Sexual Harassment Policy
The Governing Board is committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The Board acknowledges that complex societal and historical factors may contribute to inequity within the district and that sexual harassment devalues all students, undermines students' physical safety, impedes students' ability to learn, and reinforces social inequality. The Board is committed to eliminating sexual harassment and repairing the harm it causes. The Board prohibits sexual harassment of students at school or at schools-related activities. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who reports, files a complaint or testifies about, or otherwise supports a complainant in alleging sexual harassment.
The district strongly encourages any student who feels that he/she is being or has been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity by another student or an adult to immediately contact his/her teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee. The district will take immediate steps to stop harassment and protect the safety and well-being or reported victims of sexual harassment, including interim measures during the investigation as appropriate. Any employee who receives a report or observes an incident of sexual harassment shall notify the principal or a district compliance officer.
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education, including K-12 schools. Title IX is a federal law that has been used to promote equity in education by ensuring that girls and women receive equal resources and treatment in the classroom and provides protections for students who are sexually harassed and discriminated against and/or bullied based on their gender.
In addition to this federal law, the California Education code similarly prohibits schools discriminating against its students on the basis of sex (Education Codes 220-221.1).
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Prohibited sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual conduct that may include, but is not limited to, sexual violence, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made against another person of the same or opposite sex in the educational setting, when made on the basis of sex and under the following conditions: (Education Code 212.5; 5 CCR 4916)
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of a student's academic status or progress.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the student.
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the student's academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for any decision affecting the student regarding the benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through any district program or activity.
Specific Examples of Sexual Harassment
Examples of types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations, or propositions.
- Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions.
- Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body, unwanted sexual comments or questions, or overly personal conversation or computer-generated images of a sexual nature.
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Teasing or sexual remarks abotu students enrolled in a predominatly single-sex class or activity.
- Massaging, grabbing, fondlling, stroking, or brushing the body.
- Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way.
- Impeding or blocking an individual's movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex or gender expression.
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects.
- Sexual assualt, sexual battery, or sexual coercion.
- Sexual violence which is the perpetration of a sexual act on a person without their affirmative consent.
- Electronic communication containing comments, words, or images described above.
Who is covered under Title IX?
- Harassment by students
- Harassment by administrators/teachers/staff
- Harassment by volunteers or school visitors
How to file a Title IX/Sexual Harassment Complaint
A sexual harassment complaint may be filed with the school site principal or his/her designee or a teacher at the school site. If the individual feels uncomfortable, the complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator, Office of the Ombudsperson. Complaint forms are available at each school and at the Office of the Ombudsperson. Complaints may also be made verbally.
Mr. Gabriel Valenzuela
Ombusperson/Title IX Coordinator
Phone: (510) 879-4281
Fax: (510) 879-3678
Oakland Unified School District
1011 Union Street, Site 906
Oakland, CA 94607