by those under their supervision, prevent any recurrence, and remedy any detrimental effects on the complainant and others. Remedies available to complainants include, but are not limited to, counseling, imposition of an order against the guilty party prohibiting further contact with the complainant or others, reinstatement of employment to the complainant, reconsideration of an award of a contract with the school system or any other remedy as is just and serves the interest of reinstating the complainant to his/her/their position prior to the misconduct.

  1. Disciplinary action against a student will be administered in accordance with the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct and Policy 9200 Student Discipline. Disciplinary action against school system employees will be administered in accordance with Policy 7030 Employee Conduct and Discipline. Action against third parties will be taken in accordance with relevant school system policies and other applicable state and federal laws.

  2. A student who violates this policy may also be required to participate in an appropriate education intervention and/or counseling designated by the school administrator and designed to increase his/her/their understanding of the offense and its impact on others.

  3. A violation of this policy may require, as a condition of continuing an employment or other relationship with the school system, participation in counseling and/or other interventions designed to assist in the recognition and correction of sexual misconduct.

  4. An individual who has been subjected to, or who has been affected by, conduct prohibited under this policy will be contacted by a school administrator, supervisor, or the Title IX Coordinator to offer appropriate supports.

V. History

ADOPTED: May 28, 1992

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED: June 11, 2015

REVISED:

  • October 27, 1994

  • January 11, 1996

  • March 21, 1996

  • May 14, 1998

  • January 30, 2001

  • February 7, 2008

  • October 2, 2018

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2019