Administrative Regulation on Sexual Harassment

Administrative Regulation 5145.7

Administrative Regulation 5145.7

Administrative Regulation 5145.7

San Francisco Unified School District and County Office of Education

Administrative Regulation 5145.7

Sexual Harassment

This Administrative Regulation applies to the San Francisco Unified School District and the County Office of Education.

The District designates as the responsible employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and California Education Code 234.1, as well as to investigate and resolve sexual harassment complaints under AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures.  The Title IX Coordinator may be contacted at:

Office of Equity/Title IX Coordinator

555 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor  

Telephone:  (415) 355-7334

Fax:  (415) 355-7333

Email:  equity@sfusd.edu

Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made against another person in the educational setting, under any of the following conditions:  (Education Code 212.5; 5 CCR 4916)

  1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of a student's academic status or progress;
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the student;
  3. 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;
  4. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for any decision affecting the student regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through any District program or activity.

Examples of types of conduct which are prohibited in the District and which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations, or propositions;
  2. Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions;
  3. Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body or overly personal conversation;
  4. Sexual jokes, derogatory posters, notes, stories, cartoons, drawings, pictures, obscene gestures, or computer-generated images of a sexual nature;
  5. Spreading sexual rumors;
  6. Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class;
  7. Massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body;
  8. Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way;
  9. Impeding or blocking movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex;
  10. Displaying sexually suggestive objects;
  11. Intimate partner/dating violence; or
  12. Sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual coercion;
  13. Electronic communications containing comments, words, or images described above.

Off-campus/Outside of School-Related Conduct

When a report or complaint of sexual harassment involves off-campus conduct, the principal shall assess whether the conduct may create or contribute to the creation of a hostile school environment. If the principal determine that a hostile environment may be present, the complaint shall be investigated and resolved in the same manner as if the prohibited conduct occurred at school.

Any prohibited conduct that occurs off campus or outside of school-related or school-sponsored programs or activities will be regarded as sexual harassment in violation of District policy if it has a continuing effect on or creates a hostile school environment for the complainant or victim of the conduct.

Pursuant to California Education Code 48900, et. seq., a student may be suspended or expelled for sexual harassment related to school activity or school attendance that occur at any time, including but not limited to:

  1. While on school grounds;
  2. While going to or coming from school;
  3. During the lunch period whether on or off the campus; and
  4. During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.

While discipline is not permitted for conduct that is not school related, school site should nonetheless provide safety measures, interventions, and supports to a student who reports an off-campus incident.

School Site Sexual Harassment (Title IX) Investigation

Any student who believes that they have been subjected to sexual harassment by another student, an employee, or a third party or who has witnessed sexual harassment is strongly encouraged to report the incident to their teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee.

Within one school day of receiving such a report, the school employee shall forward the report to the principal, the Title IX Site Officer, or the District's Compliance Officer identified in AR 1312.3. In addition, any school employee who observes an incident of sexual harassment involving a student shall, within one school day, report their observation to the principal or a District Compliance Officer. The employee shall take these actions, whether or not the alleged victim files a complaint.

When a verbal or informal report of sexual harassment is submitted, the principal or Compliance Officer shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with the District's uniform complaint procedures. Regardless of whether a Uniform Complaint is filed, the principal or Compliance Officer shall take steps to investigate the allegations and, if sexual harassment is found, shall take prompt action to stop it, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effects.

In investigating a sexual harassment complaint, evidence of past sexual relationships of the victim shall not be considered, except to the extent that such evidence may relate to the victim's prior relationship with the respondent.

In any case of sexual harassment involving the principal, the Compliance Officer, or any other person to whom the incident would ordinarily be reported or filed, the report may instead be submitted to the Superintendent or designee who shall determine who will investigate the complaint.

Once the principal speaks to the student and learns of an incident of alleged harassment, they should notify the student's parent of the report and that the administrator is investigating.

The investigator will interview the accused student and get a statement. If possible, the statement should be in writing. Once the administrator speaks to the accused student and gathers information, they should notify the student's parent of the report and that the administrator is investigating. 

Filing, Investigation and Resolution of Uniform Complaint Related to Sexual Harassment (Title IX)

School site staff should notify families of their right to file a Uniform Complaint if they are unsatisfied with the school site's resolution of a Sexual Harassment (Title IX) complaint. If a Uniform Complaint form alleging Sexual Harassment (Title IX) is submitted to the principal, the complaint shall be forwarded to the Office of Equity for proper handling. The Compliance Officer shall contact the complainant and investigate and resolve the complaint in accordance with law and District procedures specified in AR 1312.3

Confidentiality

All District employees shall immediately report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to the principal or District’s Title IX Coordinator. All complaints and allegations of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential except as necessary to carry out the investigation or take other subsequent necessary action.  (5 CCR 4964)

However, when a complainant or victim of sexual harassment notifies the District of the harassment but requests confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator or Site Officer shall inform them that the request may limit the District’s ability to investigate the harassment or take other necessary action. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the District will nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request. In certain circumstances, the District may not be able to honor the request of confidentiality in order to meet its legal requirements.

Response Pending Investigation

When an incident of sexual harassment is reported, the principal or designee, in consultation with the Compliance Officer, shall determine whether interim measures are necessary pending the results of the investigation. The principal/designee or Compliance Officer shall take immediate measures necessary to stop the harassment and protect students and/or ensure their access to the educational program. To the extent possible, such interim measures shall not disadvantage the complainant or victim of the alleged harassment. Interim measures may include placing the individuals involved in separate classes or transferring a student to a class taught by a different teacher, in accordance with law and Board policy. The school should notify the complainant of their options to avoid contact with the alleged harasser and allow the complainant to change academic and extracurricular arrangements as appropriate. The school should also ensure that the complainant is aware of the resources and assistance, such as counseling, that are available to them.  As appropriate, such actions shall be considered even when a student chooses to not file a formal complaint or the sexual harassment occurs off school grounds or outside school-sponsored or school-related programs or activities.

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

District employees who have reasonable suspicion of child abuse, including sexual abuse, harassment, and assault, shall immediately report that suspicion pursuant to Penal Code 11165.7 and Board Policy 5141.4. A report shall be made regardless of the identity of the accused person, including reports in which the accused person is a District employee, student or third party.

Notifications

A copy of the District's sexual harassment policy and regulation shall:

  1. Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year  (Education Code 48980; 5 CCR 4917);
  2. Be displayed in a prominent location in the main administrative building or other area where notices of District rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct are posted (Education Code 231.5);

A copy of the District's sexual harassment policy and regulation shall be posted on District and school websites and, when available, on District-supported social media. 

  1. Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new students at the beginning of each quarter, semester, or summer session (Education Code 231.5);
  2. Appear in any school or District publication that sets forth the school's or District's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct (Education Code 231.5);
  3. Be included in the student handbook.
  4. Be provided to employees and employee organizations.
     

Please note that compare references, or “cf”, refer to CSBA model policies and do not necessarily indicate that the San Francisco Unified School District has adopted the referenced policy.