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Sexual Harassment

Policy 5011


This district is committed to a positive and productive working environment free from

discrimination, including sexual harassment. This commitment extends to all employees,

and other persons involved in academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic and other

programs or activities of the school, whether that program or activity is in a school

facility, on school transportation, or at a class or school training held elsewhere.



For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment means unwelcome conduct or

communication of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can occur student to adult, adult to

adult or can be carried out by a group of students or adults and will be investigated by the

district even if the alleged harasser is not a part of the school staff or student body. The

district prohibits sexual harassment of district employees by other students, employees or

third parties involved in school district activities.

Under federal and state law, the term “sexual harassment” includes:

  • acts of sexual violence;
  • unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication that interferes

with an individual’s employment performance or creates an intimidating, hostile,

or offensive environment;

  • unwelcome sexual advances;
  • unwelcome requests for sexual favors;
  • sexual demands when submission is a stated or implied condition of obtaining a

work opportunity or other benefit;

  • sexual demands where submission or rejection is a factor in a work or other

school-related decision affecting an individual.


Investigation and Response

If the district knows, or reasonably should know, sexual harassment has created a hostile

environment, the district will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and will

take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

If an investigation reveals sexual harassment has created a hostile environment, the district will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.

The district will take prompt, equitable and remedial action within its authority every time a report, complaint and grievance alleging sexual harassment comes to the attention of the district,

either formally or informally.

Allegations of criminal misconduct will be reported to law enforcement and suspected

child abuse will be reported to law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Regardless

of whether the misconduct is reported to law enforcement, school staff will promptly

investigate to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation

to the extent that such investigation does not interfere with an ongoing criminal

investigation. A criminal investigation does not relieve the district of its independent

obligation to investigate and resolve sexual harassment.


Engaging in sexual harassment will result in appropriate discipline or other appropriate

sanctions against offending staff or other third parties involved in school district

activities. Anyone else who engages in sexual harassment on school property or at

school activities will have their access to school property and activities restricted, as



Retaliation and False Allegations

Retaliation against any person who makes or is a witness in a sexual harassment

complaint is prohibited and will result in appropriate disciplinary action and/or other



It is a violation of this policy to knowingly report false allegations of sexual harassment.

Persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations shall be subject to

appropriate disciplinary action and other sanctions.


The superintendent shall develop and implement formal and informal procedures for

receiving, investigating and resolving complaints or reports of sexual harassment. The

procedures will include reasonable and prompt timelines and delineate staff

responsibilities under this policy. All staff is responsible for receiving informal

complaints and reports of sexual harassment and informing appropriate district personnel

of the complaint or report for investigation and resolution. All staff is also responsible for

informing complainants of the informal and formal complaint processes.


The superintendent shall develop procedures to provide age-appropriate information and

education to district staff, students, parents and volunteers regarding this policy and the

recognition and prevention of sexual harassment. At a minimum sexual harassment

recognition and prevention and the elements of this policy will be included in staff,

student and regular volunteer orientation.


This policy shall be posted in each district building in a place available to staff, students, parents, volunteers and visitors. The policy shall be reproduced in each student, staff, volunteer and parent handbook.


The use and efficacy of this policy and related procedures shall be periodically reviewed

by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.



Cross References:

  • Board Policy 3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
  • Board Policy 3210 Nondiscrimination
  • Board Policy 3247 Sexual Harassment
  • Board Policy 3240 Student Conduct
  • Board Policy 3421 Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Prevention
  • Board Policy 5010 Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action
  • Board Policy 5281 Disciplinary Action and Discharge


Legal References:

  • RCW 28A.640.020 Regulations, guidelines to eliminate discrimination —

Scope—Sexual harassment policies

  • WAC 392-190-056-058 Sexual harassment




Adoption Date: 01.08.01

Former Policy Number: 5013

Paterson  School  District

Revised: 02.16.2016