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MUHSD 2019-20 Student Handbook Notice Prohibiting Sexual Harassment


MUHSD DISCRIMINATION NOTICE

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 (5 CCR 4610).

TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT NOTICE

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 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Districts receiving federal funding are required to adhere to Title IX 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 below at the following addresses and telephones:

Title IX Coordinator

MUHSD Director of Equity & Accountability, Debbie Glass

Debbie Glass

Director of Equity and Accountability

3430 A Street, CA 95301

Phone: 209-325-2065

E-Mail: dglass@muhsd.org

For Issues Involving Students with Disabilities

image: Cristi Hinds

Cristi Johnson

Director of Student Support

3105 "G" Street, Merced, CA 95340

Phone: 209-325-2121

E-Mail: chjohnson@muhsd.org

You can report discrimination and harassment based on sex to any school 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 or district office or view it online here: MUHSD Harassment & Discrimination Assistance Webpage.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Students are protected against sexual harassment 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

Sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical behavior that is sexual in nature when:

  • 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 of Sexual Harassment:

  • 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
    • 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, or sexual coercion
  • Dating violence, stalking, and relationship abuse

Students also have the right to file a formal complaint (see below). For a copy of your district's sexual harassment policy and procedure, contact your school or district office, or view it online here: View the policy online

COMPLAINT OPTIONS: DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

If you believe that you have experienced 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 local police department. A person may pursue one or all of these avenues at the same time.

Before filing a complaint, you can discuss your concerns with the campus principal or with the school district's Director of Student Support or Title IX Coordinator, who are listed above. This is often the fastest way to revolve your concerns.

Complaint to the School District Step 1. Prepare Your Complaint

In most cases, complaints must 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 sexual harassment has taken place. Communicate your complaint to any school staff member or the district's Title IX Coordinator.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint

Once the district receives your complaint, the coordinator will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The superintendent or designee will respond to you in writing.

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 harassment occurred, the report shall also include any corrective actions that have or will be taken to address the harassment and prevent any retaliation or further harassment including information about any sanction imposed on the respondent which relates directly to the complainant.

Complaint to California Department of Education - Office of Equal Opportunity

If you do not agree with the school district's decision, state law provides the option to file a formal complaint with the California Department of Education - Office of Equal Opportunity. This is a separate complaint process that can take place if one of these two conditions has occurred: (1) you have completed the district's complaint and appeal process, or (2) the district has not followed the complaint and appeal process correctly.

You have 20 calendar days to file a complaint to 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 OCR

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

BULLYING/ NON-SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Students are protected against bullying and non-sexual harassment 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.

Bullying/ non-sexual harassment includes: physical, written, verbal, or other harassment, threats, intimidation, cyberbullying, causing bodily injury to, or committing hate violence against any other student or school personnel. 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. (BP 5131.2- Bullying).

Complaint to the School District Step 1. Prepare Your Complaint

File your complaint as soon as possible after the incident occurs. A complaint may be verbal or written. Be sure to describe the conduct or incident and explain why you believe bullying/ non-sexual harassment has taken place. Communicate your complaint to any school staff member.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint

Once the district receives your complaint, an administrator will explain the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The superintendent or designee will respond to you in writing.

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 bullying/non-sexual harassment has occurred, the report shall also include any corrective actions that have or will be taken to address the harassment and prevent any retaliation or further harassment including information about any sanction imposed on the respondent which relates directly to the complainant.


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