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Education Equity » Title IX-Sex Based Nondiscrimination Statute

Title IX-Sex Based Nondiscrimination Statute

Each student and employee has a right to learn and work in an environment that is free from unlawful discrimination. No District student or employee shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to harassment or other discrimination in any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity on the basis of actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity or expression.

 

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is one of several federal and state anti-discrimination laws that ensure equality in education. Title IX prohibits discrimination, harassment, exclusion, denial, limitation or separation based on sex or gender. Title IX applies to both male and female students in any educational institution receiving federal funding.  Additional information regarding Title IX can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.  
 
Pregnant students and teen parents have a right to equal education, full participation, and to enroll in any school or program for which they would otherwise qualify at any stage of the pregnancy.  They have the right to remain in their regular or current school program, including elementary or secondary schools, honors and magnet programs, special education and non-public school placements, alternative/options programs, migrant education, free and reduced lunch programs and services for English Learners, and any others for which they are otherwise qualified. This would also include participation in the following: graduation, awards, ceremonies; field trips; student clubs, councils, after-school activities, and any other school-related programs. Students cannot legally be expelled, suspended, or otherwise excluded from, or required to participate in school programs solely on the basis of their pregnancy-related conditions, or marital or parental status. Additional Title IX information regarding the rights of pregnant and teen parents can be found in the Know Your Rights document below published by the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights:
 

California Education Code Sections 200 through 282 and Greenfield Union School District Board Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to fair and equitable treatment and shall not be discriminated against based on sex.  Students have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.  The law requires that every school district or institution have a Title IX Coordinator to whom concerns or complaints regarding sex discrimination can be made. 

California Education Code/Legal Rights

 

Title IX Protections

Who can report?

Anyone can report sex discrimination or sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or to someone with the authority to take corrective action. Reports can be made in person, by mail, telephone or by emailing the Title IX Coordinator and can be made at any time using the contact information below. If a report is made, the District will inform the alleged target of the complaint process and supports available.

 

District Title IX Coordinator

Margie Berumen

Administrator of Student Supports

1624 Fairview Rd.

Bakersfield, CA   93307

 Phone: 661-837-6000; Fax: 661-837-8240

 Email: berumenm@gfusd.net

Website: www.gfusd.net

 

What is sex discrimination or sexual harassment under Title IX?

Sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • An employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the District on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; typically referred to as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment;
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the District’s education program or activity; often referred to as “hostile environment” sexual harassment;
  • Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as defined under the Clery Act or Violence Against Women Act. These particular acts are considered severe enough in that only one such incident may be considered sexual harassment.

 

How to file a complaint:

A target of sex discrimination or sexual harassment, their representative (a parent/caregiver, duly-authorized individual) or the Title IX Coordinator can file a formal written and signed complaint to request a Title IX investigation. A site administrator or department director can assist.  A formal complaint can be found here: GFUSD Title IX Complaint Form

 

or by visiting the GFUSD District Office at 1624 Fairview Rd—paper/hard copies available.

 

Support is available:

Supportive measures will be made available to involved parties in an equitable manner once the District knows about sex discrimination or sexual harassment and regardless of whether a formal complaint investigation is requested. Supportive measures may consist of: referrals for Student Support Teams; options to avoid contact or mutual restrictions on contact between parties, such as changes to seating/classes/student groupings/work locations, leaves of absence, safety plans, safe paths of travel, increased monitoring of certain areas of campus to prevent reoccurrence and other similar measures; training and educational materials; academic supports, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, and modifications of work or class schedules; counseling, health/mental health supports, and restorative justice.

If after an individualized safety and risk analysis, it is determined there is an immediate threat to physical health or safety of an individual arising from the allegations, a removal of the accused may be justified. A written notice will be provided with the opportunity to challenge the decision. The District may place an employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the grievance process. Removals may not change rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or under the Americans with Disabilities Education Act.

 

Informal resolutions can happen:

 

The parties may voluntarily agree in writing to an informal resolution (mediation, restorative justice) after the formal complaint is filed, except for when an employee is accused of misconduct involving a student. Any party may withdraw from informal resolution and resume the grievance process. A record of the informal resolution will be kept and can be shared.

 

What is the Title IX Grievance Process?

The investigation:

Once a formal Title IX complaint is filed requesting an investigation, an investigator will be assigned. The parties will be treated equitably, including in the provision of supportive measures and remedies. They will receive notice of the specifics (e.g., when, where, who, conduct in question) of the allegations as known, and as any arise during the investigation. Persons involved in a Title IX complaint investigation have the right to an advisor of their choice, which may include an attorney. The investigator will be unbiased and free from conflicts of interest and will objectively review the complaint, any evidence, and any information from witnesses, expert witnesses and the parties. If the investigator conducts interviews, the parties will be provided time to prepare and will receive notice of the time/date/location/participants/purpose for the interviews. The parties will have an equal opportunity to review the evidence gathered over a period of 10 days and will have opportunities to ask for additional relevant questions to be considered and to provide more evidence before the investigation summary is provided to the parties at the same time. Once the investigation summary has been provided, the parties have an additional 10 days to recommend supplemental and relevant questions and/or evidence for consideration before a final determination is made by a different neutral decision-maker. Information protected by a legal privilege will not be used in the investigation unless the party holding the privilege waives it.

 

The final determination:

Anyone accused of sex discrimination or sexual harassment will be presumed innocent at the beginning of the investigation; the District will review the evidence provided by all parties and will make a determination of responsibility after the investigation using a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof or more likely than not. The final determination will be provided to the parties in writing at the same time with appeal rights provided. It will explain the policies that were violated, the steps and methods taken to investigate, the findings of the investigation, conclusions about the findings, the ultimate determination and the reasons for it, any disciplinary sanctions that will be imposed on the respondent, any remedies available to the complainant to restore or preserve equal access. Overall, the investigation and final determination will be generally no longer than 60 days, unless good cause arises to extend the timeline such as the unavailability of a party/advisor/witness, law enforcement activity or the need for language assistance or an accommodation of disabilities. If so, a written explanation will be provided.

 

Remedies may be available:

Remedies are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education programs or activities. Besides the supportive measures previously discussed, remedies may include: parent/student conferences; recovery time think sheets; behavior contracts; reflective behavior journaling; social-emotional learning programs; warnings; detention; and formal discipline, such as suspension and expulsion.

 

A complaint can be dismissed:

A complaint may be withdrawn by the complainant. A complaint may be dismissed by the District if the incident does not constitute sexual harassment, did not occur in the United States, if the target was not participating in or attempting to participate in the District’s educational programs or activities, if the respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by the District, or if the District cannot gather sufficient evidence to reach a determination. The District will inform parties in writing at the same time. If warranted, the conduct may be addressed separately as provided in other District policies.

 

A dismissal or final determination can be appealed Appeals are available after a complaint dismissal or after a final determination is made. Appeals can be made due to procedural irregularities in the investigation affecting the outcome, new evidence becoming available, or due to bias or a conflict of interest by Title IX personnel. Appeal requests must be made within 30 days of the District’s final determination and include the rationale for the appeal. Parties will be given the opportunity to submit a written statement in support of or against the final determination. A new decision-maker will issue the final decision at the same time to each party.

 

Constitutional protections exist:

The District will not restrict any rights that are protected from government action under the United States Constitution. There are protections from retaliation: No employee or other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege under Title IX, or because the individual made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in an investigation or proceeding under this law. Free speech does not constitute retaliation; charging someone with making a materially false statement does not constitute retaliation. A complaint can be filed for retaliation.

 

Athletes' Bill of RIghts:

CDE Link--Athletes' Bill of Rights

 

Where can Parents/Students Obtain Further Information or Assistance?

The Title IX Law 

Title IX Protection.pdf

Federal Regulations for Implementing Title IX

Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Sex Discrimination Resources