2420 - DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND THE DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT
2000 - COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2420 DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND THE DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT
Adoption Date: 7/10/2012
Revisions History: Revised: 9/4/2014
The Board of Education prohibits discrimination and harassment of anyone by anyone on BOCES grounds or at BOCES-sponsored functions. Discrimination involves negative or unequal treatment of an individual or individuals based on actual or perceived personal characteristics or membership in a group or category as set forth in law. Harassment involves hostile words or actions, including but not limited to bullying, taunting, and intimidation, that have the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s rights to learn, teach or otherwise function in the BOCES or which may reasonably cause an individual to fear for his/her safety or well-being. This policy includes, but is not limited to, discrimination and harassment based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
The Board also prohibits acts of discrimination or harassment, including cyberbullying, that occur off school grounds or outside of school sponsored events and which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the educational atmosphere. Such acts may be subject to BOCES intervention and response, and may result in disciplinary consequences.
As part of this policy, the Board adopts all provisions of and definitions in the Dignity for All Students Act of 2010 (DASA). The purpose of that act, and of this policy, is to “to foster civility in public schools and to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with a school's educational mission.” While all harassment and unlawful discrimination is prohibited under this policy, BOCES resources and training will focus on the protection of students, pursuant to the Act.
The Board directs the District Superintendent to establish training programs for staff aimed at sustaining a school environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and to provide guidelines for such programs designed to:
- Raise the awareness and sensitivity of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment, and
- Enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination or harassment.
The BOCES will also develop and maintain non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods. The District Superintendent will establish guidelines to be followed in the development and training of staff in these methods.
Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC)
In each program, BOCES will maintain at least one Board-appointed Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) who is trained in dealing with human-relations situations with respect to the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex. The DACs will oversee programs designed to raise the sensitivity of students and staff to these human relations situations in their respective locations and will play an active role in prevention, intervention, and follow up to incidents of harassment or discrimination.
Reporting of and Response to Suspected Discrimination or Harassment
The District Superintendent will establish procedures by which reports or complaints of harassment or discrimination are received and responded to expeditiously by the BOCES officials who are responsible for addressing them. Because of the emotionally-charged tensions that generally accompany situations of harassment or discrimination, the procedures will be applied with sensitivity toward all individuals involved and, to the extent possible, with care to avoid unintended negative consequences.
Staff members who become aware of an incident of harassment, bullying, or discrimination against a student must submit an oral report to the program administrator or DAC within one school day, and a written report within two school days of the time they learned of the possible offence.
Procedures will include provisions for receiving and investigating reports of harassment or discrimination and of determining appropriate corrective action, and will include opportunities for parties who are dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation to appeal.
BOCES will maintain a minimum of two Compliance Officers, one male and one female. Compliance Officers will play a central role in provisions for investigating reports of harassment or discrimination as specified in procedures established by the District Superintendent. In addition, Compliance Officers will be responsible for reviewing cases to determine whether any BOCES policies, procedures, training, or programs should be adjusted in order to better prevent harassment and discrimination, and to advance a culture of respect for individuals and for the BOCES educational environment. Officers will submit any concerns and recommendations that emerge from their reviews to the District Superintendent.
The BOCES notice of non-discrimination, including names and contact information of Compliance Officers responsible for assuring non-discrimination in the BOCES, is available in all main offices or through http://www.monroe.edu/nondiscrimination.
Complaint procedures for issues involving discrimination and/or harassment are available in BOCES main offices or see Regulation 1440R.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Whistleblower Protection)
A person who, acting reasonably and in good faith, reports suspected discrimination or harassment or participates in a related investigation will not be subject to any retaliation on the part of BOCES or its employees. Steps to prevent and respond to attempts at retaliation are set forth in the Complaint Procedures.
Knowingly Making False Accusations
Employees and/or students who knowingly make false accusations of discrimination or harassment may also face disciplinary consequences.
Reporting to the Commissioner
Pursuant to the Dignity for All Students Act, the BOCES will report incidents of discrimination and of harassment of students to the Commissioner through the channels and in the manner that the Commissioner requires.
Code of Conduct and Summary
The BOCES will include an age-appropriate, plain-language version of the terms of this policy, particularly as they affect students, in its Code of Conduct and in the Summary of its Code of Conduct.
Education Law Sections 10-18 and 801-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(1)(2)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621
Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000d et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000e et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.
Civil Service Law Section 75-B
Education Law Section 2801(1)
New York State Human Rights Law Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
· Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, marital status, use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, or domestic violence victim status.
Military Law Sections 242 and 243
Age Discrimination Act of 1975