Regulation 104.R1 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harrass

ANTI-BULLYING/ANTI-HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES


Filing a Complaint
An individual who believes that the individual has been harassed or bullied may file a complaint with the Director of Special Populations. The complaint form is available [link to form on website or designate location such as building office]. An alternate investigator will be designated in the event it is claimed that the superintendent or superintendent’s designee committed the alleged bullying or harassment or some other conflict of interest exists. Complaints shall be filed within [state number of days - 180] of the event giving rise to the complaint or from the date the Complainant could reasonably become aware of such occurrence. The Complainant will state the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested. The Complainant shall receive assistance as needed.

Investigation
The school district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of bullying or harassment upon receipt of a written complaint. The [superintendent or the superintendent’s designee or name the position if not the superintendent] (hereinafter “Investigator”) will be responsible for handling all complaints alleging bullying or harassment.

The investigation may include, but is not limited to the following:
• Interviews with the Complainant and the individual named in the complaint (“Respondent”)
• A request for the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint;
• A request for the Respondent to provide a written statement;
• Interviews with witnesses identified during the course of the investigation;
• A request for witnesses identified during the course of the investigation to provide a written statement; and
• Review and collection of documentation or information deemed relevant to the investigation.
The Investigator shall consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether conduct objectively constitutes bullying or harassment as defined in Board policy. Upon completion of the investigation, the Investigator shall issue a report with respect to the findings, and provide a copy of the report to the appropriate building principal or Superintendent if the investigation involved the building principal
The complaint and identity of the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses will only be disclosed as reasonably necessary in connection with the investigation or as required by law or policy. Similarly, evidence uncovered in the investigation shall be kept confidential to the extent reasonably possible.
Additional suggestions for administrative procedures regarding this policy include:
• Organizing training programs for students, school employees, and volunteers regarding how to recognize bullying and harassing behavior and what to do if this behavior is witnessed; and
• Developing a process for evaluating the effectiveness of this policy in reducing bullying and harassing behavior.

Decision
The investigator, building principal or superintendent, depending on the individuals involved, shall inform the Complainant and the accused about the outcome of the investigation. If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of the policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include suspension and expulsion. If after an investigation a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include termination. If after an investigation a school volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate measures, which may include exclusion from school grounds.

Individuals who knowingly file false bullying and/or harassment complaints and any person who gives false statements in an investigation may be subject to discipline by appropriate measures, as shall any person who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy. Any student found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion. Any school employee found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, termination of employment. Any school volunteer found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, exclusion from school grounds.

Level One- Principal or Immediate Supervisor
(Informal and may be bypassed by the Complainant)

An employee with a grievance of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or age may first discuss it with their principal/designee or immediate supervisor, with the goal of resolving the matter informally. An applicant for employment with a complaint of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age may discuss it with the instructor, counselor, supervisor, department chairperson, building administrator, or personnel contact person involved, with the goal of resolving the matter informally.

A student or parent of a student with a grievance of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status may discuss it with the instructor, counselor, supervisor, department chairperson, building administrator, or program administrator involved, with the goal of resolving the matter informally.

Level Two- Equity Coordinator

If the grievance is not resolved at level one, and the grievant wishes to pursue the grievance, he or she may formalize it by filing a complaint in writing with the District’s Equity Coordinator. An investigation of harassment or other discrimination may be initiated without a complaint to the Equity Coordinator with the approval of the superintendent and/or Board.

The formal, written complaint must be filed with the Equity Coordinator within fifteen (15) working days from the date of the event giving rise to the grievance or from the date the grievant could reasonably become aware of such occurrence. The complaint shall state the date filed, the name of complainant, home address, home and work phone number, the nature of the grievance, the date the alleged violation occurred, the remedy requested, and the signature of the complainant.

After, or as part of filing the complaint, the grievant may request that a meeting concerning the complaint be held with the Equity Coordinator. A grievant who is a minor student may be accompanied by a parent or guardian at any such meeting.

The Board may appoint a third-party designee to act in place of the Equity Coordinator when, in the Board’s sole discretion, said appointment would be appropriate and/or necessary.

The Equity Coordinator or designee shall investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it. The investigation shall be confidential and include, but not be limited to, interviewing and/or obtaining written statements from the grievant, witnesses and the alleged violator. The investigation shall be impartial and, if requested, every effort will be made to protect the parties’ confidentiality.

The Equity Coordinator or designee shall provide a confidential written report regarding action taken relating to the incident. The report shall include a statement of findings of the investigation with a clear statement that, in the investigator’s opinion, the complaint is founded, unfounded or unclear. The Equity Coordinator or designee shall recommend the action to be taken; including but not limited to dismissal of the complaint, further investigation, or discipline of the alleged violator; and/or provide a statement of resolution of the complaint.

This report will be sent within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the complaint. The superintendent may approve a five (5) working day extension of time if, in the superintendent’s opinion, circumstances justify the same. This report will be sent by certified mail or hand delivered to the grievant (or the grievant’s parent or guardian); the alleged violator; and the alleged violator’s immediate supervisor, school principal or the program administrator directly involved.

The Equity Coordinator is:
NAME: Laurie Thies
POSITION: Special Populations Coordinator
OFFICE ADDRESS: 4121 Harry Langdon Blvd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
PHONE NUMBER: (712) 366-8202
OFFICE HOURS: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday

Level Three- Superintendent

If the complaint is not resolved at level two, the grievant may process the complaint to level three by presenting a written appeal to the superintendent or designee within ten (10) working days after the grievant receives the report from the Equity Coordinator or designee. The grievant may request a meeting with the superintendent or designee. The superintendent or designee has the option of meeting with the grievant to discuss the appeal.

The superintendent or designee will review the Equity Coordinator or designee’s report and issue a decision. The decision will be sent within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the written appeal. This decision will be sent by certified mail or hand delivered to the grievant (or the grievant’s parent or guardian); the alleged violator; and the alleged violator’s immediate supervisor, school principal or the program administrator directly involved.

Level Four- Board of Education

If the complaint is not resolved at level three, the grievant may process the complaint to level four by presenting a written appeal to the Board Secretary within ten (10) working days after the grievant receives the decision from the superintendent or designee. It is within the discretion of the Board to determine whether it will hear the appeal.

This procedure in no way denies the right of the grievant to file formal complaints with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Federal Office of Civil Rights, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for mediation or rectification of civil rights grievances, or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination.


Adopted:
Modified: 10/05/2020
Reviewed: 09/21/2020


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