The Norwich Free Academy does not discriminate in its educational programs, services or employment on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, color, handicapping condition, age, marital status or sexual orientation. This is in accordance with Title VI, Title VII, Title IX and other civil rights or discrimination issues; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991.
Non-Discrimination Policy (#4118)
Prohibition Against Sexual Harassment: Response to Reports of Sexual Harassment and Grievance Procedures for Formal Complaints
The Norwich Free Academy will respond to all incidents of sexual harassment: (a) of which it has actual knowledge, and (b) that occurs within the school’s education program or activity and c) occurs against a person in the United States.
“Actual knowledge” means notice of sexual harassment or an allegation of sexual harassment brought to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator(s), any official of the school who has authority to institute corrective measures on the behalf of the school, as well as to any school employee. Accordingly, any school employee with actual knowledge that sexual harassment is occurring shall notify the school’s Title IX Coordinator(s).
Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the school exercises substantial control over both the respondent (perpetrator of sex discrimination/sexual harassment) and the context in which the sex discrimination/sexual harassment occurs. In addition to occurring on school grounds, sex discrimination/sexual harassment may potentially occur off campus, in places or situations where athletic and extracurricular activities occur, on field trips, on the school bus, at school related conferences or through use of school technology depending upon whether the school exercises control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.
- Reporting of Sexual Harassment
- Response Including Supportive Measures
- Emergency Removal/Administrative Leave
- Dismissals of Complaints
- Grievance Procedures (formal complaints only)
- Informal Resolution
- Record Keeping
- Alternate Complaint Procedures
- Statement of Protected Rights
- Mandated Reporters
Any person, including parent/guardians, students, employees and third parties may report sexual harassment occurring in the school’s education program or activity. Reporting may be in person, by mail, telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information provided for the Title IX Coordinator(s). Reports may be made during non-business hours. Reports may be made anonymously. When a reporter fails to identify a specific complainant (victim of sexual harassment) or to identify him/herself as the reporter, the school’s response may be limited.
Informal complaints will be accepted in any manner; however, the form for making an informal report can be found here, and from the Title IX Coordinator(s).
While third parties may make informal reports of sexual harassment occurring in the school’s education program or activities, a formal complaint may only be made by a complainant or be signed by the Title IX Coordinator, triggering an investigation. A formal complaint is a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment and requesting that an investigation commence.
While there is no time limit for making an informal report or filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment, reporters/complainants are encouraged to promptly report incidents of sexual harassment to avoid the potential loss of evidence, a lapse in the memories of parties or witness or the unavailability of persons key to an investigation. The school understands that a victim may decide not to report sexual harassment, to file a formal complaint and/or may decide to wait to come forward with a report/formal complaint for a variety of reasons. The District/Academy respects complainants’ decisions. However, the Title IX Coordinator has discretion to sign a formal complaint that initiates the grievance process where necessary to avoid deliberate indifference to sexual harassment even without a formal complaint from the complainant.
Formal complaints will be accepted in any manner; however, the form for making a formal complaint can be found here, and from the Title IX Coordinator(s).
Supportive measures will be offered to a complainant with or without a formal complaint.
- Course adjustments
- Modification of work
- Modification of class schedules
- Increased monitoring
- Restrictions on contact
With or without the filing of a formal complaint, an emergency removal of a respondent from the education program or activity is permissible provided that the school conducts an individualized safety and risk analysis and determines that emergency removal is necessary in order to protect a student or other individual from an immediate threat to physical health or safety, and provides notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision. This does not modify any rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A non-student employee respondent may be placed on administrative leave during the pendency of an investigation.
- Written notice of the complaint shall be provided to the respondent prior to an initial interview with the respondent.
- Written notice provided to the respondent shall include:
- of the Grievance Procedure, including any informal resolution process;
- notice of the allegations in sufficient detail to allow the respondent to prepare a response;
- a statement that the respondent is presumed innocent and responsibility will be determined at the conclusion of the Grievance Process;
- notice of the right to have an advisor to inspect/review evidence; and
- notice of any provision in applicable codes of conduct that prohibit knowingly making false statements or providing false information in the grievance process.
Remedies will be provided to a complainant when a respondent it found responsible. Remedies shall be designed to maintain the complainant’s equal access to education.
The range of remedies where violation is found to have occurred can range from counseling to serious discipline, up to and including expulsion/termination.
The range of remedies depends on the circumstances but may include previously provided supportive measures, grade changes, and the opportunity to retake a test or resubmit an assignment, reassignment of class, school-based counseling, and reinstatement to a team or activity as well as other appropriate measures.
The Title IX Coordinator(s) shall oversee the effectiveness of the remedies toward ensuring no continued discrimination occurs.
The school must keep records related to reports of alleged sexual harassment for a minimum of seven years, including investigation records, disciplinary sanctions, remedies, appeals, and records of any action taken, including supportive measures. Additionally, the school must also keep for a minimum of seven years any materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision makers, any employee designed to facilitate an informal process.
In addition, or as an alternative to the filing of a sex discrimination/sexual harassment complaint through the school’s grievance procedure, a person may choose to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, any other state or federal agency designated to receive such complaints and/or to report an incident of sexual harassment to law enforcement.
Training shall be provided to Title IX personnel, including, but not limited to, Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision makers, and any employee designed to facilitate an informal process in accordance with the regulation under Title IX as promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education, as it may be amended from time to time.
Training shall include, but is not limited to, explanation or instruction regarding:
- the definition of “sexual harassment”
- grievance procedures
- how to conduct an investigation
- how to prepare an investigative report
- training on any technology that might be needed to carry out responsibility for investigation or decision making (e.g. recording device for live hearing)
- issues of relevance including how to apply rape shield protections for complainants and application of legally recognized privilege
Training may additionally be provided to other school employees as deemed appropriate.
A record shall be kept reflecting the names of all employees who receive training along with the date and nature of the training.
Materials used to train personnel can be found here. They are maintained as required under the regulations under Title IX as promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education, as it may be amended from time to time.