Sexual Harassment By School Employees


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William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
Public School Law - Graduate Studies

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Sexual Harassment By School Employees

  1. 1. Sexual Harassment of Students by School Employees <ul><li>William Allan Kritsonis, PhD </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and The Department of Education implement regulations prohibiting sex discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court, Congress, and the Federal executive departments recognize sexual harassment of students. </li></ul><ul><li>The guidance focuses on a school’s responsibility under Title IX and the Title IX regulations to address sexual harassment against students. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Sexual harassment – unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature; ie. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal, non-verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Note – sexual harassment of a student can deny or limit on the basis of sex, the students ability to participate or receive benefits. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Applies to all public and private schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Protects male and female students against sex discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibits bullying by groups or individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-based harassment and/or sexual harassment constitute a hostile environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Assurance of compliance mandates. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>In assessing sexually harassing conduct, schools must consider the following: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the conduct deny or limit the student’s ability to participate or benefit from the program based on sex? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If so, does the nature of the school’s responsibility address that conduct of the harasser and the context in which the harassment occurred? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>“ Quid Pro Quo” harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hostile environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*Note: A hostile environment can occur even if the harassment is not targeted specifically at the individual complaintant. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li>Statements by any witness to the alleged incident. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence about the relative credibility of the allegedly harassed student and the alleged harasser. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence that the alleged harasser has been found to have harassed others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of the allegedly harassed student’s reaction or behavior after the alleged harassment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence about whether the student claiming harassment filed a complaint or took action to protest the conduct immediately after the occurrence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other contemporaneous evidence. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Sexual harassment of a student by a teacher can be discrimination in violation of Title IX. </li></ul><ul><li>The employer (teacher) is in violation of Title IX when he/she inappropriately use their position. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher or employer is also responsible for the ending and recurrence of the harassment. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, it is the school’s obligation to take immediate action on the case. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Schools and Universities are required by Title IX regulations to adopt and publish grievance procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>When students or parents file a complaint. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools should discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with the complainant initially. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Public school employees have certain due process rights under the United States Constitution. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Action (FERPA) does not override federally protected due process rights. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Title IX was designed to protect students from sex discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to prevent or redress sexual misconduct on students by school employees, administrators must formulate, interpret, and apply Title IX regulations. </li></ul>