Harassment/Bullying Policy

District Harassment/Bullying Policy

      Anti-Harassment Complaint Coordinator
 Lori Neurohr, Cameron Elementary Principal
lneurohr@gladstone.k12.mi.us
906-428-2314

 

Any member of the School District community or third party who believes that s/he has been subjected to unlawful harassment may seek resolution of his/her complaint through either the informal or formal procedures as described below. While there are no time limits for initiating a complaint of harassment, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the harassing conduct occurs. The investigation procedures are established to provide a prompt and equitable process for resolving complaints of unlawful harassment. 

Informal Complaint Procedure

The goal of the informal complaint procedure is to stop inappropriate behavior and to investigate and facilitate resolution through an informal means, if possible. The informal complaint procedure is provided as a less formal option for a member of the School District community or third party who believes s/he has been unlawfully harassed. This informal procedure is not required as a precursor to the filing of a formal complaint and will only be utilized where the parties (alleged target of harassment and alleged harasser(s)) agree to participate in such process. However, all complaints of harassment involving a District employee will be formally investigated, as will complaints against any other adult where a student is involved.

As an initial course of action, if a member of the School District community or third party feels that s/he is being unlawfully harassed and s/he is able and feels safe doing so, the individual should tell or otherwise inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The complaining individual should address the allegedly harassing conduct as soon after it occurs as possible. The Complaint Coordinator is available to support and counsel individuals when taking this initial step or to intervene on behalf of the individual if requested to do so. An individual who is uncomfortable or unwilling to inform the harasser of his/her complaint is not prohibited from otherwise filing an informal or a formal complaint.

A member of the School District community or third party who believes s/he has been unlawfully harassed may make an informal complaint, either orally or in writing: (1) to a building administrator in the building where the individual is employed; (2) to a building administrator in the building where the student attends; (3) to the Superintendent if the individual is not employed in or attending a specific school building; and/or (4) to the

Complaint Coordinator. All informal complaints must be reported to the Complaint Coordinator who will either facilitate an informal resolution as described below on his/her own, or appoint another individual to facilitate an informal resolution. 

The School District's informal complaint procedure is designed to provide members of the School District community and third parties who believe they are being unlawfully harassed with a range of options designed to bring about a resolution of their concerns. Depending upon the nature of the complaint and the wishes of the member of the School District community or third party claiming unlawful harassment, informal resolution may involve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following: 

A. Advising the member of the School District community or third party about how to communicate the unwelcome nature of the behavior to the alleged harasser.

B. Distributing a copy of the Anti-Harassment Policy as a reminder to the individuals in the school building or office where the individual whose behavior is being questioned works or attends.

C. If both parties agree, the Complaint Coordinator may arrange and facilitate a meeting between the member of the School District community or third party claiming harassment and the individual accused of harassment to work out a mutual resolution.

While there are no set time limits within which an informal complaint must be resolved, the Complaint Coordinator will exercise his/her authority to attempt to resolve all informal complaints within two (2) weeks of receiving the informal complaint. Those members of the School District community or third parties who are dissatisfied with the results of the informal complaint process may proceed to file a formal complaint.

All materials generated, as part of the informal complaint process will be retained by the Complaint Coordinator in accordance with the Board's records retention policy.

Formal Complaint Procedure

If a complaint is not resolved through the informal complaint process, or if the member of the School District community or third party elects to file a formal complaint initially, the formal complaint process shall be implemented. 

A member of the School District community or third party who believes s/he has been subjected to offensive conduct/harassment hereinafter referred to as the "Complainant", should file a formal complaint, either orally or in writing with the Complaint Coordinator. If a Complainant informs any other employee of the School District, either orally or in writing, about any complaint of harassment, that employee must immediately report such information to the Complaint Coordinator, thereafter the Complaint

Coordinator must contact the Complainant to determine whether the Complainant wishes to file a formal or an informal Complaint.

Throughout the course of the process, the Complaint Coordinator should keep the Complainant informed of the status of the investigation and the decision making process.

All formal complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: the identity of the individual believed to have engaged in, or be engaging in, offensive conduct/harassment; 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. 

If the Complainant is unwilling to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the Complaint Coordinator shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter the Complaint Coordinator will prepare a written summary of the oral interview which will be presented to the Complainant for verification by signature.

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the Complaint Coordinator will consider whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further harassment or retaliation including but not limited to, a change of job assignment or a change of class schedule. In making such a determination, the Complaint Coordinator should consult the Complainant to assess his/her agreement to any action deemed appropriate. If the Complainant is unwilling to consent to any change which is deemed appropriate by the Complaint Coordinator, the Complaint Coordinator may still take whatever actions s/he deem appropriate in consultation with the Superintendent.

Within two (2) business days of receiving a formal complaint, the Complaint Coordinator will inform the individual alleged to have engaged in the harassing conduct, hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent," that a complaint has been received. The Respondent will be informed about the nature of the allegations and a copy of these Administrative Guidelines and the Board Anti-Harassment Policy shall be provided to the Respondent at that time. The Respondent must also be informed of the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within five (5) business days.

Within two (2) business days of receiving the complaint, the Complaint Coordinator or a designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the Complainant has been subject to offensive conduct/harassment.

Although certain cases may require additional time, the Complaint Coordinator or a designee will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of harassment within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the formal complaint. The investigation will include:

A. Interviews with the Complainant
 
B. Interviews with the Respondent
 
C. Interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations

D. Consideration of any documentation or other information, which is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

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