Policy GBAA: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

In accordance with the requirements of Chapter 278 of the Acts of1996, the school district hereby affirms its commitment to promoting aworkplace free of sexual harassment.

It is the goal of the Amherst-Pelham, Amherst and Pelham Schooldistricts to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment.Sexual harassment of employees occurring in the workplace whether it bein the form of physical or verbal harassment and regardless of whethercommitted by administrative or non-administrative personnel, teachers,consultants, or community member is unlawful and will not be toleratedby the school districts. Further, any retaliation against an individualwho has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation againstindividuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassmentcomplaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieveour goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, theconduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and wehave provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will betreated.

We will respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment and whereit is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we willact promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective actionas is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.

DEFINITION: Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151C, Section S.1 (e)defines sexual harassment as “sexual advances, requests for sexualfavors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:(a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct ismade either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employmentor as a basis for employment decisions; or (b) such advances, requestsor conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering withan individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile,humiliating or sexually offensive educational environment.”

While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstancesthat may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examplesof conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassmentdepending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severityof the conduct and its pervasiveness:

  • Sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not;

  • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to an individual’s sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;

  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons;

  • Leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;

  • Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and,

  • Discussion of one’s sexual activities.

CONSEQUENCES: Staff members found to have engaged in acts of sexualharassment will face one or more of the following consequences: (1)written reprimand and warning, (2) suspension without pay, (3)dismissal, and/or (4) referral to the police.

Reprisals, threats or intimidation of the victim will be treated asserious offenses, which could result in dismissal from employment.

PROCESS FOR FILING INTERNAL COMPLAINTS: Because of the importantnature of this problem, immediate and direct attention will be given tocomplaints.

Please contact the Director of Diversity and Equity, 413-362-1807, orthe Superintendent, 413-362-1810, for information about filing acomplaint or refer to the “Complaint Procedure for Allegations ofDiscrimination.”

 

Workers who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment mayalso, or instead, report this to the following State and/or Federalagencies:

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

One Ashburton Place
Sixth Floor, Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone 617-565-3200
Fax 617-565-3196
TTY 617-565-3204

Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education
J. W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse
Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Telephone 617-223-9662
Fax 617-223-9669
TTY 617-223-9695
TDD 617-223-4097

Region Voted to Approve: 6/4/04
Amherst Voted to Approve: 6/15/04
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/2/04
Effective Date: 6/4/04