TItle IX Regulations & Harassment Complaint Procedures
As part of our mission to focus on learning for every student every day, it is our responsibility to continually develop an organizational culture that is respectful and inclusive of all students and staff. A portion of the update provided at the August 10, 2020 Board Meeting includes: On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Education amended the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, including peer-to-peer sexual harassment and sexual violence. The new regulations take effect on August 14, 2020. The new regulations will require us to update our policies, identify specific roles and individuals within the investigatory process, increase training for investigatory staff, and require the district to post certain information prominently on the district’s website.
Prior to the transition and training of our new director of human resources, the following roles are assigned:
Interim Title IX Coordinator*
Dr. Brian Miller, Superintendent
702 Warrendale Road Gibsonia, PA 15044
Investigators and Decision-Makers*
Dr. Michael Pasquinelli, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education & Curriculum
Dr. Kristen Justus, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education & Curriculum
*When the school or district learns that someone is alleged to be the victim of sexual harassment, the interim Title IX coordinator will immediately contact Mr. Donald Palmer, Solicitor, Goehring, Rutter & Boehm, to ensure regulatory and procedural compliance. Based on the building level associated with the allegation, the roles of investigator and decision-maker will be assigned. By regulation, these are separate roles. For example, Dr. Justus may be assigned as an investigator for elementary level complaints. Dr. Pasquinelli would serve as the decision-maker.
PRSD will update policies to reflect the new regulations and the updated investigatory procedures. While this process is technically slated to be in place by August 14, 2020, it is universally understood by all districts that the policy approval process may not allow a district to be in compliance by that date. The district continues to gather information from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association about model policies. Initial training and regulatory information were based on the Office for Civil Rights Webinars on New Title IX Protections (May 8, 2020, and July 7, 2020). All training materials will be posted to the PRSD website when complete.
Title IX requirements must be followed, and a school must respond appropriately when a school has actual notice of sexual harassment that occurs in a school’s program or activity. Students and parents should immediately report allegations of sexual harassment or harassment to the interim Title IX coordinator.
Definitions of Sexual Harassment
Definitions of Sexual Harassment:
- Any instance of “Quid Pro Quo” harassment by a school employee (i.e., unwelcome sexual harassment associated with some form of aid or benefit);
- Any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that a reasonable person would find to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s educational program or activity.
- Any instance of “Sexual assault,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “stalking” as those terms are defined under other Federal laws called the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act.
The annual Employee Code of Ethics and Podcast Acknowledgement form must be signed and submitted by all employees. The annual Student Code of Conduct sign-off form is now managed through Sapphire.
Other Related Policies
Other PRSD policies related to non-discrimination:
- Policy 103 Nondiscrimination in School and Classroom Practices
- Policy 103.1 Nondiscrimination: Qualified Students with Disabilities
- Policy 104 Nondiscrimination in Employment Practices
- Policy 247 Hazing
- Policy 248 Unlawful Harassment and Harassment Reporting Form
- Policy 249 Bullying/Cyberbullying
- Policy 824 Maintaining Professional Adult/Student Boundaries
Training & Professional Development
As part of the U.S. Department of Education Title IX Final Rule, school districts are required to provide training to staff. That initial training is aligned to the board policies listed on this site and includes the revised definitions of sexual harassment. We will also provide information to students to increase awareness and confidence in the reporting process. Training and professional development in these areas will be provided at different points throughout the year.More specialized training will be provided to administrators responsible for Title IX coordinators, investigators, and decision-makers responsible for compliance. The Interim Title IX coordinator has completed the McGrath Response System Title IX Intake and Investigation course. Investigators and Decision-Makers will also be engaged in that course. Training materials are also reviewed from released OCR webinars. In addition, the law firm of Goehring, Rutter, and Boehm will provide training to all school administrators.
Title IX Regulations Addressing Sexual Harassment
Title IX Overview Training for School Administrators (Goehring, Rutter & Boehm Law)
Training Presentation Document
McGrath Response System (Title IX)
Intake & Investigation Course