WHAT IS TITLE IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities, including athletic programs. No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
WHO IS THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR?
Title IX requires that each school district have a designated Title IX Coordinator.
Esparto Unified School District
Title IX Coordinator
Christelle Forzaglia, Human Resources/Admin Assistant
26675 Plainfield Street
Esparto, CA 95627
(530) 787 - 3446 ext. 105
HOW TO FILE A TITLE IX COMPLAINT
A student, employee, parent, guardian or any individual who is the alleged victim of sexual harassment may submit a report of sexual harassment to the District's Title IX Coordinator as listed above, a District administrator or any other available district employee, who shall forward the report to the Title IX Coordinator within one day of receiving the report.
Upon receiving such a report, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the complainant of the right to file a formal complaint and the process for filing a formal complaint.
A formal complaint, with the complainant's physical or digital signature, may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by email, or by any other method authorized by the district.
Even if the alleged victim chooses not to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall file a formal complaint in situations when a safety threat exists. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator may file a formal complaint in other situations as permitted under the Title IX regulations, including as part of the district's obligation to not be deliberately indifferent to known allegations of sexual harassment. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide the alleged victim notices as required by the Title IX regulations at specific points in the complaint process.
The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, decision-maker, or a facilitator of an informal resolution process shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent. Such persons shall receive training in accordance with 34 CFR 106.45.
Upon receipt of a report of Title IX sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures and shall consider the complainant's wishes with respect to the supportive measures implemented. Supportive measures shall be offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures shall be nondisciplinary, nonpunitive, and not unreasonably burden the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the district's educational environment or to deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, extensions of deadlines, modifications of work schedules, mutual restrictions on contact, changes in work locations, leaves of absence, increased security, and monitoring of certain areas of the campus.
The district shall maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the district's ability to provide the supportive measures.
If a district employee is the respondent, the employee may be placed on administrative leave during the pendency of the formal complaint process.
A student shall not be disciplined for alleged sexual harassment under Title IX until the investigation has been completed. However, on an emergency basis, the district may remove the student from the district's education program or activity, provided that the district conducts an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that removal is justified due to an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations, and provides the student with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. This authority to remove a student does not modify a student's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Dismissal of Complaint
The Title IX Coordinator shall dismiss a formal complaint if the alleged conduct would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in 34 CFR 106.30 even if proved. The Title IX Coordinator shall also dismiss any complaint in which the alleged conduct did not occur in the district's education program or activity or did not occur against a person in the United States, and may dismiss a formal complaint if the complainant notifies the district in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the complaint or any allegations in the complaint, the respondent is no longer employed by the district, or sufficient circumstances prevent the district from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination with regard to the complaint.
Upon dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the reasons for the dismissal simultaneously to the parties, and shall inform them of their right to appeal the dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegation in the complaint in accordance with the appeal procedures described in the section "Appeals" below.
If a complaint is dismissed, the conduct may still be addressed pursuant to AR 4030 - Nondiscrimination in Employment as applicable.
Informal Resolution Process
When a formal complaint of sexual harassment is filed, the district may offer an informal resolution process, such as mediation, at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The district shall not require a party to participate in the informal resolution process or to waive the right to an investigation and adjudication of a formal complaint.
Informal processes cannot be used when the allegation is that a district employee sexually harassed a student.
Formal Complaint Process
If a formal complaint is filed, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide the known parties with written notice of the following:
The district's complaint process, including any informal resolution process
The allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment with sufficient details known at the time, including the identity of parties involved in the incident if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident if known. Such notice shall be provided with sufficient time for the parties to prepare a response before any initial interview. If, during the course of the investigation, new Title IX allegations arise about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial notice, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties.
A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the complaint process.
The opportunity for the parties to have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and the ability to inspect and review evidence.
The prohibition against knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the complaint process
The above notice shall also include the name of the investigator, facilitator of an informal process, and decision-maker and shall inform the parties that, if at any time a party has concerns regarding conflict of interest or bias regarding any of these persons, the party should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator.
During the investigation process, the district's designated investigator shall:
Questions and evidence about the complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant's prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Privacy rights of all parties to the complaint shall be maintained in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
If the complaint is against an employee, rights conferred under an applicable collective bargaining agreement shall be applied to the extent they do not conflict with the Title IX requirements.
The Superintendent shall designate an employee as the decision-maker to determine responsibility for the alleged conduct, who shall not be the Title IX Coordinator or a person involved in the investigation of the matter. (34 CFR 106.45)
After the investigative report has been sent to the parties but before reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the decision-maker shall afford each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that the party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party
The decision-maker shall issue, and simultaneously provide to both parties, a written decision as to whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged conduct. (34 CFR 106.45)
The written decision shall be issued within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint.
The timeline may be temporarily extended for good cause with written notice to the complainant and respondent of the extension and the reasons for the action. (34 CFR 106.45)
In making this determination, the decision-maker shall use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for all formal complaints of sexual harassment. (34 CFR 106.45)
The written decision shall include the following: (34 CFR 106.45)
Either party may appeal the district's decision or dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegation in the complaint, if the party believes that a procedural irregularity affected the outcome, new evidence is available that could affect the outcome, or a conflict of interest or bias by the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) affected the outcome. If an appeal is filed, the district shall: (34 CFR 106.45)
A written decision shall be provided to the parties within 20 calendar days from the receipt of the appeal.
Either party has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights within 180 days of the date of the most recently alleged misconduct.
The complainant shall be advised of any civil law remedies, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining orders, or other remedies or orders that may be available under state or federal antidiscrimination laws, if applicable.