PROCEDURES FOLLOWING ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: The Coordinator or designee after actual knowledge of misconduct prohibited by Title IX, will take specific action. Awareness of reports of sexual harassment is the responsibility of the entire school staff including the Coordinator and any GHC employee. Initial Steps The Coordinator or designee will provide supportive measures to victims and proceed to an investigation upon formal complaints signed by the complainant or parent or legal guardian in written form or by email requesting an investigation of the allegations against the named respondent. The Coordinator or administrative designee may sign a formal complaint when a victim chooses not to proceed after a determination that there is a safety threat or to do so is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. In such cases, the alleged victim is not a party to the case, but will receive notices as required by the Title IX regulations at specific points in the complaint process.
Even if a formal complaint is not filed, the Coordinator or designee shall promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures which are nondisciplinary, nonpunitive, and do not unreasonably burden the other party. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, courserelated adjustments, modifications of class schedules, mutual restrictions on contact, increased security, and monitoring of certain areas of the campus. The Coordinator or designee shall consider the complainant's wishes with respect to supportive measures.
On an emergency basis, GHC may remove a student from the school 's education program or activity following an individualized safety and risk analysis that determines removal is justified due to an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations, and provides the student with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. This authority to remove a student does not modify a student's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
If a GHC employee is the respondent, the employee may be placed on administrative leave during the pendency of the formal complaint process consistent with any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
When Dismissal of a Complaint is Mandatory or Discretionary
The Coordinator or designee must dismiss a formal complaint of sexual harassment with written notice giving reasons with attached appeal rights when the alleged conduct:
- Would not constitute sexual harassment under the definition in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30.
- Did not occur in the school’s education program or sponsored activity
- The alleged conduct did not occur against a person in the United States.
The Coordinator or designee may dismiss a formal complaint if the complainant gives notice in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the complaint or any allegations in the complaint, the respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by GHC, or sufficient circumstances prevent the school from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination with regard to the complaint.
Dismissal of a Title IX investigation does not preclude proceeding on the allegations under the GHC student Code of Conduct.
Required Notice to Parties in the Investigation
The Coordinator or designee must provide notice to the parties in the investigation of the following information:
- The grievance process including the availability or the informal resolution process
- Sufficient details of the allegations known at the time including the identity of the parties involved in the incident, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident. Should additional facts become included in the investigation, the coordinator or designee shall provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties.
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the investigation
- The parties’ opportunity to have an advisor of their choice who may be, but need not be, an attorney and the ability to inspect and review the evidence.
- A warning of the prohibition against submitting false statements or false information.
- The names of the investigator, facilitator of an informal process, decision maker and notice that a party has three calendar days to raise concerns of conflict of interest or bias regarding any of these individuals.
Informal Resolution Process
When a formal complaint of sexual harassment is filed, the Coordinator or designee may offer an informal resolution process, such as mediation, at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. GHC shall not require a party to participate in the informal resolution process or to waive the right to an investigation of a formal complaint. The informal resolution process must include the following:
- Provides the parties with written notice disclosing the allegations, the requirements of the informal resolution process, the right to withdraw from the informal process and resume the formal complaint process, and any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including that records will be maintained or could be shared.
- Obtains the parties' voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process.
- Does not offer or facilitate an informal resolution process to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
The Coordinator or designee will inspect and review the evidence and before finalizing the investigation report which shall:
- Provide to the parties all evidence related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint.
- Inform the parties that they have 10 days to submit a written response that the investigator must consider.
- Extend to the parties after the investigative report is issued but before a determination of responsibility is made an opportunity to submit written relevant questions that a party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party.
The Executive Director shall designate an employee as the decision-maker to determine responsibility for the alleged conduct, who shall not be a Coordinator or a person involved in the investigation of the matter.
The decision-maker shall issue, and simultaneously provide to the parties, a written decision as to whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged conduct within 45 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint. The timeline may be temporarily extended for good cause with written notice to the complainant and respondent of the extension and the reasons for the action.
In making this determination, the decision-maker shall use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for all formal complaints of sexual harassment. The same standard of evidence shall be used for formal complaints against students as for complaints against employees.
The contents of the decision shall include the following:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in 34 CFR 106.30.
- A description of the procedural steps taken from receipt of the formal complaint through the written decision, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence.
- Findings of fact supporting the determination.
- Conclusions regarding the application of the GHC Code of Conduct to the facts.
- A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a decision regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions GHC imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the educational program or activity will be provided to the complainant.
- The District 's procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.
A written appeal may be taken to the Executive Director from a determination of responsibility or a dismissal of a formal complaint within 10 days of receipt of the decision stating the grounds and including any relevant supporting documentation. There are 3 bases for appeal:
- Procedural irregularities that affected the outcome
- Newly discovered evidence not previously available that would affect the outcome
- Bias or conflict of interest that affected the outcome
Upon receipt of an appeal, GHC shall:
- Notify the other party in writing and implement appeal procedures equally for both parties.
- Ensure that the decision-maker(s) for the appeal is trained in accordance with Title IX procedures and is not the same decision-maker(s) who reached the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the investigator(s), or the Title IX Coordinators.
- Give both parties a reasonable, equal opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome.
- Issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result.
- Provide the written decision simultaneously to both parties within 20 days of submission of the appeal.
Consequences If Found Responsible for Sexual Harassment
When a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent, GHC shall provide remedies to the complainant. Such remedies may include the same individualized services described above as "Supportive Measures," but need not be nondisciplinary or nonpunitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.
GHC shall not impose any disciplinary sanctions or other actions against a respondent, other than supportive measures as described above until the complaint procedure has been completed and a determination of responsibility has been made. Discipline for sexual harassment may include suspension and/or expulsion. After the completion of the complaint procedure, if it is determined that a student at any grade level has committed sexual assault or sexual battery at school or at a school activity off school grounds, the principal or Superintendent shall immediately suspend the student and shall recommend expulsion. (Education Code 48900.2, 48915)
Other actions that may be taken with a student who is determined to be responsible for sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Transfer from a class or GHC as permitted by law
- Parent/guardian conference
- Education of the student regarding the impact of the conduct on others
- Positive behavior support
- Referral of the student to a student success team
- Denial of participation in extracurricular or cocurricular activities or other privileges as permitted by law
When an employee is found to have committed sexual harassment or retaliation, GHC shall take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with applicable law and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
Any party has the right to file a complaint directly with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.