502 Student Rights and Responsibilities

502.1 Student Appearance

The board believes inappropriate student appearance causes material and substantial disruption to the school environment or presents a threat to the health and safety of students, employees and visitors.

Students are expected to adhere to standards of cleanliness and dress that are compatible with the requirements of a good learning environment. The standards will be those generally acceptable to the community as appropriate in a school setting.

The board expects students to come to school looking clean and neat, dressed in a manner which is accepted as being in good taste, and consistent with an attitude and atmosphere that is conducive to study and learning. Clothing or other apparel promoting or referring products illegal for use by minors (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, drugs) and/or clothing displaying obscene material or profanity or referring to inappropriate or prohibited conduct are disallowed. While the primary responsibility for appearance lies with the students and their parents, appearance disruptive to the education program will not be tolerated. When, in the judgment of a principal, a student’s appearance or mode of dress disrupts the educational process or constitutes a threat to health or safety, the student may be required to make modifications.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy. Refer to Student Handbooks for appearance regulations.

 

Legal Reference:       

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).

Bethal School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).

Tinker v. Des Moines Ind. Comm. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir. 1987).

Torvik v. Decorah Community School, 453 F.2d 779 (8th Cir. 1972).

Turley v. Adel Community School District, 322 F. Supp. 402 (S.D. Iowa 1971).

Sims v. Colfax Comm. School Dist., 307 F. Supp. 485 (Iowa 1970).

Iowa Code §§ 279.8

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016   

502.6 Student Complaints and Grievances

Student complaints and grievances regarding board policy or administrative regulations and other matters should be addressed to the student’s teacher or another certified employee, other than the administration, for resolution of the complaint. It is the goal of the board to resolve student complaints at the lowest organizational level.

 

If the complaint cannot be resolved by a certified employee, the student may submit a written appeal to the building principal within three (3) calendar days of the certified employee’s decision. The principal will meet with the student and issue a written decision within three (3) calendar days.

 

If the student is not satisfied with the principal’s decision, a written appeal to the superintendent must be submitted within five (5) calendar days of the principal’s written decision. The written appeal to the superintendent shall specify the reason for the appeal and shall set out supporting information and facts.

 

The written decision of the superintendent may be appealed to the Board of Directors. This written appeal shall be filed with the Board Secretary within five (5) calendar days of receiving the superintendent’s decision. Unless the parties otherwise agree, the matter shall be placed on the board agenda of a regularly scheduled board meeting in compliance with board policy.

 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 279.8.

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016 

502.6A Student Due Process Rights

Students are to have clearly established means by which “administrative due process” is available to see that the individual’s rights are protected. Students are to be involved, singly and collectively, as citizens of the school with the attendant rights of such citizenships and corresponding responsibilities for the proper conduct of their own affairs and those of other students.

When violations of statutes, regulations or school rules require the disciplining of a student, following elements of procedural due process will be present:

  1. The student will be provided with accurate information regarding rules and regulations, either in written form or through verbal instruction by teachers or administrators;
  2. The student will be made aware of the specific behaviors giving rise to any proposed penalty or disciplinary action; AND
  3. The student will be offered an opportunity to express their views to the decision-making authority regarding the incident.

The appeal process usually begins with the staff member involved and then proceeds to the principals, the superintendent, and finally the board of education. During the process, the student may be represented by a third party.

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016      Revised   07/18/2016  

502.8 Possession of Weapons

The board believes weapons, look-a-likes, other dangerous objects and any instrument used as a weapon in school district facilities cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees and visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.

School district facilities are not an appropriate place for weapons, look-a-likes, dangerous objects or any instrument used as a weapon. Weapons, look-a-likes, other dangerous objects and any instrument used as a weapon will be taken from students and others who bring them onto the school district property or onto property within the jurisdiction of the school district or from students who are within the control of the school district. Students bringing a weapon, look-a-like, other dangerous object or any instrument used as a weapon onto school property or onto property within the jurisdiction of the school may be suspended or expelled from school.

Parents/guardians of students found to possess weapons, look-a-likes, dangerous objects or any instrument used as a weapon on school property are notified of the incident. Confiscation of weapons, look-a-likes, dangerous objects, or any instruments used as a weapon will be reported to law enforcement officials, and students will be subject to disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion.

Students bringing firearms to school or knowingly possessing firearms at school will be expelled for not less than one year. The superintendent has the authority to recommend this expulsion requirement be modified for students on a case-by-case basis. For purposes of this portion of this policy, the term “firearm” includes, but is not limited to, any weapon which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, a muffler or silencer for such a weapon, or any explosive, incendiary or poison gas.

For purposes of this policy, the term “dangerous object” includes any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death upon a human being when used in the manner for which it was designed. The term “dangerous object” also includes any instrument or device or any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the individual intends to inflict death or injury upon the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death upon a human being. In addition, dangerous objects or any instrument used as a weapon in the school includes any object used to intimidate, coerce, scare or threaten a student, school district employee, or visitor.

Weapons under the control of law enforcement officials are exempt from this policy. The principal may allow authorized persons to display weapons other dangerous objects or look-a-likes for educational purposes. Such a display will also be exempt from this policy. It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

 

Legal Reference:            

No Child Left Behind, Title IV, Sec. 4242, P.L. 107-110 (2002).

Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, P.L. 103-382.

18 U.S.C. § 921 (1994)

McClain v. Lafayette County Bd. Of Education, 673 F.2d 106 (5th Cir. 1982).

Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 724 (1997)

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016 

 

502.9 Possession or Use of Illegal Controlled Substances

The District and the Board recognize the following as serious violations of the school's disciplinary policy:

  1. Possessing, drinking, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages on school property or at school sponsored or approved events off the school grounds at any time, including official school events at other schools;
  2. Possessing, distributing, using, or being under the influence of illegal drugs on school property or at school sponsored or approved events off the school grounds at any time, including official school events at other schools;
  3. Possessing, distributing, or using drug paraphernalia on school property or at school sponsored or approved events off the school grounds at any time, including official school events at other schools.

Each violation of this policy will be reviewed by the appropriate administrator within a reasonable time after the alleged violation. Both the student and their parents shall have the opportunity to discuss the matter with the administrator before the administrator makes a decision.

The penalty for such violations may include suspension or expulsion. Participation in activities, including practices, will also be prohibited during any period of suspension or expulsion. A student suspended or expelled under this policy will be allowed to return to classes upon completion of the suspension/expulsion period and enrollment in a program of substance abuse evaluation with an agency approved by the District. It shall be the responsibility of the student and/or their parent to enroll in the program of substance abuse evaluation.

School officials may notify law enforcement when a student is suspected of possessing, using, distributing or selling any illegal controlled substance on school property or at school sponsored or approved events off the school grounds at any time, including official school events at other schools.

This policy does not affect nor rescind policies in effect for students who may also be disciplined through the activity policies of the athletic department or other departments.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

 

Legal Reference:                   

34 C.F.R. Pt. 86 (2002).

Iowa Code §§ 123.46; 124; 279.8; .9; 453A (2005)

281 I.A.C. 12.3(9); .5(3)(e), .5(4)(e), .5(5)(e), .5(21).

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016   

502.10 Search and Seizure

School district property is held in public trust by the board. School District authorities may, without a search warrant, search students or protected student areas, based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a school district policy, rule, regulation or law has been violated. The search shall be in a manner reasonable in scope to maintain order and discipline in the schools, promote the educational environment, and protect the safety and welfare of students, employees and visitors to the school district facilities. The furnishing of a locker, desk or other facility or space owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student, even if the student provides the lock for it, shall not create a protected student area and shall not give rise to an expectation of privacy with respect the locker, desk, or other facility.

School authorities may seize any illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials discovered in the search. Items of contraband may include, but are not limited to, nonprescription controlled substances, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, apparatus used for controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, weapons, explosives, poisons and stolen property. Such items are not to be possessed by a student while they are on school district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school owned and/or operated school or chartered vehicles; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district. Possession of such items will be grounds for disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion and may be reported to local law enforcement officials. The board believes that illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials may cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or presents a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

 

Legal Reference:                   

U.S. Const. amend. IV.

New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985).

Cason v. Cook, 810 F.2d 188 (8th Circ. 1987)

cert. den., 482 U.S. 930 (1987).

Iowa Code ch. 808A.

281 I.A.C. 12.3(8).

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016   

502.10R1 Search and Seizure Regulation

  1. Searches, in general.
    1. Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion: A search of a student or protected student area will be justified when there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or school district policy, rules, or regulations affecting school order. Reasonable suspicion may be formed by considering factors, such as the following:
      1. Eyewitness observations by employees;
      2. Information received from reliable sources;
      3. Suspicious behavior by the student; or,
      4. Student’s past history and school record, although this factor alone is not sufficient to provide the basis for a reasonable suspicion.
    2. Reasonable Scope: A search will be permissible in its scope or intrusiveness when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Reasonableness of scope or intrusiveness may be determined based on factors such as the following:
      1. Age of the student;
      2. Sex of the student;
      3. Nature of the infraction;
      4. Emergency exigency requiring the search without delay
  2. Types of Searches
    1. Personal Searches
      1. A student’s person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, backpack, etc.) may be searched when a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is in possession of illegal or contraband items or has violated school district policies, rules, regulations or the law affecting school order.
      2. Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered reasonable.
        1. If a pat-down search or a search of a student’s garments (such as jackets, socks, pockets, etc.) is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex as the student and with another adult witness of the same sex present, when feasible.
        2. A more intrusive search, short of a strip search, of the student’s person, handbags, book bags, etc., is permissible in emergency situations when the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors are threatened. Such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex as the student, with an adult of the same sex present unless the health or safety of students will be endangered by the delay which may be caused by following these procedures.
    2. Locker and Desk Inspections
      1. Although school lockers and desk are temporarily assigned to individual students, they remain the property of the school district at all times. The school district has a reasonable and valid interest in insuring the lockers and desks are properly maintained. For this reason, lockers and desks are subject to unannounced inspections and students have no legitimate expectations of privacy in the locker or desk. For this reason, periodic inspections of lockers are permissible to check for cleanliness and vandalism. Periodic inspections of all or a random selection of lockers or desks may be conducted by school officials in the presence of the student or another individual. Any contraband discovered during such searches shall be confiscated by school officials and may be turned over to law enforcement officials.
      2. The contents of a student’s locker or desk (coat, backpack, purse, etc.) and its contents may be searched when a school official has reasonable and articulable suspicion that the locker contents contains illegal or contraband items or evidence of a violation of law or school policy or rule. Such searches should be conducted in the presence of another adult witness when feasible.
    3. Automobile Searches

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student’s automobile on the school premises may be searched if the school official has a reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside the student’s automobile.

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016   

502.11 Questioning of Students

Generally, persons other than parents and school district officials and employees may not interview students during the school day. For purposes of this policy, the school juvenile court officer shall be considered a school employee.

Requests from law enforcement officers and from persons other than parents, school district officials, and employees to interview students shall be made through the principal’s office. Upon receiving a request, it shall be the responsibility of the principal to determine whether the request will be granted. Generally, prior to granting a request, the principal shall attempt to contact the parents to inform them of the request and to ask them to be present.

If a child abuse investigator wishes to interview a student, the principal will determine whether the student should be interviewed independently from the student’s parents, whether the school is the most appropriate setting for the interview, and who will be present during the interview.

Students will not be taken from school without the consent of the principal.

 

Legal Reference:                   

Iowa Code §§ 232; 280.17.

281 I.A.C. 102.

441 I.A.C. 9.2; 115; 175.

1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 275.

 

Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 07/18/2016     Revised 07/18/2016   

502.12 Bullying and Harassment - Prohibited

Bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, is strictly prohibited. The District is committed to maintaining an educational environment free of any form of bullying or harassment by or towards students, parents/guardians, employees, and volunteers while in school, at a school sponsored activity or at any school sponsored function.

 

Individuals are encouraged to immediately report incidents of harassment. This policy will set forth the procedures that will be used in filing, investigating, and resolving complaints of bullying and harassment brought by students, parents, and staff.

 

This policy is in effect while students are on school grounds, school district property, or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school-owned and/or school-operated buses, vehicles or chartered buses; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school grounds if the misconduct directly affects the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district.

 

Bullying and harassment prohibited by the District includes, but is not limited to, any act or conduct on the basis of actual or perceived age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, family status, or genetic information, and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • Places the target in reasonable fear of harm to the target’s person or property.
  • Has a substantially detrimental effect on the target’s physical or mental health.
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a target’s academic performance.
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the target’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
  • Is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program.

 

Acts of harassment or bullying may be treated as grounds for discipline. Discipline may include suspension, expulsion or the restriction of a student for the purposes of ensuring the safety of other students, termination of an employee, and exclusion of a volunteer from District activities or school premises. 

 

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition or a student’s education or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the student; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect or unreasonably interfering with a student’s performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile learning environment.

 

Sexual harassment as set out above, may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Verbal, electronic, or written harassment or abuse;
  • Pressure for sexual activity;
  • Repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications;
  • Unwelcome touching;
  • Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement, accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, achievements, etc.; and/or
  • Sexual violence and other harassment based on sex.

 

Harassment on the basis of actual or perceived age, race, sex, creed, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical or mental disability means conduct of a verbal or physical nature that is designed to embarrass, distress, agitate, disturb or trouble students when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s education or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the student; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile learning environment.

 

Harassment as set forth above may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Verbal, physical, electronic, or written harassment or abuse;
  • Repeated remarks of a demeaning nature;
  • Implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, achievements, etc.;
  • Demeaning jokes, stories, or activities directed at the student;
  • Unreasonable interference with a student’s performance or creation of an intimidating, offensive or hostile learning environment.

 

The district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of harassment. Investigation procedures are set forth in Board Policy No. 502.12R1. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as preventing or discouraging a student from filing a concurrent criminal complaint.

 

The building principal will be responsible for receiving, investigating, and resolving all complaints of student harassment. The Superintendent may appoint another building principal or appropriate designee to serve as the investigator where appropriate.

 

Upon receiving a complaint that articulates bullying or harassment, whether the complaint is formal or informal, the investigator shall interview the complainant, the target student (if someone other than the student initiates the complaint), the alleged harasser, and any witnesses that may be identified by any party as having knowledge of the complaint. The investigator shall also determine whether any interim measures, including schedule changes, increased staff supervision, or a pre-investigation safety plan are necessary, given the circumstances of the complaint. Any interim measures taken shall not be deemed “disciplinary” in nature, nor shall they constitute an investigative finding against any individual.

 

No Retaliation. Retaliation by any student or staff member against an individual because that person filed or participated in the investigation of a complaint of bullying or harassment under this policy, is expressly prohibited. A student or staff member who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including suspension and expulsion or termination.

 

It shall also be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the investigator and principals, to develop administrative rules regarding this policy. The superintendent shall also be responsible for organizing training programs for students and employees. The training shall include how to recognize bullying and harassment, and how to file a complaint if a student is being bullied or harassed. District administration responsible for conducting investigations shall also receive periodic training in conducting fair and impartial investigations under Board policy and federal and state law.

This policy, along with Board Regulation 502.12R1 (Student Harassment Investigation Procedures), and the Harassment Complaint Form and Witness Report Form shall be available on the District’s website (www.pcmonroe.k12.ia.us) and in the main office of each attendance center in the District.

 

Contact Information. The following contact information may be used to contact the building principal to initiate a complaint under this policy:

 

PCM High School

400 East Highway 163

Monroe, IA 50170

Tel: 641.259.2315

Fax: 641.259.2317

 

PCM Middle School

407 East Plainsmen Road
Prairie City, IA 50228
Tel: 515.994.2686
Fax: 515.994.3342

 

Prairie City Elementary 

309 East Plainsmen Road

Prairie City, IA 50228

Tel: 515.994.2377

Fax: 515.994.3280

 

Monroe Elementary

400 North Jasper
Monroe, IA 50170
Tel: 641.259.2314
Fax: 641.259.2944

 

 

Approved   05/19/97       Reviewed 10/17/2016     Revised 10/17/2016 

502.12R1 Harassment Investigation Procedures

This procedure sets forth the investigation procedures to be followed in the event that a complaint is received that meets the definition of “bullying,” “harassment,” or “sexual harassment” set forth in Board Policy No. 502.12.

INFORMAL RESOLUTION
If the student wishes to seek an informal resolution to the situation, rather than filing a formal complaint of bullying or harassment, the student should:

--    tell a teacher, counselor, or principal about the situation; and

--    write down exactly what happened, keep a copy and give another copy to the teacher, counselor or principal including:

  • what, when, and where it happened;
  • who was involved;
  • exactly what was said or what the harasser did;
  • witnesses to the harassment;
  • what the student said or did, either at the time or later;
  • how the student felt; and how the harasser responded.

If the student wishes to end informal efforts to resolve the harassment and proceed with a formal complaint, the student may do so at any time. At no time shall the student be required to confront the harasser or participate in informal resolution or mediation efforts.  In cases of sexual assault, the target will never be asked to confront the accused or participate in mediation with the accused.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed as preventing or discouraging a student from filing a concurrent criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Any person who believes that a student has been harassed shall notify the complainant/target student’s building principal, who shall be the designated investigator. Contact information for each building is located on the District’s website at http://www.pcmonroe.k12.ia.us. 

District staff members who observe acts of harassment or sexual harassment are required to intervene to stop the harassment, unless such intervention would pose a health or safety risk to any individual. Staff members must document any such incident that they personally observe and immediately report all allegations of possible bullying or harassment to their building principal or the superintendent.

The complainant may notify the building principal verbally, or by filling out Harassment Complaint Form. This complaint form is located on the District’s website at http://www.pcmonroe.k12.ia.us, and may also be obtained in the main office of each attendance center in the District.

The investigator will make reasonable efforts to conduct an investigation into all reports of harassment, whether formal or informal, and whether written or verbal. The minimum information required to initiate an investigation is the identity of the target(s) and the alleged harasser(s), and a description of the complained-of conduct, which must articulate a claim of bullying or harassment, as defined by Board Policy No. 502.12. The investigator may request that the student turn over evidence of the harassment, including, but not limited to, letters, tapes, or pictures. Information received during the investigation shall be kept confidential to the extent possible.

If the building principal is unavailable to serve as the investigator, or if it the superintendent finds that it would be a conflict of interest for that individual to serve as the investigator, the superintendent may assign a different building principal to serve as investigator. 

INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

The investigator shall reasonably and promptly commence the investigation upon receipt of the complaint. The investigator shall first interview the complainant.  If the complainant is someone other than the alleged target of the harassment, the investigator will next interview the target. The investigator shall also interview the alleged harasser. The alleged harasser will be given the opportunity to file a written statement refuting or explaining the behavior outlined in the complaint, which shall be considered by the investigator in resolving the complaint. Both the complainant and the respondent shall be given equal opportunity to present evidence for the consideration of the investigator. The investigator will also interview witnesses identified by complainant, respondent, or any other party with knowledge of the complaint, as necessary to conduct a reasonably thorough investigation of the complaint. 

Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigator should complete the initial investigation within ten (10) school days of receiving the complaint. If the investigator determines that completion of the investigation within ten (10) school days is not practicable, the investigator shall notify the complainant and the respondent as soon as possible of the delay, and of the expected date of completion of the investigation.

If the circumstances warrant, the investigator may take interim measures to separate the complainant and alleged harasser(s), including, at the investigator’s discretion, a pre-investigation safety plan, schedule changes, and allocating resources to provide additional supervision pending a final determination on the complaint. Implementing interim measures shall not be deemed evidence that the complaint is founded.

Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator shall make written findings and conclusions as to each allegation of harassment. As to each allegation, the investigator will determine whether the allegation is founded, unfounded, or unfounded for lack of information. An allegation will be determined to be founded if the preponderance of the evidence indicates that the alleged harassment occurred. “Preponderance of the evidence” means that it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred.

Both the complainant and the alleged harasser will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation within five (5) school days of the conclusion of the investigation.

POINTS TO REMEMBER IN THE INVESTIGATION

  • Evidence uncovered in the investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible.
  • When dealing with allegations of sexual harassment, as defined if Policy No. 502.12:
  • Evidence regarding the target’s past relationships with third parties shall be disallowed as evidence regarding the merits of target’s complaint against the harasser(s).
  • In the event of a disciplinary hearing, the target shall not be required to testify or be present in the same hearing room as the accused, unless required to do so in order to provide the accused with adequate due process. The District will utilize available technological solutions to prevent the target from testifying in the same room with the accused, so long as this would be consistent with the District’s legal obligation to provide the accused with due process and fundamental fairness in the hearing.  If the target is required by law to testify in the same room as the accused, the target will be allowed to have an adult support person of his or her choice present for the duration of the hearing. A support person may include a parent, counselor, school staff member, or other adult of the student’s choosing.
  • All complaints, whether formal or informal, must be taken seriously and investigated upon receipt of sufficient information to determine the identities of the complainant and respondent and a general description of the allegations.
  • The investigator shall notify all participants in the investigation that retaliation against any individual who participates in the complaint or investigation process is expressly prohibited. Any acts of alleged harassment should be reported immediately to the superintendent. Individuals who engage in acts of retaliation shall be subject to discipline up to and including suspension and expulsion (if student) or termination (if staff). 

CONSEQUENCES

Students found to have engaged in acts of harassment or sexual harassment, as defined by Board Policy 502.12 shall be subject to disciplinary action, which shall be reasonable in light of the student’s age and the nature of the student’s actions. Consequences for founded acts of harassment or sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal warning;
  • Written warning;
  • Schedule or class changes to separate the target student from the harasser;
  • Loss of internet or technology privileges for violations of the District’s Acceptable Use of Technology policy (Board Policy No. 502.13);
  • Detention;
  • Post-investigation safety plan that restricts the harasser in the manner that he/she was engaging in harassment;
  • Loss of school privileges, including but not limited to, field trip and activity attendance;
  • Suspension or exclusion from District-sponsored athletics and activities under the District’s Good Conduct Rule (Board Policy No. 503.4);
  • Suspension from school;
  • Expulsion (student);
  • Termination (staff).

REMEDIES

Where appropriate, the investigator shall also determine whether any actions are necessary to remedy the harm to the target student and others, including the provision of school-based counseling services, academic support or counseling, additional training or educational opportunities, and corrections of errors in student records, where such errors were created as a direct result of a founded act of bullying or harassment. 
 

Students may also pursue any other remedial measures available to them under federal or state law, including but not limited to, seeking open enrollment pursuant to Iowa Code § 282.18.

APPEAL

If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the building principal’s investigation, that party may file a written appeal with the superintendent within five (5) school days of receipt of the initial decision. The appealing party shall state the reasons for appeal, and provide any additional information for the superintendent’s consideration. The superintendent will provide notice of the appeal to the other party, and will give that party the opportunity to provide a written response and additional information for the superintendent’s consideration. Both the complainant and the respondent will be given equal opportunity to present additional information to the superintendent upon appeal.

The superintendent will review the initial investigation, and may:

  • Affirm the initial investigator’s findings and conclusions,
  • Modify the initial investigator’s findings or conclusions, or
  • Conduct, or cause the initial investigator to conduct, any further investigation into the allegations that the superintendent deems necessary, and affirm or modify the initial findings and conclusions as appropriate.

Absent extenuating circumstances, the superintendent’s review and determination shall be complete within ten (10) school days of receipt of the appeal. If the superintendent is unable to complete the review within this time frame, he or she shall notify both the complainant and respondent of the delay and the anticipated date on which the superintendent’s determination shall be sent to both parties.

In the event that the initial investigator or superintendent recommends any student for suspension for a period of ten (10) or more school days or expulsion, that student shall be provided with the procedural protections stated in Board Policy No. 503.2. In the event that the initial investigator or superintendent recommends any certified staff member for suspension or termination, that individual shall be provided with the procedural protections stated in any current collective bargaining agreement, Board Policy No. 407.4, and Iowa Code chapter 279.

RECORDKEEPING

The District shall maintain written records of all complaints received and investigations conducted into complaints of harassment and sexual harassment. Such records shall be maintained in the District’s main office. 

NO RETALIATION

Retaliation by any student or staff member against an individual because that person filed or participated in the investigation of a complaint of bullying or harassment under this policy, is expressly prohibited. A student or staff member who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including suspension and expulsion.

 

Approved   05/19/97       Reviewed 07/18/2016      Revised 07/18/2016