|The School Board of Miami-Dade County|
|Bylaws & Policies|
|Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.|
4362 - ANTI-DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
The School Board shall comply with all Federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and with all requirements and regulations of the U.S. Department of Education. The Board shall maintain an educational and work environment which is free from all forms of discrimination/harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all District operations, programs, and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging, and reporting any form of prohibited harassment. This policy applies to prohibited conduct occurring on school property, or at another location if such conduct occurs during an activity sponsored by the Board.
The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against discrimination/harassment based on sex, race, color, ethnic or national origin, citizenship status, religion, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, social and family background, linguistic preference, pregnancy, and any other legally prohibited basis. Retaliation against an employee or student for engaging in a protected activity is prohibited.
The District community as well as third parties who feel aggrieved are encouraged to seek assistance to rectify the problems. An employee who has a reasonable and good-faith belief that s/he has been the subject of discrimination/harassment based on the protected categories shall communicate in writing to the Board according to the District's anti-discrimination/harassment complaint procedure rule. No anonymous complaints shall be accepted or processed. The Board will investigate allegations of discrimination/harassment and in those cases where legally prohibited discrimination or harassment is substantiated, the Board will take immediate steps to end the discrimination/harassment. Individuals who are found to have engaged in discrimination/harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
"District community" means students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel, including Board members, agents, or other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.
"Third parties" include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on District property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the District community at school-related events/activities (whether on or off District property).
The Board will also take immediate steps to discipline individuals for:
|A.||retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination/harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a discrimination/harassment investigation;|
|B.||filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of harassment;|
|C.||disregarding, failing to investigate adequately, or delaying investigation of allegations of prohibited discrimination/harassment, when responsibility for reporting and/or investigating unlawful harassment charges comprises part of one's supervisory duties.|
The Superintendent shall appoint a compliance officer whose responsibility will be to require that Federal and State regulations related to employees are complied with and that any complaints are dealt with promptly in accordance with law. The Board will provide proper notice of nondiscrimination for Title II, Title VI, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act to staff members and the general public. Any sections of the District's collectively-bargained agreements dealing with hiring, promotion, and tenure will contain a statement of nondiscrimination similar to that in the Board's statement above.
In accordance with U.S.C. Section 1324b(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the goal of preventing discrimination on the basis of an individualís national origin or citizenship status, school district personnel are prohibited from (1) requesting employment eligibility verification documents from any applicant for employment prior to making an offer of employment, (2) discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin during the employment eligibility verification and reverification processes, and (3) discriminating against individuals on the basis of citizenship status or national origin during the recruitment, hiring, and firing processes. Applicants and employees who believe that a violation has occurred have a right to contact and/or file a charge with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (currently: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc) (currently: OSC Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688 (voice) or 1-800-237-2515 (TTY))
Definitions of the protected categories can be found in the CRC webpage at http://crc.dadeschools.net/pro_categories.asp.
Reports and Complaints of Discrimination or Harassing Conduct
Individuals with complaints regarding employment discrimination based on citizenship status or unfair documentary practices should contact the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, 1-800-255-7688 or http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
All other members of the District community and third parties must promptly report incidents of discriminatory or harassing conduct to their supervisor or the Office of Civil Rights Compliance (CRC) so that the Board may address the conduct before it becomes severe, pervasive, or persistent.
Members of the District community or third parties who believe they have been unlawfully harassed by another member of the District community or a third party are entitled to utilize the Board's complaint process in Policy 4362.02. A complaint must be submitted within 300 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act(s). Individuals should make every effort to present a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available and to eliminate of the conduct in question. Initiating a complaint will not adversely affect the complaining individual's employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs unless the complaining individual makes the complaint maliciously or with knowledge that it is false. No anonymous complaints shall be accepted or processed.
The complaint process in Policy 4362.02 is not intended to interfere with the right to pursue a complaint of prohibited harassment/discrimination with the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights; the Florida Civil Rights Commission; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; or the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.
Process for Addressing Complaints of Discrimination/Harassment
The process to provide members of the District community who have a good faith belief that they are being discriminated/harassed is in Policy 4362.02. Once the complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within thirty (30) calendar days of the complaint being received).
The processes for making a charge of discrimination/harassment, a process for investigating claims of discrimination/harassment, and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the claim of prohibited harassment was substantiated are in Policy 4362.02. Information about this policy and Policy 4362.02 will be readily available to all members of the District community and posted in appropriate places throughout the District.
Information regarding where and how to file complaints of sexual and other forms of discrimination/harassment will be distributed annually through the parent and staff handbooks and published on the District's web site and other locations required by law.
Any teacher, administrator, coach, or other school authority who engages in sexual conduct with a student may also be guilty of a crime.
The District will make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved in an investigation of discrimination/harassment during the course of the investigation. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed. All public records created as part of an investigation of a complaint of prohibited discrimination/harassment will be maintained by the Compliance Officer in accordance with State law and the Board's records retention policy. Records of an ongoing investigation shall remain confidential and not subject to disclosure pursuant to F.S. Chapter 119 until a final determination is made on the case.
Sanctions and Monitoring
The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against prohibited harassment. While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of an employee. All disciplinary action will be taken according to applicable State law and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). When imposing discipline, the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter will be considered. In those cases where prohibited discrimination/harassment is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement(s).
Where the Board becomes aware that a prior remedial action has been taken against a member of the District community, all subsequent sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Superintendent shall be reasonably calculated to eliminate such conduct in the future.
Education and Training
The Superintendent shall provide appropriate training to members of the District community to implement this policy and Policy 4362.02.
F.S. 110.1221, 760.01, 760.10, 1000.05
8 U.S.C. 1324b
42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.
42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.
29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.
29 U.S.C. 794
29 C.F.R. Part 1635
42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.
42 U.S.C. 1983
42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
National School Boards Association Inquiry and Analysis - May 2008
© Neola 2010