1008 (R)REGULATIONS REGARDING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS REGARDING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS (COMMUNITY MEMBERS)
It is the policy of the Meriden Board of Education that any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, alienage, disability (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, or veteran status is forbidden, whether by students, Board employees or third parties subject to the control of the Board. Students, Board employees and third parties are expected to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful of the rights of all members of the school community.
It is the express policy of the Board to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, or veteran status.
If a complaint involves allegations of discrimination or harassment based on reasons such as gender/sex or disability, such complaints will be handled, as appropriate, in accordance with other Board policies Policy # 4030, Sex Discrimination/Harassment in the Workplace (Personnel); Policy # 5020, Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Students); Policy # 4005, Section 504/ADA (Personnel), and Policy #5010, Section 504/ADA (Students)).
Preferably, complaints should be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged occurrence. Timely reporting of complaints facilitates the investigation and resolution of such complaints. The district will investigate such complaints promptly and equitably, and will take corrective action when allegations are verified.
The district will not tolerate any reprisals or retaliation that occur as a result of the good faith reporting of charges of harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, or veteran status. Any such reprisals or retaliation will result in disciplinary action against the retaliator, and other corrective actions as appropriate.
The school district will periodically provide staff development for district administrators and periodically distribute this Policy and implementing Administrative Regulations to staff and students in an effort to maintain an environment free of harassment and discrimination.
As soon as an individual feels that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or
harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, alienage, disability (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, or veteran status he/she should make a written complaint to the Superintendent, or his/her designee. The individual and any respondent (if applicable) will be provided a copy of the Board’s policy and regulation and made aware of his/her rights.
The complaint should state the:
- Name of the complainant,
- Date of the complaint,
- Date(s) of the alleged harassment/discrimination,
- Name(s) of the harasser(s) or discriminator(s),
- Location where such harassment/discrimination occurred,
- Names of any witness(es) to the harassment/discrimination,
- Detailed statement of the circumstances constituting the alleged harassment/discrimination; and
- Proposed remedy.
Any individual who makes an oral complaint of harassment or discrimination will be provided a copy of this regulation and will be requested to make a written complaint pursuant to the above procedure. If an individual is unable to make a written complaint, the staff member receiving the oral complaint will either reduce the complaint to writing or assist the individual with completing the written complaint form.
All complaints received by staff members are to be forwarded immediately to the Superintendent or his/her designee. Upon receipt of a complaint alleging harassment or discrimination under this complaint procedure, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall promptly investigate the complaint. During the course of the investigation, the investigator shall interview or consult with all individuals reasonably believed to have relevant information, including the complainant, the alleged harasser/discriminator (“respondent”) and any witnesses to the conduct. Complaints will be investigated promptly within the timeframes identified below. Timeframes may be extended as needed given the complexity of the investigation, availability of individuals with relevant information and other extenuating circumstances. Confidentiality will be maintained by all persons involved in the investigation to the extent possible, as determined by the investigator.
Upon receipt of a written complaint of discrimination, the investigator should:
- offer to meet with the complainant and respondent (if applicable) within ten (10) business days (provided that such timeframe may be reasonably extended based on the availability of necessary witnesses and/or participants during periods of time when school is not in session) to discuss the nature of the complaint, identify individuals the complainant believes has relevant information, and obtain any relevant documents the complainant may have;
- provide the complainant and respondent (if applicable) with a copy of the Board’s non-discrimination policy and accompanying regulations;
- investigate the factual basis of the complaint, including, as applicable, conducting interviews with individuals deemed relevant to the complaint;
- conduct an investigation that is adequate, reliable, and impartial. Investigate the factual basis for the complaint, including conducting interviews with individuals with information and review of documents relevant to the complaint;
- maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable throughout the investigative process, in accordance with state and federal law;
- communicate the outcome of the investigation in writing to the complainant and respondent (if any) (to the extent permitted by state and federal confidentiality requirements), within thirty (30) business days (provided that such timeframe may be extended by fifteen (15) business days during periods of time when school is in session or reasonably extended based on the availability of necessary witnesses and/or participants during periods of time when school is not in session) from the date the complaint was received by the Superintendent’s office. The complainant and respondent (if any) shall be notified of any extension of the investigation timeline. The written notice shall include a finding whether the complaint was substantiated and if so, shall identify, to the extent possible, how the district will remedy the discrimination or harassment, adhering to the requirements of state and federal law;
- if a complaint is made during summer recess, the complaint will be reviewed and addressed as quickly as possible given the availability of staff and/or other individuals who may have information relevant to the complaint. If fixed timeframes cannot be met, the complainant and respondent (if any) will receive notice and interim measures may be implemented as necessary (see sub-paragraph 6);
- whenever allegations are verified, ensure that appropriate corrective action is taken (including, but not limited to, disciplinary action) aimed at preventing the recurrence of the harassment or discrimination. Corrective action should include steps to avoid continuing discrimination;
- if either party to the complaint is not satisfied with the findings and conclusions of the investigation, the complainant may present the complaint and written outcome to the Superintendent within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the findings. Upon review of a written request from the party requesting an appeal, the Superintendent shall review the investigative results of the investigator and determine if further action and/or investigation is warranted. Such action may include consultation with a designated investigator (if applicable), complainant, and respondent (if any) and meeting with appropriate individuals to attempt to resolve the complaint, or a decision affirming or overruling a designated investigator’s conclusions or findings (if applicable). The Superintendent shall provide written notice to the complainant and respondent (if any) of the proposed actions within fifteen (15) business days (provided that such timeframe may be reasonably extended based on the availability of necessary witnesses and/or participants during periods of time when school is not in session) following the receipt of the written request for review.
A complainant alleging race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age discrimination may file a formal complaint with the Boston Office, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921 (TELEPHONE NUMBER: 617-289-0111).
A complainant may also file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 450 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT 06103-1835 (TELEPHONE NUMBER: 800-477-5737).
An employee alleging discrimination related to their employment may also file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Boston Area Office.
John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203
(TELEPHONE NUMBER: 800-669-4000).
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