Sexual Harassment

The Richland School District is committed to a positive and productive education free from discrimination, including sexual harassment. This commitment extends to all students involved in academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of the school or district, whether that program or activity is in a school facility, on school transportation or at a class or school training held elsewhere.

Sexual harassment means unwelcome conduct or communication of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can occur adult to student, student to student 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 students by other students, employees, or third parties involved in District activities.

The term "sexual harassment" may include:
  • Acts of sexual violence
  • Unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication that interferes with an individual’s educational 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 an educational benefit
  • Sexual demands where submission or rejection is a factor in an academic, or other school related decision affecting an individual

A “hostile environment” has been created for a student when sexual harassment is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to demonstrate a repetitive series of incidents. In fact, a single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe, violent, or egregious.

Click the links below to read the Sexual Harassment policy and procedure.

Policy 5011

Procedure 5011

Informal Complaint Process

Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of sexual harassment. Informal reports may be made to any staff member. Staff will always notify Complainants of their right to file a formal complaint and the process for same. Staff will also direct potential Complainants to the Executive Director of Human Resources at 509-967-6006. Additionally, staff will also inform an appropriate supervisor or professional staff member when they receive complaints of sexual harassment, especially when the complaint is beyond their training to resolve or alleges serious misconduct.

During the course of the informal complaint process, the District will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end any harassment and to correct any discriminatory effects on the Complainant. If an investigation is needed to determine what occurred, the District will take interim measures to protect the Complainant before the final outcome of the District’s investigation (e.g., allowing the Complainant to change academic or extracurricular activities or break times to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator). Informal remedies may include:

  • An opportunity for the Complainant to explain to the alleged harasser that his or her conduct is unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate, either in writing or face-to-face;
  • A statement from a staff member to the alleged harasser that the alleged conduct is not appropriate and could lead to discipline if proven or repeated;
  • A general public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the District sexual harassment policy without identifying the Complainant.
  • Developing a safety plan;
  • Separating staff person; or
  • Providing staff and/or student training.

Informal complaints may become formal complaints at the request of the Complainant, parent or guardian, or because the District believes the complaint needs to be more thoroughly investigated. The District will inform the Complainant how to report any subsequent problems. Additionally, the District will conduct follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or instances of retaliation, and to promptly respond and appropriately address continuing or new problems. Follow-up inquiries will follow a timeline agreed to by the District and Complainant.

The formal complaint process is described in the Policy 5011 Procedure document.

Complaint Options

If you believe that you or your child have experienced unlawful discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment at school, you have the right to file a complaint.

Before filing a complaint, you can discuss your concerns with your child’s principal or with the school district’s Section 504 Coordinator, Title IX Officer, or Civil Rights Coordinator, who are listed above. This is often the fastest way to revolve your concerns.

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