Sexual Harassment

Back to Student Behavior section

Code JIAA

The district prohibits sexual harassment of students by district employees, other students, or third parties. All students and employees must avoid any action or conduct which could be viewed as sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. This includes any action or conduct communicated or performed in person, in writing, or electronically through such means that include, but are not limited to, telephones, cell phones, computers, or other telecommunication devices, to include text messaging, instant messaging, and social media.

Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the following occurs:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either expressly or implicitly a term or condition of a student's education.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any decisions affecting a student.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student's education or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment.

Complaint Procedure

 

Any student who feels he/she has been subjected to any type of harassment is encouraged to file a complaint in accordance with administrative rule JIAA-R. A parent/legal guardian may also file a complaint on behalf of his/her child. All allegations will be investigated promptly and confidentially.

 

The district prohibits retaliation or reprisal in any form against a student who has filed a complaint of harassment. The identity of the complainant and the facts stated in any complaint will remain confidential.

Any employee or student who is found to have engaged in harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination in the case of an employee or expulsion in the case of a student. The district will take all other appropriate steps to correct or rectify the situation.


Code JIAA-R


This rule is intended to do the following:

  • Prohibit employees, students, and third parties associated with the district from subjecting students of the district to unlawful sexual harassment
  • Promote a harassment-free work environment.
  • Establish on-going education and awareness of the problem of sexual harassment.
  • Provide information about how to report allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Effectively and appropriately address sexual harassment found to have occurred or be occurring.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature under the following conditions:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either expressly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s education.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for educational decisions affecting a student.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s education or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment.

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal harassment, including sexually offensive comments, or slurs; physical harassment; physical interference with movement or work; or visual harassment such as sexually offensive cartoons, drawings, or posters.

Not all behavior with sexual connotations constitutes sexual harassment under federal law. In order to qualify as a complaint under Title IX, sexual harassment must be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it does one of the following:

  • adversely affects a student’s education
  • creates a hostile or abusive educational environment

A one-time incident must be severe to rise to the level of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is prohibited against members of the same sex as well as against members of the opposite sex.

Preventive Action

Periodically, the district will ensure the following:

  • Policy JIAA and this administrative rule are fully referenced in student handbooks and copies are made available in each school and the district office.
  • All students and employees are informed about the nature of sexual harassment, the district’s prohibition against sexual harassment, the procedures for registering a complaint, and the possible redress which is available. The information provided will take into consideration and be appropriate to the ages of students.
  • Each school has selected a male and female administrator or faculty member to serve as the school’s harassment contact persons.
  • All administrators and school harassment contact persons are informed of the district’s sexual harassment procedures and understand how to implement them.
  • Information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, and the Office for Civil Rights about filing claims of sexual harassment is made available to students and parents/legal guardians.

The district will designate an administrator or supervisor to serve as the Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator. The name, address, and business telephone number of the coordinator will be disseminated throughout the district.

Reporting and Response Procedures

Any student who feels that he/she has been the object of sexual harassment is encouraged to file a complaint with his/her principal or one of the designated school contact persons (except for situations covered in the following paragraph). Such a complaint may also be filed by student’s parent/legal guardian.

Under no circumstances will a student be required to first report allegations of sexual harassment to the principal or a school contact person if that person is the individual who is accused of the harassment. In such cases, the student or student’s parents/legal guardians may file the complaint with the district Title IX and ADA/504 coordinator.

If an employee who is not a designated contact person receives a complaint of sexual harassment or observes any behavior which could amount to sexual harassment, the employee will report the matter to the principal or one of the school contact persons.

When any incident of alleged sexual harassment is reported to or observed by a principal or school contact person, that person will inform the Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator, who will conduct or oversee an investigation into the allegations.

Prior to conducting the investigation, the principal, school contact person and/or the Title IX and ADA/504 coordinator should initially discuss with the student and, if appropriate, his/her parent/legal guardian, what actions are being sought and the investigation procedures that will be followed.

Reasonable efforts will be made to prevent public and unnecessary disclosure of the names of all individuals involved in the sexual harassment allegation, except to the extent necessary to carry out an investigation and comply with statutory and regulatory obligations. Interim measures designed to protect the student from further harassment during the investigation should be taken where appropriate.

The results of the investigation will be reported in writing to the Title IX and ADA/504 coordinator and/or superintendent and will include corrective or disciplinary action taken. The student who brought the sexual harassment allegation will be informed, in writing, that the investigation has been completed and that appropriate actions, if warranted, were taken. The student and his/her parents/legal guardians also will be advised as to how to report any subsequent problems.

If sexual harassment of a student is determined to have taken place, actions will be taken which are reasonably calculated to end the harassment and prevent harassment from occurring again. Steps will also be taken to assist in remedying the effects of sexual harassment on the individual student or students subjected to the harassment. The appropriate administrator will also take whatever disciplinary action is warranted, up to and including termination of the offending employee or expulsion of the offending student.

All principals and/or school contact persons will follow up periodically on any incident of sexual harassment they were responsible for investigating to determine whether the student has been subjected to any further harassment since the corrective action was taken.

In cases involving potential criminal conduct or where a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by sexual abuse, appropriate school personnel should report the situation to appropriate authorities in accordance with S.C. Code Ann. Section 20-7-510 and/or Section 50-24-60.

Additional Obligations of All Employees

All employees and students will cooperate with and maintain the confidentiality of any investigation of alleged acts of sexual harassment conducted by the district or by an appropriate state or federal agency. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action against the individual who failed to cooperate or who violated the confidentiality of the matter.

No employee or student of this district will take any action to discourage any other student from reporting alleged sexual harassment. However, any person who intentionally provides false information in connection with a report or investigation of sexual harassment may be subject to disciplinary action.

All employees and students will report to the principal, school contact persons, or, in appropriate cases, the employee’s immediate supervisor, any conduct on the part of third parties, such as sales representatives or service vendors, which is believed to constitute sexual harassment.

No employee or student of this district will destroy evidence relevant to any investigation of sexual harassment.

No employee or student of this district will retaliate in any way against another employee or student who has provided information as a witness to or victim of an incident of sexual harassment.