All persons associated with the Melrose Public Schools—including but not necessarily limited to the Committee, the administration, the staff, and students—are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that provides an atmosphere free from sexual harassment. Any person who engages in sexual harassment while a member of the school community will be in violation of this policy. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or who has cooperated in an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Because the Committee takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we expect the administration to respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment. Where it is determined that sexual harassment has occurred, we will hold the Superintendent accountable to eliminate the conduct and impose corrective action, including disciplinary action, where appropriate.
While this policy reflects our intention to promote a workplace and school environment that is free from sexual harassment, it is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline and/or take remedial action for workplace or school conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of sexual harassment.
For the purposes of this policy, the definition of sexual harassment is as follows: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment where:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or educational development.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
For the purposes of this policy, the Grievance Officer will be:
Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose, MA 02176
The Committee will annually appoint a sexual harassment Grievance Officer who will be vested with the authority and responsibility for processing all sexual harassment complaints in accordance with the complaint procedure below:
- Any member of the school community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment will report the incident(s) to the Grievance Officer. All complaints will be investigated promptly and resolved as soon as possible.
- The Grievance Officer will attempt to resolve the problem in an informal manner through the following process:
a. The Grievance Officer will confer with the charging party in order to obtain a clear understanding of that party’s statement of the facts, and may interview any witnesses.
b. The will then attempt to meet with the charged party in order to obtain his or her response to the complaint.
c. The Grievance Officer will hold as many meetings with the parties as necessary to obtain facts.
d. On the basis of the Grievance Officer’s perception of the situation, he or she may:
1) Attempt to resolve the matter informally through reconciliation.
2) Report the incident and transfer the record to the Superintendent or designee, and so notify the parties by certified mail.
3. After reviewing the record made by the Grievance Officer, the Superintendent or designee may attempt to gather any more evidence necessary to decide the case, and thereafter impose any sanctions deemed appropriate including a recommendation to the Committee for termination or expulsion as appropriate. At this stage of the proceedings the parties may present witnesses and other evidence, and may also be represented. The parties, to the extent permissible by law, will be informed of the disposition of the complaint. All matters involving sexual harassment complaints will remain confidential to the extent possible. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the Committee, in conjunction with the Superintendent, will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct.
4. Upon request, the Grievance Officer will provide individuals with information regarding government agencies that handle sexual harassment matters.
MSC first vote: 7/23/13
MSC second vote: 8/13/13