MSAD #49 Affirmative Action Training
Affirmative Action/ADA Officer
Equal Educational Opportunity Laws
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Section 504 Rehabilitation Act 1973
Age Discrimination Act 1987
Title 5 M.R.S.A. Maine Human Rights Act, Sections 4601-4604
Title 20A M.R.S.A., Sections 6, 254, 256, 4502,
6553, 13011, 13019-A, 13019-B
MSAD #49 Policies
- AC: Nondiscrimination
- ACA: Non-Sexist Language
- ACAB: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of School Employees
- ACAA: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
- ACC: Elimination of Discrimination on the Basis of Handicap
- ACAD: Hazing
MSAD #49 endorses the concept of affirmative action in providing equal opportunity. All employees and students in MSAD #49 are to be judged as individuals. They shall be judged on the sole basis of their ability to perform prescribed tasks and not on the basis of age, sex race, handicaps, religion, national or ethnic origin, or any other factors not related to performance.
It is the belief and the policy of MSAD #49 that the sex of an individual should not serve as a barrier to his/her opportunity to participate in educational activities, nor shall his/her sex adversely affect the rights of an individual to compete for employment opportunities.
It shall therefore be the policy of MSAD #49 to promote affirmative action by providing equality of opportunity in the educational programs and activities which it operates. MSAD #49 shall not discriminate in admissions, treatment, or access to educational programs, activities and facilities, or in regard to employment opportunities on the basis of sex, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
This policy will provide everyone, student, parent or employee, with an appropriate procedure (unless a procedure is otherwise indicated, as with certain grievance clauses in employee contracts) for filing grievances or complaints specifically dealing with Title IX.
It is also the policy of MSAD #49 that all employees, male and female, enjoy a work environment free from sexual harassment. Unwelcome sexual advancement or sexual favors as a condition of employment or advancement will not be tolerated and will be considered misconduct. Any employee or student experiencing such should immediately report it to an appropriate administrator.
Adopted 9-7-1989, Revised 10-3-1991
Policy ACA Non-Sexist Language
The school board urges that all staff members are especially alert to and avoid the use of sexist or other discriminatory language in all communications, both oral and written.
Policy ACAB HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
Harassment of school employees because of race, color, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic class, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, or disability is prohibited. Such conduct is a violation of Board policy and may constitute illegal discrimination under state and federal laws.
Harassment includes but is not limited to verbal abuse, threats, physical assault and/or battery based on race, color, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic class, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, or disability. Under the Maine Civil Rights Act, violence or threats of violence against a person or their property based on their sexual orientation are also illegal.
Unwelcome sexual advances, suggestive or lewd remarks, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employees work environment or employee benefits;
B. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee is used as the basis for decisions on employment benefits; and/or
C. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individuals work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Any employee who engages in harassment or sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
All complaints of harassment will be investigated in accordance with the School Employee Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure.
Notice and Training
Annually, each employee shall receive a copy of this policy and the School Employee Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure. This may be accomplished by including the policy/procedure with employee paychecks or by using other appropriate means to ensure that each employee receives a copy. All newly hired employees shall be provided training about sexual harassment in accordance with Maine law.
The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the school unit complies with all legal requirements for posting, notification and training of employees regarding harassment and sexual harassment.
Legal Reference: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 USC 1681 et seq.)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC 2000d)
Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC 12101 et seq.)
Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794 et seq.)
Title VII (42 USC 2000c-2; 29 CFR 1604.11)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 USC 623)
5 MRSA 4602; 4681 et seq.
20-A MRSA 6553
26 MRSA 806-807
Employee Harassment Complaint Procedure
Any employee who feels he/she is a victim of harassment or discrimination should report this to:
The immediate supervisor, if appropriate; or Suanne M. Giorgetti, Affirmative Action Officer at Benton Elementary School, 453-4240.
If resolution is not reached, an appeal may be made to the Superintendent of Schools.
Any employee charged with harassment may grieve the resulting action using his/her contractual grievance procedure
Policy ACAA HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS
Harassment of students because of race, color, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic class, religion, ancestry or national origin, or disability is prohibited. Such conduct is a violation of M.S.A.D. #49 Board policy and may constitute illegal discrimination under state and federal laws.
Harassment includes but is not limited to verbal abuse based on race, color, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic class, religion, ancestry or national origin, or disability.
Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or pressure to engage in sexual activity, physical contact of a sexual nature, gestures, comments, or other physical, written or verbal conduct that is gender-based that interferes with a students education. School employees, fellow students, volunteers and visitors to the school, and other persons with whom students may interact in order to pursue school activities are required to refrain from such conduct.
Harassment/sexual harassment of students by school employees is considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Harassment/sexual harassment of students by other students is considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. The Superintendent will determine appropriate sanctions for harassment of students by persons other than school employees and students.
The Superintendent or the designated employee will investigate complaints of harassment in accordance with the Student Harassment Complaint Procedure. School employees, students, and parents shall be informed of this policy/procedure through handbooks and/or other means selected by the school administration.
Legal Reference: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 USC 1681, et seq.)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC 2000(d))
5 MRSA 4602; 4681 et seq.
20-A MRSA 6553
Cross Reference: AC - Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
ACAD - Hazing
Staff Responsibilities Regarding Student Harassment
It is the responsibility of every staff member of MSAD #49 to report any incident of student harassment to the building principal or assistant principal immediately. Student complaints of harassment must be taken seriously as it is our duty to protect our students and a failure to do so could be costly to the district and the employee if brought to a law suit! Therefore, all staff should be familiar with the student harassment policies and procedures.
If you know it happened, report it.
(Let the administrator make the judgment about how to handle it.)
Student Grievance for Harassment Procedure
Step 1: The complaint is verbally filed with the schools assistant principal or principal. Within five school days, the complaint is investigated and an attempt is made to resolve to both parties satisfaction.
The school administrator may request the complaint in writing before taking action.
The complainant may bypass verbal complaint and file a written complaint directly with the District Affirmative Action Officer, Mrs. Suanne Giorgetti at Benton Elementary School, 453-4240.
Step 2: Written complaint is filed. Within ten school days, the District Affirmative Action Officer investigates and responds in writing.
Step 3: Appeal is made to the District Superintendent of Schools. Within ten school days, the Superintendent investigates and responds in writing.
Step 4: Appeal is made to the School Board. The Board hears the complaint at the next Board meeting but not more than ten school days from the date of appeal. The Board renders findings in writing not more than five days from the hearing date.
(The Complainant has five school days to appeal a decision from the previous level of review.)
Examples of Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment
- Exposing private parts of the body
- Touching in an inappropriate manner
- Shouting obscenities
- Leaving obscene messages on MSAD #49 computers.
- Bra, pants, shorts or skirt snapping
- Pulling down someones pants, shorts, or skirt
- Flipping up skirts
- Teasing females or males about their sexuality or body parts.
- Telling someone what sexual behaviors the speaker would like to engage in with that person
- Whistling or yelling at somebody who walks by or rating him/her
- Threatening rape
- Pressing ones body against someone
- Telling sexually explicit jokes or stories
About Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is illegal under state and federal law.
The legal definition: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individuals employment.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis of employment decision affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individuals work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Description: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that affects work.
Two kinds of sexual harassment:
Quid Pro Quo: Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when your treatment as an employee (benefits, evaluations, promotions, etc.) is linked to your willingness to comply with a supervisors unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Hostile Environment: Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when an employee is exposed to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with his or her work or creates an offensive work environment.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
- Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity
- Sexual innuendoes and comments
- Intrusive sexually explicit questions
- Sexually suggestive sounds or gestures
- Repeatedly asking a person our for dates or to have sex
- Unwanted touching, patting, pinching, stroking, squeezing tickling or brushing against another person
- Rating a persons sexuality
- Ogling or leering
- Spreading rumors about a persons sexuality
- Name-calling, such as bitch, whore or slut
- Sexual ridicule
- Frequent jokes about sex or males/females
- Letters, notes, telephone calls or material of a sexual nature
- Pervasive displays of pictures, calendars, cartoons, or other materials with sexually explicit or graphic content
- Stalking a person
- Attempted or actual sexual assault
Examples of Prohibited Harassment
- Unwelcome sexual advances, gestures, comments, or contact;
- Vulgar language;
- Ridicule, slurs, derogatory actions or remarks;
- Basing employment decisions on practices of submission to harassment.
Individuals should be advised of the importance of informing the harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome, offensive, in poor taste, or highly inappropriate. Individuals who believe that they are victims of harassment should report such occurrences to the Affirmative Action Coordinator. The Affirmative Action Coordinator shall advise the person who has allegedly been harassed of the various options available to the person: Human Rights Commission complaint, Title IX civil action, or formal request for discipline by the superintendent and/or board.
The intent of the person doing it does not make any difference whatsoever. The person on the receiving end is the one who decides whether the behavior is offensive. Harassment allegations will be investigated from the victims perspective. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination.
The Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex harassment is illegal under Civil Rights Law.
The Office of Civil Rights has ruled, ..A hostile environment can occur even when the harassment is not targeted specifically at the individual complainant. (Anyone who witnesses harassment may file a complaint.)
Although a hostile environment may generally be created by a series of incidents, any one-time, serious incident can rise to the level of creating a hostile environment. (The more severe the conduct, the less the need to show a repetitive series of events.)
You can be fired for a one-time, severe event of harassment.
A school district may be held liable if any school administrator or official has notice of any incident of harassment or other discrimination and fails to take appropriate corrective action. (In MSAD #49, if we hear about it, we will investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action.)
Any employee charged with harassment is entitled to representation by his/her union. All disciplinary actions are subject to that employees contractual grievance procedure.
MSAD #49 will discipline any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged harassment or anyone who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in the investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment. In MSAD #49, incidents of retaliation as described above will be considered reason for immediate dismissal.
Protections for Complainants
Please be advised:
Filing a complaint of harassment will not result in retaliation against the complainant as this is both against the policy of MSAD #49 and the law.
The Maine Human Rights Commission is the State Agency responsible for enforcing the laws which prevent harassment and discrimination and employees may also file complaints with the commission.
Policy ACC Elimination of Discrimination on the Basis of Handicap
Prohibitions or requirements of this policy regarding discrimination against qualified handicapped persons solely on the basis of handicap apply to the following school district programs conducted by MSAD #49.
No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap; be subjected to discrimination, and the school district shall not limit, segregate, or classify any applicant for employment or any employee in any way that adversely affects his/her employee opportunities or status because of handicap.
The school district shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified handicapped applicant or employee unless it is clear that an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a school district program
The district shall not make use of any employment test or criterion that screens out handicapped persons unless the test or criterion is clearly and specifically job-related, and alternative tests or criterion that do not screen out handicapped persons are not available.
While the school district may not make pre-employment inquiry as to whether an applicant has a handicap, or as to the nature and severity of any such handicap, it may inquire into an applicants ability to perform job-related functions.
1. No qualified handicapped person shall be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in any school district program because the school district facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by handicapped persons.
2. While the school district is not required to make every facility accessible to handicapped persons, careful planning should be done so that handicapped persons may participate in programs or activities. Additions or new facilities shall be so designed that they are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.
The school district shall formulate an outreach program that annually shall attempt to identify and locate every qualified handicapped pupil of school age residing within the school district who is not receiving a public education, and notify such person or parents of the right to a free appropriate public education.
Teasing or bullying a child because of his or her disability is illegal.
The OCR has determined that disability-based harassment violates both section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the ADA. School officials who witness or receive complaints of disability-based harassment must do the following:
- Investigate all complaints keeping written records.
- Make a determination of whether the alleged misconduct occurred
- If it did, impose disciplinary consequences that appear to reasonably
stop the behavior from reoccurring.
Policy ACAD: HAZING
Maine statute defines injurious hazing as any action or situation, including harassing behavior that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of any school personnel or a student enrolled in a public school.
Injurious hazing activities of any type, either on or off school property, by any student, staff member, group or organization affiliated with this school unit, are inconsistent with the educational process and shall be prohibited at all times.
Harassing behavior includes acts of intimidation or threats and any other conduct that recklessly or intentionally endanger the mental or physical health of a student or staff member.
Acts of intimidation include extortion, menacing, direct or indirect threats of violence, incidents of violence, bullying, statements or taunting of a malicious and/or derogatory nature that recklessly or intentionally endanger the mental or physical health of another person, and property damage or theft.
No administrator, faculty member, or other employee of the school unit shall encourage, permit, condone, or tolerate injurious hazing activities. No student, including leaders of students organizations, shall plan, encourage, or engage in injurious hazing activities.
Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate measures. Administrators, professional staff, and all other employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
In the case of an organization affiliated with this school unit that authorizes hazing, penalties may include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on school property or to receive any other benefit of affiliation with the school unit.
Persons not associated with this school unit who fail to abide by this policy may be subject to ejection from school property and/or other measures as may be available under the law.
These penalties shall be in addition to any civil or criminal penalties to which the violator or organization may be subject.
The Superintendent/designee shall be responsible for administering this policy. In the event that an individual or organization disagrees with an actionor lack of actionon the part of the Superintendent/designee as he/she carries out the provisions of this policy, that individual or organization may appeal to the Board. The ruling of the Board with respect to the provisions of this policy shall be final.
This right to appeal does not apply to student suspensions of 10 days or less or to matters submitted to grievance procedures under applicable collective bargaining agreements.
A copy of this policy shall be included in all school, parent, and employee handbooks or otherwise distributed to all school employees and students.
Legal Reference: 20-A MRSA 6553
Cross Reference: ACAA - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
ACAB - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Employees
MSAD #49 Official Notices
The following notices will be posted in offices as well as staff and student meeting areas throughout the district. They include statements of policy as well as district procedures for filing complaints or reports or obtaining further information.
MSAD #49 American Disabilities Act, Title IX Notice
MSAD #49 Student Harassment Notice
MSAD #49 Employee Harassment Notice
MSAD #49 Notice of Nondiscrimination
Highlights from MSAD #49 Affirmative Action Notices
Title IX, ADA Guarantees:
MSAD #49 does not discriminate on the basis of disability or gender in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities.
MSAD #49 does not discriminate on the basis of disability or gender in its hiring practices.
MSAD #49 is an Equal Opportunity Employer