Washington Township Schools has a policy of providing equal opportunity. All courses are open to all students regardless of age, race, color, sex, disability, or national origin, including limited English proficiency. Education services, programs, instruction, and facilities will not be denied to anyone in the MSDWT as the result of his or her age, race, color, sex, disability, or national origin (including limited English proficiency). For additional information, clarification, or to express a complaint, please Report It or contact any of the following:
Prohibited harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, or disability and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with a student’s educational performance; creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment; or interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may include but is not limited to conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, or disability, such as:
- racial slurs, nicknames stereotypes, epithets, and/or negative references relative to racial customs;
- negative comments regarding customs, manner of speaking, language, surnames, or ethnic slurs;
- conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s religious tradition or practices, clothing, or surnames, and/or involving religious slurs; and
- negative comments about speech patterns, movement, physical impairments or defects/appearances, or the like.
The School Corporation has a separate policy for bullying (5517.01), however, bullying can also rise to the level of unlawful harassment based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, or disability. In this context, “harassment” means any unwanted and repeated threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or from a student in an educational program or activity based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, or disability that:
- places a student in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;
- has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
- has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.
Students (or their parents or guardians) shall report allegations of unlawful harassment to the building principal or the Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator/Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer. While there is no definitive deadline for students (or their parents or guardians) to report such allegations, the Board stresses that students (or their parents or guardians) should report allegations promptly and as close in time to the instances of alleged harassment as possible.
Employees who observe or receive complaints about unlawful harassment relative to students or third parties shall report allegations of unlawful harassment promptly to the Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator/Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer.
Students shall report allegations of unlawful race, color, national origin, or ancestral harassment to their teacher, their building assistant principal or principal, or another employee whom the student trusts as promptly as possible.
Once the School Corporation receives the complaint, the School Corporation must take appropriate, responsive action to address the complaint. The appropriate response must be tailored to redress fully the specific problems experienced as a result of the harassment. In addition, the responsive action must be reasonably calculated to prevent recurrence and ensure that students are not restricted in their participation or benefits as a result of a hostile environment created by students, employees or non-employees.
Complaints of unlawful harassment or retaliation must include, if available: the identity of the alleged harasser(s); a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; the potential witnesses; and the Complainant’s desired resolution. If a Complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement, the School Corporation employee investigating the matter may seek to conduct an oral interview to gather the necessary information or, if evidence insufficient to substantiate the complaint is not provided, the School Corporation may dismiss the complaint.