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.
 

5517.02 - DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS

The Office of Civil Rights Compliance (CRC) is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and retaliation filed by employees, students and their parents. The CRC office accepts complaints of discrimination/harassment directly from any member of the School District community. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Compliance Officer will route the complaint to the appropriate school or District office for investigation and/or response. Documentation of investigations of complaints and of any corrective action taken by the school site and throughout the District will be maintained by the department that conducted the investigation.

Complaint Procedures

Any student/parent who has a good faith belief that a student has been subjected to prohibited discrimination/harassment may seek resolution of his/her complaint through the procedures described below.

Students/parents are encouraged to promptly report complaints of discriminatory or harassing conduct to their Principal. In addition to the manner prescribed in Policy 5517, a student/parent may also file the complaint directly with the Region Office or the Districtís Office of Civil Rights Compliance (CRC).

CRC Office Contact Information

Title:

Office of Civil Rights Compliance (CRC)
Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator

   

Address:

155 N.E. 15th Street, Suite P104E
Miami, FL 33132

   

Phone:

(305) 995-1580

   

Fax:

(305) 995-2047

   

E-mail:

crc@dadeschools.net

   

Website:

http://crc.dadeschools.net/

This procedure is not intended to interfere with the rights of students/parents to pursue a complaint of discrimination/harassment with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), or the Florida Department of Education.

 

A.

Complaints must be in writing and include the following information to the extent it is available: the identity of the individual believed to have engaged in, or be engaging in, prohibited conduct; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; a list of potential witnesses; and identification of the resolution which the complainant seeks.

     
   

Anonymous complaints shall not be processed, without first attempting to ascertain the identity of the complainant and except as outlined in Policy 5517.01. If after such efforts, the complainant remains anonymous, the investigation will proceed.

     
   

The complaint must be signed attesting that it is true to the best of the complainantís knowledge, information, and belief. The Principal or the CRC Office will assist the complainant in reducing verbal complaints to writing. Any complainant who knowingly submits false information will be subject to discipline according to the Code of Student Conduct or applicable laws. During the investigation of a complaint, the complainant and the subject of the complaint shall be provided an opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence relevant to the complaint.

     
   

The initiation of a discrimination or harassment complaint by student/parent will not be used as a basis for actions that adversely affect the studentís standing in his/her educational or extra-curricular activities unless the student makes the complaint maliciously or with knowledge that it is false. Additionally, participation in or assistance with the investigation of a complaint shall not be used as the basis of any adverse action against the student or parent.

     
 

B.

Students/parents should make every effort to submit a complaint as soon as possible after the prohibited conduct while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available, and to ensure a timely response to the conduct in question. Under Federal guidelines, complaints must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the last act of alleged discrimination.

Processing Complaints

 

A.

School-Site

     
   

All complaints involving student to student harassment, including sexual harassment, will be first investigated at the school site. If such complaints are made directly to the District Office, the Region Office or the CRC Office, they will be referred to the school site for the initial investigation. Complaints involving harassment, including sexual harassment, of a student by an employee or other representatives of the school system will be investigated by the CRC Office.

     
   

Principals are required to:

     
 

1.

receive and document the complaint and notify the CRC Office within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the complaint; for verbal complaints, assist the complainant in reducing the complaint to writing and encourage the complainant to attest that it is true to the best of the complainantís knowledge, information, and belief;

     
 

2.

provide a copy of this Policy 5517.02 to the complainant;

     
 

3.

meet with the complainant (student/parent) to ascertain the facts pertinent to the allegations;

     
 

4.

meet with the student(s) accused of the alleged harassment to obtain a response to the complaint both orally and in writing;

     
 

5.

meet with all available witnesses identified by the person(s) making the report of harassment and the subject of the complaint, individually and confidentially. Witnesses will be asked to make a statement both orally and in writing regarding the alleged facts that form the basis of the complaint;

     
 

6.

document all reports and interventions on the appropriate student case management forms within ten (10) workdays;

   

Upon completion of the investigation, any student(s) found to have violated this policy will be subject to any of the disciplinary actions described in the Code of Student Conduct and coded on the appropriate student case management form;

     
   

*The principal shall contact Miami-Dade County Schools Police in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct.

     
 

7.

provide complainant and subject of the complaint with a written notification of the outcome of the investigation in accordance with student confidentiality requirements; and

     
   

Absent unusual circumstances, the written report of the investigation will be provided within ten (10) workdays of reaching a final determination.

     
 

8.

notify the CRC Office concurrently in writing of the outcome of the complaint.

     
   

If the complaint is made directly to a school staff member other than the Principal, they shall immediately refer the complaint to the Principal.

     
   

School-site administrators shall apply the Code of Student Conduct to all allegations of harassment by students and to report the allegations to the CRC Office. Additional procedures concerning complaints of bullying are contained in Policy 5517.01. Students/Parents are encouraged to direct complaints alleging discrimination/harassment by employees to the CRC Office. Any such complaints filed with the school must be immediately forwarded by the Principal to the CRC Office.

     
 

B.

Appeals to the Region Office

     
   

If the complaint is not resolved to the complainantís satisfaction after discussion with the Principal, the student/parent may appeal to the Region Office by submitting a letter to the corresponding Region Office within fifteen (15) workdays of the Principalís final determination.

   

Within fifteen (15) workdays, the Region Office shall address appeals of complaints made to the school site by:

     
 

1.

reviewing documentation submitted by the Principal;

     
 

2.

providing a copy of this Policy 5517.02 to the complainant;

     
 

3.

discussing the allegations with the complainant, the subject of the complaint, and witnesses (in person or otherwise), if necessary;

     
 

4.

appending existing documentation to outline the steps taken to address the complaint, including the outcome/resolution;

     
 

5.

providing complainant and the subject of the complaint with a written notification of the outcome of the investigation in accordance with student confidentiality requirements; and

     
   

Absent unusual circumstances, the written report of the investigation will be provided within ten (10) workdays of reaching a final determination by the Region Office.

     
 

6.

notifying the CRC Office concurrently in writing of the outcome of the complaint.

     
 

C.

Complaints to the CRC Office

     
   

The Compliance Officer is responsible for accepting complaints and routing them for investigation and/or response within three (3) workdays. Students/Parents should be aware that submitting complaints to other District offices (e.g., Superintendent) may require additional time to process.

     
   

Investigations conducted by the CRC Office, absent unusual circumstances, may take thirty (30) workdays. The complainant and the subject of the complaint will be provided a written report of the findings summarizing the evidence gathered during the investigation and the final determination of the case. The written report of the investigation will be provided within ten (10) workdays of reaching a final determination.

   

If the student/parent does not agree with the final determination made by the CRC Office, s/he may appeal the determination to the Superintendent by submitting a letter of appeal within fifteen (15) workdays of the date of the final determination.

     
   

The Superintendent or designee shall address the requests for appeal within fifteen (15) workdays of receipt of the written request by:

     
 

1.

reviewing documentation submitted by the CRC office;

     
 

2.

reviewing information provided by complainant;

     
 

3.

obtaining additional information if determined necessary to do so;

     
 

4.

providing complainant written notification of the outcome of the appeal; and

     
   

Absent unusual circumstances, the written notification will be provided within fifteen (15) workdays of the review.

     
 

5.

notifying the CRC Office concurrently in writing of the outcome of the review.

     
 

D.

Other School District Offices/Sites:

     
   

Complaints filed with any other School District site shall be referred directly to the CRC Office for routing and processing.

     
   

For complaints filed directly with the United States Department of Education and/or the Florida Department of Education, the Compliance Officer coordinates the Districtís investigation and response to the Federal or State agency. However, the Federal or State agency provides a written response directly to the complainant. The School 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.

 

E.

Corrective Strategies:

     
   

Appropriate remedial/corrective action for students who commit acts of harassment range from behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. Removal from the class where the infraction occurred may be implemented as a preventive measure, pending the outcome of the investigation.

     
   

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have committed an act of harassment shall include discipline in accordance with District policies, administrative procedures, and collective bargaining agreements. Alternate assignments to another location are considered when the nature of the allegation is so egregious as to warrant the removal of an employee from the site to an alternate assignment until the resolution of the case.

     
   

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer found to have committed an act of harassment shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials. Temporary removal of the alleged subject of the complaint from the premises may be implemented as a preventive measure.

Revised 11/19/13

© Miami-Dade 2013