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MUHSD 2020-21 Student Handbook Notice Prohibiting Sexual Harassment


MUHSD DISCRIMINATION NOTICE

Student Procedures for Reporting Sexual Harassment and Bullying

The Merced Union High School District is committed to providing educational programs, activities and services that are free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on actual or perceived legally protected characteristics, or association with a person or group with one or more of such characteristics, including sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression, as required by California law and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Districts receiving federal funding are required to adhere to Title IX regulations, and Districts receiving state funding are required to adhere to Title 5 regulations.

Inquiries on all matters, including complaints regarding the implementation of Title IX in the District may be referred to the District official(s) listed here at the following addresses and telephones:

Title IX Coordinator 


 

Mandy Ballenger

Mandy Ballenger

Director of Human Resources
District Office, Human Resources

For Issues Involving Students with Disabilities


 

Cristi Johnson

Cristi Johnson

Director of Student Services, (Special Education, 504s, Health and Mental Health Services, Student Discipline, and Expulsions)
District Office

Site Sexual Harassment/ Discrimination Teams 20-21


  • AHS-AP Phonesevanh/ Davis
  • BCHS-AP Fulkerson/ Bliss
  • ECHS-AP Austin/ Tufts
  • GVHS-AP Gossman/ Richter
  • LHS-AP Mendoza/ Mesa
  • MHS-AP McCauley/ Rhodes
  • SHS-Princ Pellissier/ AP Schaefer
  • YHS-AP Luker/ Princ Rogers

You can report discrimination and harassment based on sex to any district staff member or to the District's Title IX Coordinator, listed above. You also have the right to file a complaint (see below). For a copy of your District's nondiscrimination policy and procedure, contact your school, the District Office or view it online her: MUHSD Harassment and Discrimination Policies & Procedures

 

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT


Students are protected against sexual harassment committed by anyone, including third parties, in any school program or activity, including on the school campus, on the school bus, or off-campus during a school-sponsored activity.  Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school's education program or activity and includes dating violence, stalking and domestic violence. May include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  

●  A student is led to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct or communications as a condition of the student’s academic status or progress, or the conduct is used as a basis for any decision affecting the student regarding a benefit or service, honors, a place on a sports team, programs, or other District activities, or

 ● The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on a student's educational performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.  

Examples Are:

  • Pressuring a person for sexual favors

  • Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations or propositions

  • Unwelcome touching of a sexual nature such as massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking or brushing the body, or touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual manner

  • Impeding or blocking movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex

  • Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions

  • Verbal, visual or physical actions that are discriminatory related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body, or overly personal conversation

  • Writing graffiti of a sexual nature

  • Distributing sexually explicit texts, emails, pictures, derogatory posters, notes, stories, cartoons, drawings, obscene gestures, or computer-generated images

  • Making sexual jokes, rumors, or suggestive remarks

  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects

  • Sexual violence, including rape, sexual battery, sexual assault, sexual coercion, or other sexual violence offenses under Education Code section 48900(n)

  • Dating violence, stalking, and relationship abuse based on gender or sex

Students also have the right to file a formal complaint (see below). For a copy of the District's sexual harassment policy and procedure, contact your school, the District Office, or view it online here: MUHSD Harassment and Discrimination Policies & Procedures. Regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed, the District has a responsibility to conduct some level of investigation for any report of discrimination or sexual harassment.

 

COMPLAINT OPTIONS FOR SEX DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT


If you believe that you have experienced discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual harassment at school, you have the right to file a complaint with the District or the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). If a crime is involved, such as sexual assault or rape, individuals may also file a report with the local police department. A person may pursue one or all of these avenues at the same time. Incidents involving suspected child abuse shall be reported to law enforcement under the District’s mandated reporting procedures. Additionally, the school principal may be required to report other incidents to law enforcement under Education Code section 48902.    Before filing a complaint, you can discuss your concerns with the school Principal, with the District's Director of Student Support or Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer, who are listed above. This is often the fastest way to address and resolve your concerns.  

Complaint to the School District 

Step 1. Prepare Your Complaint

In most cases, complaints should be filed within six months from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint may be verbal or written. Be sure to describe the conduct or incident and explain why you believe sex discrimination or sexual harassment has taken place. Communicate your complaint to any District staff member or the District's Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer. Each campus will designate two administrative personnel who will process Title IX complaints.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint

Once the District receives your complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/ Compliance Officer will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation takes place. When the investigation is completed, you will receive a written response.

Step 3: School District Responds to Your Complaint

In its written response, the District will include a summary of the results of the investigation. If it is determined that discrimination or harassment occurred, the report shall also include any corrective actions that have or will be taken to address the misconduct, to prevent any retaliation or further misconduct, and to inform you about any sanction imposed on the respondent which relates directly to you as the complainant.

Appeal Options.  If you do not agree with the District's decision, state law provides the option to file a formal appeal with the California Department of Education - Office of Equal Opportunity. This is a separate process that can take place if one of these two conditions has occurred: (1) you have completed the District's complaint and appeal process (if any) and you disagree with the decision, or (2) the District has not followed its complaint and appeal process correctly.  You have 20 calendar days to file an appeal with the California Department of Education - Office of Equal Opportunity from the day you received the decision of the District.

You can send your written complaint to:

California Department of Education - Office of Equal Opportunity:

Email: oeoinfo@cde.ca.gov I Phone: 916-445-9174 I Fax: 360-664-2967

Mail or hand deliver: 1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Complaint to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

A student may also file a sex discrimination or sexual harassment complaint with OCR. Instructions for filing a complaint can be found at How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.

 

OTHER FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION


The Merced Union High School District Board of Trustees prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying against any protected group as identified under Education Code 200 and 220 and Government Code 11135, including actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race or ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, nationality, religion, immigration status, color, mental or physical disability, age, marital or parental status, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or on the basis of a person's association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any District program or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance.  

Students are protected against discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, bullying or intimidation by anyone in any school program or activity, including on the school campus, on the school bus, or off-campus during a school-sponsored activity.  Discriminatory harassment, bullying or intimidation includes: physical, written, or verbal conduct, threats, cyber bullying, causing bodily injury to, or committing hate violence against any other student or school personnel based on the targeted person’s actual, perceived, or association with a protected characteristic, as listed above.

Cyberbullying includes the transmission of harassing communications, direct threats or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media or other technologies using a telephone, computer of any wireless communication device. It also includes breaking into another person’s electronic account and assuming that person’s identity in order to damage that person’s reputation. (See BP 5131- Conduct; BP 5131.2- Bullying). Cyberbullying will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action, even when the act occurs off campus, if it relates to a school activity or school attendance or causes a substantial disruption, or reasonably foreseeable risk of substantial disruption of school activities.

Complaint to the School District

Step 1. Prepare Your Complaint

In most cases, complaints should be filed within six months from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint may be verbal or written. Be sure to describe the conduct or incident and explain why you believe discrimination or harassment has taken place. Communicate your complaint to any District staff member or the District's Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer. Each campus will designate two administrative personnel who will process complaints.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint

Once the District receives your complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation takes place. When the investigation is completed, you will receive a written response.

Step 3: School District Responds to Your Complaint

In its written response, the District will include a summary of the results of the investigation. If it is determined that discrimination or harassment occurred, the report shall also include any corrective actions that have or will be taken to address the misconduct, to prevent any retaliation or further misconduct, and to inform you about any sanction imposed on the respondent which relates directly to you as the complainant. You will also be notified of any applicable appeal rights and any additional civil law remedies that may be available to you.

 

NON-DISCRIMINATORY BULLYING, HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION


Students may also experience bullying, harassment or intimidation which is not based on a protected characteristic. The District also takes these concerns seriously. Students are encouraged to report the matter to a Principal or staff member, who can determine what happened, intervene as necessary, and resolve the situation.

Spanish & Hmong Versions 2019-2020