HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS PROHIBITED (POLICY 7:20)
Bullying - “Bullying” means a severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school or School District.
Bullying may take various forms, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is illustrative and non-exhaustive.
Hazing - Hazing is any act that subjects a student to electronic, written, physical or verbal harassment, mental or physical discomfort, intimidation, embarrassment, ridicule, or demeaning activity committed by an individual student or group of students for the purpose of initiation, maintaining membership, or holding office in any organization, club or athletic team, whether or not such group is recognized or informal.
Harassment - Harassment includes any unwelcome electronic, written, physical or verbal conduct, contact or communication that is motivated by or related to individual characteristics such as race, color, national origin, gender, economic status, disability, religion, religious affiliation or sexual orientation and that creates or can reasonably be predicted to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment. Although harassment that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment can take many forms, some examples include name-calling, jokes, gestures or looks, posting, or distribution of derogatory pictures, notes or graffiti, blocking, pushing, hitting or other forms of physical aggression. Where harassment is , it may also include such conduct as persistent unwelcome attempts to interact with another, gesturing in a suggestive fashion, spreading of rumors, aggressive physical conduct such as kissing, touching or pulling at clothes. Sexual harassment also includes unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of the receipt of educational or other school-related benefits; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational or other school-related decisions affecting that individual.
No person, including a School District employee or agent, or student, shall harass, intimidate, or bully a student on the basis of actual or perceived: race; color; national origin; military status; unfavorable discharge status from military service; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender-related identity or expression; ancestry; age; religion; physical or mental disability; order of protection status; status of being homeless; actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy; association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics; or any other distinguishing characteristic. The District will not tolerate harassing, intimidating conduct, or bullying whether verbal, physical, sexual, or visual, that affects the tangible benefits of education, that unreasonably interferes with a student’s educational performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Examples of prohibited conduct include name-calling, using derogatory slurs, stalking, sexual violence, causing psychological harm, threatening or causing physical harm, threatened or actual destruction of property, or wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above.
Sexual Harassment Prohibited
The District shall provide an educational environment free of verbal, physical, or other conduct or communications constituting harassment on the basis of sex as defined and otherwise prohibited by State and federal law. See policies 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, and 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.
Making a Report or Complaint
Students are encouraged to promptly report claims or incidences of bullying, intimidation, harassment, sexual harassment, or any other prohibited conduct to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, a Complaint Manager, or any employee with whom the student is comfortable speaking. A student may choose to report to an employee of the student’s same gender.
Reports under this policy will be considered a report under Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and/or Board policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure. The Nondiscrimination Coordinator and/or Complaint Manager shall process and review the report according to the appropriate grievance procedure.
The Superintendent shall insert into this policy the names, office addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of the District’s current Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers. The Nondiscrimination Coordinator also serves as the District’s Title IX Coordinator.
1235 Oak Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
1235 Oak Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
1235 Oak Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
The Superintendent shall use reasonable measures to inform staff members and students of this policy by including:
- For students, age-appropriate information about the contents of this policy in the District’s student handbook(s), on the District’s website, and, if applicable, in any other areas where policies, rules, and standards of conduct are otherwise posted in each school.
- For staff members, this policy in the appropriate employee handbook(s), if applicable, and/or in any other areas where policies, rules, and standards of conduct are otherwise made available to staff.
Any District employee who receives a report or complaint of harassment must promptly forward the report or complaint to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager. Any employee who fails to promptly comply may be disciplined, up to and including discharge.
Reports and complaints of harassment will be confidential to the greatest extent practicable, subject to the District’s duty to investigate and maintain an educational environment that is productive, respectful, and free of unlawful discrimination, including harassment.
For any report or complaint alleging sexual harassment that, if true, would implicate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681et seq.), the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or designee shall consider whether action under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, should be initiated.
For any other alleged student harassment that does not require action under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or a Complaint Manager or designee shall consider whether an investigation under policies 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and/or 7:190, Student Behavior, should be initiated, regardless of whether a written report or complaint is filed.
Reports That Involve Alleged Incidents of Sexual Abuse of a Child by School Personnel
An alleged incident of sexual abuse is an incident of sexual abuse of a child, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1A(b), that is alleged to have been perpetrated by school personnel, including a school vendor or volunteer, that occurred: on school grounds during a school activity; or outside of school grounds or not during a school activity.
Any complaint alleging an incident of sexual abuse shall be processed and reviewed according to policy 5:90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting. In addition to reporting the suspected abuse, the complaint shall also be processed under policy 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, or policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.
Any District employee who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Any third party who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be addressed in accordance with the authority of the Board in the context of the relationship of the third party to the District, e.g., vendor, parent, invitee, etc. Any District student who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension and expulsion consistent with the behavior policy. Any person making a knowingly false accusation regarding prohibited conduct will likewise be subject to disciplinary action.
Retaliation against any person for bringing complaints or providing information about harassment is prohibited (see policies 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, and 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure).
Students should report allegations of retaliation to the Building Principal, an administrator, the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, and/or a Complaint Manager.
775 ILCS 5/1-101et seq., Illinois Human Rights Act.
Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999).
Franklin v. Gwinnett Co. Public Schs., 503 U.S. 60 (1992).
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent Sch. Dist., 524 U.S. 274 (1998).
West v. Derby Unified Sch. Dist. No. 260, 206 F.3d 1358 (10th Cir. 2000).
CROSS REF.: 2:260 (Uniform Grievance Procedure), 2:265 (Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure), 5:20 (Workplace Harassment Prohibited), 5:90 (Abused and Neglected Child Reporting), 7:10 (Equal Educational Opportunities), 7:180 (Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment), 7:185 (Teen Dating Violence Prohibited), 7:190 (Student Behavior), 7:240 (Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities)
Adopted: July 1, 2021