Title I Grievance Procedure
This grievance procedure applies to all complaints regarding District operations under all programs authorized under the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act including Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV (Part A), Title V, Title VI, Title VII and Title IX (Part C).
A formal complaint may be filed by parents, member of the public, teachers, or other District employees. Complaints must be in writing; must be signed by the complainant; and must include facts, including documentary evidence that supports the complaint and the specific requirement, statute, or regulation alleged to have been violated.
All complaints must be filed with the Superintendent or Superintendent's designee and will be addressed in a prompt and courteous manner.
The District will notify the Commission of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the complaint
The District will investigate and process the complaint within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint.
The complaint findings and resolutions will be disseminated to all parties and to the Board of Education.
If dissatisfied with the District's determination, complainant may appeal to DESE within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the District's determination.
EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
It is the policy of the Taneyville School District not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies as required by Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX may be directed to:
Brandi Turner, Principal
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
Tara Roberts, Superintendent
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
Please be advised that the school district will release "Directory Information" concerning your child upon request, including print and electronic publications of the school district. (Examples include: the annual yearbook; school newsletter; honor roll or other recognition lists; local media; and sports activity sheets.) This includes the following information: the student's name, address, participation in officially recognized extracurricular activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, diplomas and awards received, photographs and other similar information. (School board policy & regulation 2400)
If you do not want this type of information about your child released, please send a note to this effect to the principal.
If a parent or eligible student believes an education record related to the student contains information that is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy, the parent or eligible student may request that the district amend the record. All requests must be made in writing and should be presented to the building principal.
TITLE VI, TITLE IX, SECTION 504
Students, parents of students or employees have the right to file a formal complaint alleging noncompliance with regulations outlined in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
LEVEL ONE – Principal or immediate supervisor (informal and optional – may be bypassed by the grievant). Employees with a grievance or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin or disability may first discuss it with their principal or immediate supervisor, with the objective of resolving the matter informally. A student or parent with a complaint of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin or disability may discuss it with the teacher, counselor or building administrator involved.
LEVEL TWO – Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator(s) – If the grievance is not resolved at level one and the grievant(s) wish to pursue the grievance, they may formalize it by filing a written complaint on a Compliance Violation Form, which may be obtained from the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator(s). The complaint shall state the nature of the grievance and the remedy requested. The filing of the formal, written complaint at level two must be within fifteen (15) working days from the date of the event given rise to the grievance or from the date the grievant(s) could reasonably become aware of such occurrence. The grievant(s) may request that a meeting concerning the complaint be held with the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator who shall investigate the complaint and attempt to solve it. A written report from the Compliance Officer regarding action taken will be sent within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the complaint.
LEVEL THREE – Superintendent – If the complaint is not resolved at level two, the grievant(s) may proceed to level three by presenting a written appeal to the Superintendent within ten (10) working days after the grievant(s) receive the report from the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator. The grievant(s) may request a meeting with the Superintendent or his/her designee. The Superintendent or his/her designee has the option of meeting with the grievant to discuss the appeal. A decision will be rendered by the Superintendent or his/her designee within ten (10) working days after receiving the written appeal.
LEVEL FOUR – Board of Education – If the complaint is not resolved at level three, the grievant(s) may proceed to level four by presenting a written appeal to the President of the Board of Education within ten (10 ) working days after the grievant(s) receive the report from the Superintendent. The Board may request a meeting with the grievant(s) to discuss the appeal. A decision will be rendered by the Board of Education at their next regularly scheduled meeting. The grievant will be notified in writing of their decision within ten (10) working days after the Board of Education action.
This procedure in no way denies the right of the grievant(s) to file formal complaints with the Missouri Civil Rights Commission, the office for Civil Rights or other agencies available for mediation or rectification.
NOTIFICATION OF TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS - PARENT RIGHT TO KNOW LETTER
Our district is required to inform you of certain information that you, according to the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-95), have the right to know. Upon your request, our district is required to provide you, in a timely manner, the following information:
· Whether your student's teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
· Whether your student's teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived.
· Whether your student's teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher.
· Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
In addition to the information that you may request, the District receiving Title I.A funds will provide to you individually:
· Information on the achievement level of your child , if applicable and available, on each of the state academic assessments as required under Title I.A.
· Timely notice that your child has been assigned, or has been taught for four more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who is not met applicable state certification standards or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.
All responsible public agencies are required to locate, evaluate, and identify children with disabilities who are under the jurisdiction of the agency, regardless of the severity of the disability, including children attending private schools, children who live outside the district but are attending a private school within the district, highly mobile children, such as migrant and homeless children, children who are wards of the state and children who are suspected of having a disability and in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade. The public school district assures that it will provide a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 under its jurisdiction. Disabilities include autism, deaf/blindness, emotional disorders, hearing impairment and deafness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment/blindness and young child with a developmental delay.
The public school district assures that it will provide information and referral services necessary to assist the State in the implementation of early intervention services for infants and toddlers eligible for the Missouri First Steps program.
The public school district assures that personally identifiable information collected, used, or maintained by the agency for the purposes of identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE of children with disabilities may be inspected and/or reviewed by their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians may request amendment to the educational record if the parent/guardian believes the record is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the privacy or other rights of their child. Parents have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education or the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education concerning alleged failures by the district to meet the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The public school district has developed a Local Compliance Plan for the implementation of State Regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This plan contains the agency’s policies and procedures regarding storage, disclosure to third parties, retention and destruction of personally identifiable information and the agency’s assurances that services are provided in compliance with the General Education Provision Act (GEPA). This plan may be reviewed during regular school hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) on days school is in session, in the office of the Superintendent of Schools.
The member districts of the Tri-Lakes Special Services Cooperative: Billings R-IV, Bradleyville R-I, Forsyth R-III, Kirbyville R-VI, Mark Twain R-VIII, Taneyville R-II, Plainview R-VIII, Galena R-II, Hurley R-I, Chadwick R-I, Sparta R-III, Spokane R-VII, Shell Knob #78, Exeter R-VI, Niangua R-V, Thornfield R-I, and Clever R-V do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Lorri Osbourn, Director, Tri-Lakes Special Services Cooperative, PO Box 140 Kirbyville, MO 65679; 417-320-5040. For further information on notice of non-discrimination visit https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/nondisc.html for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area or call 1-800-421-3481.
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION
Applicants for admission or employment, students, parents of elementary and secondary school students, employees, sources of referral and applicants for employment, and all professional organizations that have entered into agreements with the Taneyville R-II School District (“School District”) are hereby notified that the School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. “In addition, the School District provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups.”
Any person having inquiries concerning the School District’s compliance with the laws and regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Age Discrimination Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) or the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, is directed to the respective Compliance Coordinator listed below, who oversees the School District’s efforts to comply with the laws and regulations implementing the laws and regulations cited above.
The School District has established grievance procedures for persons unable to resolve problems arising under the statutes above. The School District’s Compliance Coordinator will provide information regarding those procedures upon request.
Any person who is unable to resolve a problem or grievance arising under any of the laws and regulations cited above may contact the Office for Civil Rights, Region VII, 8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037, Kansas City, Missouri 64114; telephone (816) 268-0550.
Questions, concerns, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding the ADA may be forwarded to the Taneyville School District’s designated ADA Compliance Coordinator:
Sheila Rieken, Special Education Process and ADA Compliance Coordinator
Taneyville R-II School District
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
Phone: (417) 546-5803
COMMITMENT TO COMPLIANCE UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), the Taneyville R-II School District (“School District”) does not discriminate on the basis of disability against qualified individuals with a disability with respect to the School District’s services, programs or activities.
Employment: The School District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices. The School District complies with the federal regulations under Title I of the ADA (which governs the application of the ADA in the hiring and employment setting).
Effective Communication: The School District will comply with the ADA with respect to providing auxiliary aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in School District programs, services, and activities. These aids and services are designed to make information and communications accessible to people who have impairments, in areas such as speech, hearing, and vision. The School District will not place a surcharge on a qualified individual with a disability, or any group of qualified individuals with disabilities, to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy (for example, retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but inaccessible to users of wheelchairs).
Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a service, program, or activity of the School District should contact the respective Compliance Coordinator, whose contact information is listed below. Such contact should be made as soon as possible, but not later than 48 hours before the scheduled event (and, preferably, at least five (5) business days before the event).
Modifications to Policies and Procedures: The School District will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy its services, programs and activities.
The ADA does not require the School District to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.
Complaints that a School District service, program, or activity is not accessible to persons with a disability may be directed to the Compliance Coordinator below. In addition, as stated in the School District’s Notice of Nondiscrimination, a person who is unable to resolve a problem or grievance arising under Title II of the ADA may contact the Office for Civil Rights, Region VII, 8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037, Kansas City, Missouri 64114; telephone (816) 268-0550.
Tara Roberts, Superintendent
Taneyville R-II School District
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
Phone: (417) 546-5803
SURROGATE PARENT PROGRAM
Pursuant to the requirements of state law, the State Board of Education is required to appoint a surrogate parent at such time as it becomes evident that a child with a disability does not have a parent or a person acting as a parent to participate in matters dealing with the provision of special education. For purposes of surrogate parent appointment, “parent” is defined as a biological parent, a guardian, or a person acting as a parent of a child including but not limited to, a grandparent, a step parent, or a foster parent with whom the child lives. The term does not include the State if the child is a ward of the State. The term does not include a person whose parental rights have been terminated.
The local school district is given the responsibility to determine when a child with a disability who requires special education and who resides in the district is without a parent. The district must notify the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the need to appoint a surrogate parent. Training for persons serving as surrogate parents will be provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the District.
If you are interested in volunteering to serve as a surrogate parent more information can be obtained from the district’s Director of Special Services at 417-320-5040. Published on behalf of Billings R-VI, Bradleyville R-I, Forsyth R-III, Kirbyville R-VI, Mark Twain R-VIII, Niangua RV, Taneyville R-II, Plainview R-VIII, Galena R-II, Hurley R-I, Chadwick R-I, Sparta R-III, Spokane R-VII, Shell Knob #78, Exeter R-VI, Thornfield R-I, and Clever R-V.
504 PUBLIC NOTICE
The Districts of the Tri-Lakes Special Services Cooperative (listed below), as recipients of federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education and operator of a public elementary or secondary education program and/or activity, is required to undertake to identify and locate every qualified person residing in the District who is not receiving a public education; and take appropriate steps to notify disabled persons and their parents or guardians of the District’s duty.
The Tri-Lakes Special Services Cooperative member districts assures that it will provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each qualified disabled person in the District’s jurisdiction regardless of the nature or severity of the person’s disability. For purposes of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual education needs of disabled persons as adequately as the needs of nondisabled persons are met and (ii) are based on adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements of the 504 federal regulations.
The Tri-Lakes Special Services Cooperative member district has developed a 504 Procedures Manual for the implementation of federal regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Subpart D. This Procedures Manual may be reviewed at the Tri-Lakes Special Service Cooperative Administrative Office, 4280 State Hwy. 76 E, Kirbyville, MO from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on days that school is in session. Published on behalf of Billings R-VI, Bradleyville R-I, Forsyth R-III, Kirbyville R-VI, Mark Twain R-VIII, Taneyville R-II, Plainview R-VIII, Galena R-II, Hurley R-I, Chadwick R-I, Sparta R-III, Spokane R-VII, Shell Knob #78, Exeter RVI, Thornfield R-I, Niangua R-V, and Clever R-V. This notice will be provided in native languages as appropriate.
Taneyville R-2 School District Schoolwide Parental Involvement Policy
A Parental Involvement Policy shall be kept on file and be reviewed on a yearly basis by the Programs Coordinator, Title I Director, Schoolwide Teachers, and The Schoolwide
Advisory Council. The Parental Involvement Policy will be distributed to parents at the beginning of each school year. Copies of the Parental Involvement Policy will be available to parents at all times upon request.
Parental Involvement meetings are held at least once per quarter. Records are kept for all Parental Involvement Meetings. Meeting invitations, agendas, minutes, and attendance lists will be kept for all meetings. A timeline of meetings will be developed and distributed at the beginning of each school year. A copy of this schedule will be kept on file and be available upon request.
Schoolwide Program teachers will communicate with parents at the beginning of each school year to explain the Schoolwide Program. Parents will be advised of program activities through letters home, article in the Tiger news, or parent meetings each quarter.
Teachers will make every possible effort to accommodate parents in scheduling conferences or Parental Involvement meeting. Copies of Staff schedules will be provided upon request, and parents will be asked to assist in scheduling meetings.
Parents may observe the classroom by contacting the school and making an appointment.
The Taneyville Schoolwide program will conduct an annual need assessment. Parents will be asked to complete a survey/questionnaire on attitude about the program and to make suggestions for improvement. These surveys will be used to gather suggestions for the program for the following year.
The School Wide Advisory Committee and the Schoolwide teachers will conduct an annual review of the programs effectiveness and insure that the need of the students and parents are met. Results from the parent surveys will be used to formulate plans and set goals for the next school year.
Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative
Pursuant to Missouri Senate Bill 638, Section 161.1050, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established the “Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative.”
For the purposes of this initiative, the following terms are defined as follows:
“Trauma-informed approach” - an approach that involves understanding and responding to the symptoms of chronic interpersonal trauma and traumatic stress across the lifespan
“Trauma-informed school” - a school that:
a. realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery
b. recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in students, teachers and staff
c. responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into its policies, procedures and practices; and
d. seeks to actively resist re-traumatization
For more resources, visit https://dese.mo.gov/traumainformed.
Foster Care Bill of Rights
The District is committed to ensuring and facilitating the proper educational placement, enrollment in school and checkout from school for foster children.
In order to facilitate this process and to serve as the educational liaison for District foster children, the District will designate the school principal to oversee and assess the District's foster care program.
A foster care child whose home placement is changed may remain enrolled and attend their school of origin, or to return to a previously attended school in an adjacent district. The District will accept for credit full or partial course work satisfactorily completed by a foster child while attending a public school, nonpublic school or non-sectarian school in compliance with District policies, regulations and practices.
If a child in foster care is absent from school due to a decision to change the placement of a pupil made by a court or child placing agency, or due to a verified court appearance or related court-ordered activity, the grades and credits of the pupil will be calculated as of the day the pupil left school and no reduction in grades will occur as a result of the pupil's absence under these circumstances.
If a foster care student transfers into the District prior to or during a school year, the District will initially honor the placement of the student in educational courses and programs based on the student's prior enrollment or educational assessments; will provide comparable services to transferring foster care students with disabilities based on the student's current IEP; and will make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of a student with disabilities, subject to an existing 504 or Title II Plan in order to provide equal access to education. The District will conduct evaluations, where necessary, to ensure proper placement and services.
The District will waive specific courses required for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed at another school. Similarly, the District may waive prerequisites for placement in a District course or program based upon courses taken at a prior school. If a waiver is denied for reasonable justifications, the District will provide an alternative means of acquiring the required course work so that graduation may occur on time. If foster care students who transfer at the beginning of their senior year or during their senior year are deemed ineligible to graduate after all alternatives have been considered, the sending District and this District will ensure that a qualified student who satisfied graduation requirements of the sending school, will receive a diploma from the sending school.
Students in foster care who have completed the graduation requirements of the District while under juvenile court jurisdiction will receive a diploma in the same manner as other District students.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION Policy 1300
Equal Opportunity (Form 1300)
Prohibition Against Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation
The District is committed to maintaining a workplace and educational environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, services, activities and facilities. The District is committed to providing equal opportunity in all areas of education, recruiting, hiring, retention, promotion and contracted service. In accordance with law, the District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law in its programs and activities. In addition, the District provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups. Further, no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination based on the above listed characteristics under a school nutrition program for which the District receives federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Food and Nutrition Service).
The following person has been designated as the District’s Compliance Officer to handle inquiries or complaints regarding the District’s non-discrimination policies:
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
For information regarding how to report a claim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, see Board of Education Regulation 1300. Policy and Regulation 1300 shall govern all complaints and concerns by parents, patrons, employees, or students of the District related to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Prohibition Against Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation
Harassment or discrimination because of an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law is prohibited in this District. The District also prohibits retaliation against a person who files a complaint of discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of allegations of harassment or discrimination.
This Regulation governs and outlines the procedure for filing a complaint of harassment or discrimination based on a protected classification by students, employees, parents, and patrons of the District. Students with a complaint regarding the identification, evaluation, educational program, or placement of a child with a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should be filed in accordance with the procedures outlined in Regulation 2110.
DISTRICT’S COMPLIANCE OFFICER
The following person has been designated as the District’s Compliance Officer to handle inquiries or complaints regarding the District’s non-discrimination policies:
302 Myrtle Street
Taneyville, MO 65759
The District has designated the Compliance Officer with the responsibility to identify, prevent, and remedy unlawful discrimination and harassment in the District. The Compliance Officer is in charge of assuring District compliance with this Policy and Regulation, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; as well as other state and federal nondiscrimination laws.
The Compliance Officer will:
1. *Receive complaints of discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.
2. Oversee the investigative process.
3. Assess the training needs of District staff and students in connection with the dissemination, comprehension, and compliance with this Regulation.
4. Arrange for necessary training required for compliance with this Regulation.
5. Insure that investigations are conducted by an impartial investigator.
6. In the event the complaint is about the Compliance Officer or Compliance Officer’s immediate supervisor, the District will consider appointment of an outside investigator.
*If any complaint involves the Compliance Officer, the Complaint shall be filed directly with the Superintendent or President of the Board of Education.
For the purpose of this Regulation and Policy 1300, the following terms are defined:
Compliance Officer: The District employee(s) designated by the Board of Education to coordinate the District’s compliance with District policy, Missouri statutes, and federal laws regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic or any other characteristic that is protected by law.
Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
Discrimination: Adverse conduct directed at an individual or group based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by law. The encouragement, cooperation, coercing, or support of adverse conduct that is based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by law is discrimination.
Harassment: Harassment is conduct, including but not limited to, intimidation, ridicule or insult, toward an individual or group because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by law and is so severe or pervasive that it:
• Affects an individual’s ability to work in, participate in, or benefit from an educational program or activity; and
• Creates an intimidating, threatening, abusive hostile or offensive environment; or
• Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably altering the work or educational environment.
For the purposes of this Regulation, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or based upon sex when a) benefits or decisions are implicitly or explicitly conditioned upon submission to, or consequence is applied for refusing to comply with, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature; or b) the school or work environment becomes permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is based on sex or is sexual in nature and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of participation in the district’s programs and activities or the conditions of employment.
A student regardless of age cannot consent to behavior of a sexual nature with an adult irrespective of the circumstances.
Retaliation: Adverse conduct including, but not limited to, conduct of a coercive, intimidating, threatening, discriminatory, or harassing nature because of an individual’s good faith complaint, participation in the investigation, testifying, or resolution of discriminatory or harassing conduct based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by law.
Student: An individual that is currently enrolled as a student of the District.
Illustrations and Examples of Prohibited Harassment
For the purpose of this Regulation and Policy 1300 the determination if conduct as unwelcome is a fact-intensive question that shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Legitimate, non-sexual physical conduct necessary to avoid physical harm to persons or property, to console an individual, or spontaneous movement during a sporting activity is not sexual harassment.
Depending on the circumstances, examples of conduct, which may constitute sexual harassment as defined in this Regulation, include, but are not limited to:
• sexual advances;
• request for sexual favors;
• threatening an individual for not agreeing to submit to sexual advancement;
• sexually motivated touching of an individual’s intimate parts;
• coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force the touching of an individual’s intimate parts;
• display of drawings, graffiti, cartoons, pictures, symbols or other written material of a sexual nature;
• sexual gestures;
• sexual or dirty jokes;
• sexually provocative or explicit speech;
• communications about or rating an individual as to his/her body, sexual activity, or performance; and
• verbal abuse of a sexual nature.
Examples of Race, Color, Nation Origin, Ancestry, Religion, Disability, Age or Genetic Information Harassment
As defined in this Regulation, examples of conduct that may be considered harassment based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, age, or genetic information, or any other characteristic that is protected by law include, but are not limited to:
• display of drawings, graffiti, cartoons, pictures, symbols or other written material;
• slurs, derogatory stereotypes or remarks, rumors, name-calling, insults, teasing, or taunting;
• threats or intimidating conduct;
• hostile action, physical aggression or violence; and
• damage or theft of property.
OBLIGATION TO REPORT
The District is steadfastly committed to providing an inclusive environment that is free from discrimination and harassment for all of its students and staff. Unless a concern is informally resolved, staff and students shall report all incidents of discrimination, harassment and retaliation to the Compliance Officer as set forth in this Regulation. When a formal complaint is filed with the Compliance Officer, the investigation and complaint process detailed below will be used, including a possible determination by the Compliance Officer that the incident has been appropriately addressed through the informal process. Reports of discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation must contain as much specific information as possible to allow for proper assessment of the nature, extent and urgency of preliminary investigative procedures.
The District will take action to protect a complainant or persons subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as necessary during the course of an investigation. Appropriate interim measures will be offered and may include, but are not limited to, physical separation, contact limitations, reassignment, alternative work or assignments, altering class or bus seating assignments, additional supervision, counseling, training, warning, conferences, exclusion and employee suspension pending an investigation as permitted by the District’s policies and law. Additional interim measures to prevent retaliation may include, but are not limited to, notification of the retaliation prohibition, confirming the individual knows how to report retaliation, and follow-up contact.
INVESTIGATION AND RESPONSE
The District will investigate allegations of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation and take appropriate steps reasonably calculated to resolve the situation, eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and as appropriate, remedy its effects. The District will take equitable and remedial action within its authority on complaints that come 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 and/or the Children’s Division. Regardless of whether the misconduct is reported to law enforcement and/or the Children’s Division, school staff will 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.
Engaging in harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation will result in appropriate discipline or other appropriate sanctions against offending students, staff or other third parties involved in District activities. Anyone else who engages in harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on school property or at school activities will have their access to school property and activities restricted, as appropriate.
Employees and students should fully cooperate with investigation process.
Informal Process for Resolution
The District takes seriously the obligation to investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation and to take appropriate remedial measures when necessary. The District recognizes that the obligation to investigate and remedy may be accomplished through an informal process, depending on the circumstances.
Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. If a staff member receives an informal complaint of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation and the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the staff member shall inform their relevant building administrator or supervisor. The administrator/supervisor may attempt to resolve the matter informally and should inform complainants of Policy & Regulation 1300.
Building administrators/supervisors shall provide information to the Compliance Officer on a regular basis about complaints reported and resolved through the informal process.
Informal complaints may become formal complaints at the request of the complainant, parent/guardian, or the District.
During the course of the informal complaint process, the District will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment, discrimination, and retaliation and to correct any effects on the complainant.
Informal remedies may include, but are not limited to:
• If the complainant so desires, 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;
• 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;
• A general public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the District’s nondiscrimination and harassment policy without identifying the complainant;
• Developing a safety plan;
• Separating students; or
• Providing staff and/or student training.
The District will inform the complainant (and their parent/guardian when applicable) how to report any subsequent problems. Additionally, the District may 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.
Formal Process for Resolution
Step One – Complaint to District
Anyone may initiate a formal complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation by filing a written complaint with the District’s Compliance Officer. At any step in the formal resolution process, where appropriate, the District will take interim measures to protect the complainant or alleged victim before the final outcome of the District’s investigation. Additionally, the District may appoint an outside investigator at any step of the informal or formal resolution process. A subordinate shall not investigate his/her supervisor.
The following process will be followed at Step One:
Filing of Complaint
• All formal complaints will be in writing and will set forth the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to have occurred and to constitute harassment, discrimination or retaliation. The Compliance Officer may draft the complaint based on the report of the complainant for the complainant to review and approve. The Compliance Officer 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.
• Formal complaints must be submitted to the Compliance Officer.
• A charge or complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation filed with an outside agency does not constitute a formal complaint or trigger an obligation to follow the formal complaint investigation procedures as contemplated under this Regulation.
Investigation of Complaint
• The Compliance Officer will receive and investigate all formal, written complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation or will investigate if information in the Officer’s possession leads them to believe further investigation is required. The Compliance Officer 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 Compliance Officer will provide the complainant a copy of this Regulation.
• Investigations will be carried out in a manner that is adequate in scope, reliability and impartiality. During the investigation process, the complainant and accused party or parties, if the complainant has identified an accused party, will have an opportunity to identify witnesses and present relevant evidence. The District and complainant may also agree to resolve the complaint in lieu of an investigation.
• When the investigation is completed, the Compliance Officer will compile a written report of the investigation. The report may include a recommendation of appropriate action to remedy the allegations included in the complaint. The Compliance Officer will forward the report and recommendations to the Superintendent. If the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the report and recommendations will be forwarded to the Board President.
Response to Complaint
• The Superintendent will review the report completed by the Compliance Officer.
• The Superintendent will respond in writing with a Letter of Outcome to the complainant and the accused party within thirty (30) calendar days of the Compliance Officer’s receipt of the written complaint, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant or if 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.
• The Letter of Outcome will include: 1) a statement of the outcome of the investigation including whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes that harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation occurred in violation of Policy 1300; 2) if violation of Policy 1300 is found to have occurred, the assurance that the District will take steps to prevent recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate; and 3) notice of the right to appeal to the school board and the necessary filing information.
• Any corrective measures deemed necessary will be instituted as promptly as reasonable.
• The District will inform the complainant (and their parent/guardian if the complainant is a student) how to report any subsequent problems. Additionally, where appropriate the District will conduct follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or instances of retaliation, and to respond and appropriately address continuing or new problems.
• If the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the actions set forth herein to be completed by the Superintendent will be completed by the Board President.
Step Two – Appeal to Board of Education
Notice of Appeal
• The complainant or accused party may appeal to the Board of Education by filing a written notice of appeal with the secretary of the Board within ten (10) calendar days following receipt of the Letter of Outcome.
• On receipt of the written appeal, the matter shall be placed on the agenda of the Board for consideration not later than their next regularly scheduled meeting, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant and the superintendent or for good cause.
• Parties will be allowed to provide comment and information as the Board deems relevant and material.
• Unless otherwise agreed to by the appealing party, the Board will provide written notice of its determination within thirty (30) calendar days following the filing of the notice of appeal and provide the appealing party with a copy of the determination.
The District prohibits retaliation against a person who files a complaint of discrimination or harassment, and further prohibits retaliation against a person who participates in related proceedings or investigations.
Notwithstanding this provision, employees or students found to have intentionally made false or materially misleading allegations of suspected discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation under this Regulation may be disciplined, up to and including dismissal or expulsion.
The District will respect the privacy of the complainant, the individuals against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses to the extent possible, consistent with applicable law, the District’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations. However, pursuant to the District’s discretion, information may be disclosed, if necessary, to aid in the investigation, resolution, or appeal of the complaint.
CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES
The District will take prompt, effective and appropriate action to address substantiated discrimination, harassment or retaliation, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
Consequences for violations of this Policy and Regulation may have educational, restorative, rehabilitative and/or punitive components.
Conduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation as defined in this Regulation will be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, written warning or reprimand, conference, required training, “no contact” order, reassignment, probation, suspension or termination for employees, suspension or expulsion for students, or exclusion from District property.
In the event that the evidence suggests that the conduct at issue is also a crime in violation of a Missouri criminal statute, the District Compliance Officer shall report the conduct to the appropriate law enforcement agency charged with responsibility for handling such crimes.
As required by and in compliance with law and District policy, a report will be made to the Missouri Children’s Division if there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of a child.
Students, employees and others will not be disciplined for speech in circumstances where it is protected by law.
The District will consider remedies for the victim as appropriate including, but are not limited to, providing additional resources such as counseling, moving or reassignment of the perpetrator, or allowing the victim to retake or withdraw from a class.
An allegation of discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation complaint may not necessarily stop, delay or affect pending personnel actions. This includes, but is not limited to, performance evaluations or disciplinary actions related to a reporter who is not performing at acceptable levels or standards or who has violated district policies or regulations.
TRAINING & PUBLICATION OF POLICY
The District will train its employees on this Policy and Regulation. The training will include the requirements of nondiscrimination and the appropriate responses to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The District will notify its employees to report complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation in accordance with this Policy. This training will be provided to employees on an annual basis, and at such other times as the Superintendent, in consultation with the District’s Compliance Officer, determines is necessary or appropriate. Additionally, the District will provide additional training to the District Compliance Officer on identifying, investigating, and reporting on acts that may constitute discrimination, harassment or retaliation. District students will be notified regarding this Policy. This Policy will be posted on the District’s website and available in Central Office.
PERSONNEL SERVICES Policy 4865 (Form 4865)
The District is committed to provision of a quality education in a transparent and supportive environment. Employees who engage in certain discussions of District operations; disclosure of alleged prohibited activities or testimony before a court, administrative, or legislative body will not be subject to disciplinary action as provided in this Policy 4865. The protection of this policy extends to dismissal, demotion, transfer, reassignment, suspension, reprimand, warrant of such disciplinary action, withholding of work irrespective of whether such action affects the employees’ compensation.
The following categories of employment activity are protected under this policy.
Discussion of District Operations
Employees are protected in discussing the operations of the District with any member of the legislature, state auditor, attorney general, a prosecuting or circuit attorney, a law enforcement agency, news media, the public or any state official or body charged with investigating any alleged misconduct described in this policy. Such protection will not restrict or preclude the administration from disciplining an employee who knew the information discussed was false; the information was closed or confidential under law, or when the discussions relate to the employee’s own violations, mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or endangerment of public health or safety.
Disclosure of Prohibited Activity
Employees are protected in making disclosures of any prohibited activity under investigation or any related activity, or for the disclosure of information which the employee reasonably believes demonstrates:
Violation of any law, rule or regulation.
Mismanagement, a gross waste of funds or abuse of authority, violation of policy, waste of public resources, attention of technical findings, or communication of scientific opinion, breaches of professional ethical census, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, if the disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law.
Similarly, no employee will be required to give notice to a supervisor prior to disclosing any activity set out in this subsection.
Employees are protected in their testimony before a court, administrative body, or legislative body regarding an alleged prohibited activity or disclosure of related information.
Limitations on Protected Activity
The employee protections set out in this policy will not prohibit:
A supervisor from requiring employees to inform the supervisor concerning legislative requests for information; the substance of testimony made or the substance of testimony to be made to legislators on behalf of the District.
A supervisor may preclude an employee from leaving their assigned work area during normal work hours or without complying with the applicable rules, regulations and policies. However, this limitation will not apply when an employee is requested by a legislator/legislative committee to appear before such legislative committees.
A supervisor from disciplining an employee who represents his/her personal opinions as the opinion of the District.
A supervisor from disciplining an employee who discloses or discusses information the employee knew was false; the information is closed or is confidential under the provisions of the open meetings law or any other law; or the disclosure relates to the employee’s own violations, mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or the endangerment of public health or safety.
Referral to the State Auditor
Where an employee alleges that they were disciplined for disclosure or discussion of information related to the receipt or expenditures of public funds, the employee may request the state auditor to investigate the alleged misconduct and whether unlawful disciplinary action was taken as provided in this policy.
The District will post a summary of this policy in locations in all District facilities where it would reasonably be expected to come to attention of all District employees. In addition, this policy will be posted on the District’s website.
August 2018, Copyright © 2018 Missouri Consultants for Education, LLC