School Board Policy Manual

Nevis Public Schools

Independent School District 308

 
 

Table of Contents

School Board Policy 102

102 EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that equal educational opportunity is provided for all students of the school district.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. It is the school district’s policy to provide equal educational opportunity for all students.  The school district does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, parental status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation or age.  The school district provides a free appropriate public education to qualifying students with a disability.

B. The school district prohibits the harassment of any individual for any of the categories listed above.  For information about the types of conduct that constitute violation of the school district’s policy on harassment and violence and the school district’s procedures for addressing such complaints, refer to the school district’s policy on harassment and violence.

C. This policy applies to all areas of education including academics, coursework, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, or other rights or privileges of enrollment.

D. It is the responsibility of every school district employee to comply with this policy conscientiously.

E. Any student, parent or guardian having any questions regarding this policy should discuss it with the appropriate school district official as provided by policy.  In the absence of a specific designee, an inquiry or a complaint should be referred to the superintendent.

III. REPORTING GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

A.  Any student who believes he or she has been the victim of unlawful discrimination by a student, teacher, administrator or other school district personnel, or third party, or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute unlawful discrimination toward a student should report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy or may file a grievance.  The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal or available from the school district office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well.  The complaint must be filed within 90 calendar days of the alleged violation.  Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting unlawful discrimination toward a student directly to the superintendent.

B. The principal is the person responsible for receiving oral or written reports or grievances of unlawful discrimination toward a student.  Any adult school district personnel who receives a report of unlawful discrimination toward a student shall inform the principal immediately.

C. Upon receipt of a report or grievance, the principal must notify the superintendent immediately, without screening or investigating the report.  The principal may request, but may not insist upon a written complaint.  Alternative means of filing a complaint, such as through a personal interview or by tape recording, shall be made available upon request for qualified persons with a disability.  A written statement of the facts alleged will be forwarded as soon as practicable by the principal to the superintendent.  If the report was given verbally, the principal shall personally reduce it to written form within 24 hours and forward it to the superintendent.  Failure to forward any report or complaint of unlawful discrimination toward a student as provided herein may result in disciplinary action against the principal.  If the complaint involves the principal, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent by the reporting party or complainant.

D. The school board hereby designates the Title IX coordinator, who is also the superintendent, as the school district human rights officer(s) to receive reports, complaints or grievances of unlawful discrimination toward a student.  If the complaint involves the superintendent, the complaint shall be filed directly with the chairperson of the school board.

E. The school district shall conspicuously post the name of the Title IX coordinator and human rights officer, including office mailing addresses and telephone numbers.

F. Submission of a good faith complaint, grievance or report of unlawful discrimination toward a student will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades or work assignments.

G. Use of formal reporting forms is not mandatory.

H. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations.

IV. INVESTIGATION

A. By authority of the school district, the superintendent, upon receipt of a report, complaint or grievance alleging unlawful discrimination toward a student shall promptly undertake or authorize an investigation if deemed appropriate.  The  investigation  may  be conducted by school district officials or by a third party designated by the school district.

B. The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint.  The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator.

C. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the school district should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.  Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.

D. In addition, the school district may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, pupils, teachers, administrators or other school personnel pending completion of an investigation of alleged unlawful discrimination toward a student.

E. The investigation will be completed as soon as practicable.  The superintendent shall make a written report to the chairperson of the school board upon completion of the investigation.  If the complaint involves the superintendent, the report may be filed directly with the chairperson of the school board.  The report shall include the facts, a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated, whether a violation of this policy has occurred as well as a description of any proposed resolution which may include alternative dispute resolution.

F. The district shall comply with federal and state law pertaining to retention of records.

V. APPEAL

If the grievance has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he or she may appeal to the school board chair (or other relevant person) within ten (10) school days of receipt of the findings of the school district investigation.  The school district investigator shall conduct a review of the appeal and within ten (10) school days of receipt of the appeal, shall affirm, reverse, or modify the findings of the report.  The decision of the school district investigator is final but does not preclude pursuit of alternative complaint procedures noted in the section entitled “Right to Alternative Complaint Procedures.”

VI.  SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION

A. Upon conclusion of the investigation and receipt of a report, the school district shall take appropriate action.  If it is determined that a violation has occurred, such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination or discharge.  School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Minnesota and federal law and school district policies.

B. The result of the school district’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant by the school district in accordance with state and federal law regarding data or records privacy. 

VII. REPRISAL

The school district shall discipline or take appropriate action against any pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports alleged unlawful discrimination toward a student or any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, or who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such unlawful discrimination. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.

VIII.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST

If there is a conflict of interest with respect to any party affected by this policy, appropriate action shall be taken such as, but not limited to, appointing or contracting with a neutral third party investigator to conduct the investigation or recusal from the process by the person for whom a conflict or potential conflict of interest exists.

IX.  RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, initiating civil action or seeking redress under state criminal statutes and/or federal law, or contacting the Office of Civil Rights for the United States Department of Education as listed below.

Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office
U.S. Department of Education
Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL  60661-4544
(312) 730-1560
Fascimile:  (312) 730-1576
TDD:  (800) 877-8339

MN Department of Human Rights
Freeman Building, 625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN  55155
(800) 657-3704
(651) 539-1100
TDD:  (651) 296-1283

X. DISSEMINATION OF POLICY AND EVALUATION

A. This policy shall be made available to all students, parents/guardians of students, staff members, employee unions and organizations.

B. The school district shall review this policy and the school district’s operation for compliance with state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination on a continuous basis.

Legal References:      
Minn. Stat. Ch. 363 (Minnesota Human Rights Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.03, Subd. 2 (Sexual, Religious, and Racial Harassment and Violence Policy)
42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)
34 C.F.R. Section 104.7(b) (Section 504 Rehabilitation Act)
34 C.F.R. Section 106.8(b) (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

Cross References:      
School Board Policy 402 (Disability Nondiscrimination)
School Board Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)
School Board Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
School Board Policy 522 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)

District Resources:    
Title IX Coordinator
Gregg Parks, Superintendent 
Nevis Public School
PO Box 138
Nevis, MN  56467
218-652-3500, ext. 103
supt308@nevis.k12.mn.us
                 
Section 504 Coordinator
Elizabeth Stone
Nevis Public School
PO Box 138
Nevis, MN  56467
218-652-3500, ext. 204
504-308@nevis.k12.mn.us


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