SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED Policy Code: 1736/4026/7236
Sexual harassment is one form of harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic progress, or completion of a school-related activity; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or in the case of a student, submission to or rejection of such conduct is used in evaluating the individual’s performance within a course of study or other school-related activity; or
- such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive so that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work or performance or a student’s educational performance; limiting a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or environment; or creating an abusive, intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
Examples of sexually harassing conduct include, but are not limited to, deliberate, unwelcome touching of a sexual nature or that takes on sexual connotations; suggestions or demands for sexual involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats; pressure for sexual activity; continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions; continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual; or the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
It is possible for sexual harassment to occur at various levels: between fellow student or co-workers; between supervisors and subordinates; between employees and students; or imposed by non-employees, including visitors, on employees and/or students. In addition, sexual harassment can occur between members of the opposite sex or the same sex.
Romantic or sexual advances toward students by employees (who are not also students in the school district) or romantic or sexual relationships between school system employees and students are never appropriate, whether or not they are consensual or otherwise outside the definition of sexual harassment. Such relationships are prohibited. Employees engaging in inappropriate relationships with students will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Legal References: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 106; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's "Final Amendment Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex"; Office of Civil Rights, Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Students or Third Parties, 62 Fed. Reg. 12,034 (1997); Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998); Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 119 S. Ct. 1661 (1999)
Cross References: Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for Students (policy 1745-4027), Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for Employees (policy 1755-7237), Staff-Student Relations (policy 4040-7310)
Adopted: May 19, 1997
Revised: August 28, 2006