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Board Policy

Grievance Procedure for Filing, Processing and Resolving Complaints Alleging Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

Definitions

Complaint:

A written complaint alleging any action, policy, procedure or practice that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender expression or identity, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, or genetic information (including harassment and retaliation).

Grievant:

Any person enrolled in or employed by the technology center or a parent, guardian, or member of the public who submits a complaint alleging discrimination based race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender expression or identity, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, or genetic information (including harassment or retaliation). For purposes of this policy, a parent or guardian’s complaint or grievance shall be handled in the same manner as a student’s complaint would be.

Coordinator(s):

he person(s) designated to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act and any other state and federal laws addressing equal educational opportunity. The Coordinator under Title VI, IX, Section 504/Title II and the Age Act is responsible for processing complaints and serves as moderator and recorder during hearings. The Coordinator of each statutory scheme may be the same person or different persons, but each coordinator will receive relevant training in order to perform his/her duties.

Section 504/Title II Coordinator –Educational Services Director (for questions or complaints based on disability concerning students); and Section 504/Title II Coordinator – HR Director (for questions or complaints based on disability concerning employees, patrons and other adults):

     Moore Norman Technology Center

     Attention: HR Director (employees) / Educational Services Director (students)

     4701 12th Ave. NW, Norman, OK 73069

Title VI (for questions or complaints based on race, color and national origin), Title IX (for questions or complaints based on sex, pregnancy, gender, gender expression or identity), and Age Act (for questions or complaints based on age) Coordinator:

     Moore Norman Technology Center

     Attention: Educational Services Director

     4701 12th Ave. NW, Norman, OK 73069

Any individual, who has experienced some other form of discrimination, including discrimination not listed above, may contact:

     Moore Norman Technology Center

     Attention: HR Director (employees) / Educational Services Director (students)

     4701 12th Ave. NW, Norman, OK 73069

Respondent:

The person alleged to be responsible for the alleged discrimination contained in a complaint. The term may be used to designate persons with responsibility for a particular action or those persons with supervisory responsibility for procedures and policies in those areas covered in the complaint.

Day:

Day means a working day when the technology center’s main administrative offices are open. The calculation of days in complaint processing shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

Filing, Investigation, Hearing and Review Procedures

The Grievant submits a written complaint to the applicable Coordinator, stating the basis, nature and date of the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the names of persons responsible (where known) and requested action. If the applicable Coordinator is the person alleged to have committed the discriminatory act(s), then the complaint should be submitted to the superintendent for assignment. Complaint forms are available from the offices of the technology center Coordinators.

The Coordinator conducts a complete and impartial investigation within 10 days of receiving the complaint, to the extent reasonably possible, which shall include but not be limited to, interviewing the Grievant and any witnesses, review of documents and interviewing the Respondent. The Coordinator will ask the Respondent to a. confirm or deny facts; b. indicate acceptance or rejection of the Grievant’s requested action; and c. outline alternatives.

The Coordinator will not delay the investigation of the discrimination complaint, even if an outside entity or law enforcement agency is investigating a complaint involving the same facts and allegations, and the Coordinator will not wait for the conclusion or outcome of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin an investigation required by the district’s grievance policy.

As to complaints of discrimination by students, parents or guardians and school employees, the Coordinator will disclose the complaint, the identity of the Grievant and information regarding the person who allegedly committed the discriminatory act only to the extent necessary to fully investigate the complaint and only when the disclosure is required or permitted by law. If a Grievant wishes to remain anonymous, the Coordinator will advise him or her that such confidentiality may limit the technology center’s ability to fully respond to the complaint. If a Grievant asks to remain anonymous, the Coordinator will still proceed with the investigation.

Within 5 days after completing the investigation, the applicable coordinator will issue a written decision to the Grievant and Respondent. The report will include (a) a summary of facts, (b) an analysis of the appropriate legal standards applied to the facts, and (c) findings regarding whether the alleged discrimination occurred. If a finding is made that discrimination occurred, the Coordinator’s report shall also contain (a) recommended interim and permanent steps, including examples of the range of possible disciplinary sanctions and remedies available to address the discriminatory effects on the grievant and other, necessary to eliminate the discrimination, prevent its reoccurrence, and remedy its effects, as well as (b) the resources, including medical and counseling resources, that are available to students and witnesses. The decision will be based on a preponderance of evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that the alleged discrimination occurred).

If the Grievant or Respondent is not satisfied with the decision, he or she must notify the applicable Coordinator, in writing, within five (5) days and request an appeal to the superintendent. The written appeal shall contain a specific statement explaining the basis for the appeal.

Within five (5) days after receiving the appeal request, the applicable Coordinator will refer the matter to the superintendent for a hearing. At the hearing and as far as practicable, efforts should be made to prevent the Grievant and Respondent from personally questioning and cross-examining each other. Additionally, the Grievant and Respondent will be afforded similar rights (i.e., timely access to information that will be used at the hearing, opportunity to present his or her side of the story, presentation of character witnesses, review of party statements). If the superintendent is the person alleged to have committed the discriminatory act(s), then a different decisionmaker will be appointed to maintain impartiality. The Coordinator will schedule the hearing with the Grievant, the Respondent and the superintendent. The hearing will be conducted within ten (10) days after the Coordinator refers the matter to the superintendent for hearing.

The superintendent will review the information collected through the investigation and may ask for additional oral or written evidence from the parties and any other individual he or she deems relevant. The applicable Coordinator will make arrangements to audiotape any oral evidence presented. In circumstances involving allegations of sexual harassment, the Coordinator may determine that it is appropriate and reasonable to separate the individual who is allegedly being sexually harassed from the alleged harasser in the hearing.

Within five (5) days after completing the investigation, the superintendent will issue a written decision to the Grievant and Respondent.

If the Grievant or Respondent is not happy with the decision, he or she must notify the superintendent, in writing, within 5 days, and request an appeal to the board of education. The written appeal shall contain a specific statement explaining the basis of the appeal.

The superintendent will notify the board of education, in writing, within five (5) days after receiving the appeal. The clerk will place the appeal on a board agenda within thirty (30) days from the date of notification to the board of education.

The board will act as an appellate body by reviewing the decisions and the oral and written evidence presented below and making a decision. At the board meeting, the board may ask for oral or written evidence from the parties and any other individual it deems relevant. The clerk will make arrangements to audiotape any oral evidence presented. Within five (5) days of the meeting, the board will issue a final decision in writing to all parties involved. 

General Provisions

Duty of District Employees to Report Alleged Discrimination: District employees, supervisors and administrators are required to immediately report any complaints, reports, observations, or other alleged information of alleged discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, to the designated coordinator, even if that district employee is investigating the alleged discrimination as part of the district’s student or employee disciplinary process, and provide the Complainant with information for filing a complaint form if requested, and contact information for the district’s designated coordinator. If the district is using its disciplinary procedures to investigate and resolve an alleged discrimination complaint, those disciplinary procedures will comply with the district’s standards for a prompt and equitable grievance procedure.

Extension of Time:

Any time limits set by these procedures may be extended by mutual consent of the parties involved. The total number of days from the date the complaint is filed until the board of education issues a final decision shall be no more than one hundred twenty (120) days.

Access to Regulations:

Upon request, the Coordinator shall provide copies of any regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender expression or identity, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, or genetic information.

Confidentiality of Records:

Complaint records will remain confidential, to the extent allowed by law, unless permission is given by the parties involved to release such information. All complaint records will be kept separate from any other records of the technology center. No complaint record shall be entered in any personnel file unless adverse employment action is taken against an employee. Complaint records shall be maintained on file for three (3) years after complaint resolution.

Representation:

The Grievant and the Respondent may have a representative assist them through the grievance process and accompany them to any hearing.

Corrective Action:

After all facts and circumstances are reviewed, the district shall take any and all disciplinary actions to prevent further harassment or discrimination. Possible disciplinary or remedial actions include, but are not limited to: education, training and counseling, transfer, and/or suspension of a student, and education, training, counseling, transfer, suspension and/or termination of an employee.

Retaliation:

The technology center prohibits retaliation, intimidation, threats, or coercion of any person for opposing discrimination or for participating in the technology center’s discrimination complaint process or making a complaint, testifying, assisting, appealing, or participating in any other discrimination complaint proceeding or hearing. The technology center will take steps to prevent the alleged perpetrator or anyone else at the technology center from retaliating against the alleged victim or any person who acts to oppose discrimination or participates in the complaint process. These steps include notifying students and employees that they are protected from retaliation, making sure that victims know how to report future problems and making follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents. If retaliation occurs, the technology center will take strong responsive action.

Basis of Decision:

At each step in the grievance procedure, the decisionmaker will take or recommend the taking of appropriate measures based on the facts, as revealed by the investigation and hearing, taken as a whole, and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature, extent, context and gravity of the activities or incidents.

Section 504 Due Process Procedures:

For information concerning the impartial hearing and review procedures under Section 504, the Grievant should contact the technology center Section 504/Title II Coordinator:

     Moore Norman Technology Center

     Attention: Deputy Superintendent

     4701 12th Ave. NW, Norman, OK 73069

Notice:

The technology center will notify all students, parents or guardians, members of the public and employees of the name, office and telephone number of each Coordinator and this Grievance Procedure in writing via school publications and/or postings at each school site to which employees or students are assigned.

Outside Assistance:

Individuals may also file complaints alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation with the Office of Civil Rights. The OCR may be contacted at:

     U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

     One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320, Kansas City, MO 64106

     (816) 268-0550 / (816) 268-0599 (Fax) / (877) 521-2172 (TTY)

     E-mail: OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov

 

PDF Version

Adopted: December 18, 2014

Revised: January 21, 2016;

January 19, 2017

 

Printable PDF

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