Race, Color, National Origin, Harrassment, Intimidation, or Discrimination
  

Harrass­ment or intimidation based on race, color, or national origin is oral, written, graphic or physical conduct relating to a student’s race, color, or national origin (including a student’s ancestry, country of origin, or country of origin of the student’s parents, fam­ily members, or ancestors) that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district’s programs or activities. Harassment or intimidation of students because they are immigrants, speak another language, or have a foreign accent may constitute dis­crimination based on national origin or race or both, depending on the circumstances. A race, color, or national origin basis for acts of harassment or intimidation may be evident from the explicit statements of the perpetrator or may be inferred from the surrounding circumstances.

For purposes of this policy, harassment or intimidation of a student based on the stu­dent’s race, color, and/or national origin consists of verbal or physical conduct relating to the student’s race, color, and/or national origin when: the harassing/intimidating conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating or abusive educational environ­ment; the harassing/intimidating conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance; or the harassing/intimidating conduct otherwise adversely affects a student’s learning opportunities.

Discrimination based on race, color, or national origin is prohibited: No school employee or third person assisting or otherwise participating in a school-sponsored activity shall discriminate against a student based solely upon the race, color, and/or national origin of the student. Reporting incidents of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination based on race, color, and/or national origin: It is the responsibility of all school personnel to report incidents of harassment/intimidation or discrimination that may be based on the race, color, and/or the national origin of a student. The report shall initially be made to the school-based coordinator who shall promptly advise the principal of the alleged incident. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action against the offend­ing school employee. Whenever an incident of harassment, intimidation, or discrimi­nation based on race, color, and/or national origin is observed by a school employee, a written report shall promptly be prepared by the school-based coordinator listing the persons involved, their race, the nature of the incident and the approximate time and location of the alleged incident. The report shall be promptly delivered to the principal who, in turn, shall promptly submit the report to the district-wide coordinator for review and investigation with such assistance as the district-wide coordinator may request from the school-based coordinator.

Where the report of harassment, intimidation or discrimination is reported by a victim student, the school employee receiving the report shall promptly usher the student to the school-based coordinator where the incident can be related by the student to the school-based coordinator. The school-based coordinator shall prepare a written report based upon the allegations as related by the student which shall contain in addition to the alleged incident, the name and race of the student victim, the name and race of the student or other person named by the student as the perpetrator or a description of such person, and the approximate time and place of the incident. The report shall be promptly delivered to the principal who in turn shall submit the report to the district-wide coordinator for review and investigation.

A copy of a report of an incident of harassment/intimidation based on race, color, and/or national origin of a student shall be provided to the parents/legal guardian of the student victim and the student perpetrator by return receipt mail. The district-wide coordinator shall schedule and conduct a meeting with the student victim and student perpetrator’s parents/legal guardian together or one-on-one at the discretion of the district-wide coordinator.

Where an incident of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination based on race, color, and/or national origin of a student is allegedly perpetrated by a school employee, the alleged incident shall be immediately reported to the school-based coordinator, the principal, the district-wide coordinator, and the superintendent of schools.

Failure to immediately report the alleged incident shall subject the omitting party to disciplinary action. If following an investigation of the alleged incident it is determined that the incident occurred, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken by the Superintendent and/or the School Board. Where an incident of harassment, intimidation or discrimination based on race, color, and/or national origin of a student is allegedly perpetrated by a non-school employee, the alleged incident shall be immediately reported to the school-based coordinator, the principal, and district-wide coordinator. Failure to immediately report the alleged incident shall subject the omitting party to disciplinary action. If following an investi­gation of the alleged incident it is determined that the incident occurred, such non-school employee shall thereafter be barred from attendance and/or participation in any school sponsored activity for a period of six months. Each principal shall designate a faculty member to serve as the school’s school-based coordinator and the name of such person shall be provided to the district-wide coor­dinator.

Disciplinary action in response to harassment, intimidation or discrimination based on race, color, and/or national origin: An appropriate discipline, minimally comprised of a written reprimand and at the maximum suspension or termination of employment, commensurate with the incident or failure to report, shall be imposed upon any school employee who violates this policy or who fails to report an incident witnessed by such employee, or where the employee fails to take an appropriate ac­tion to make or ensure that the incident of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination based on the race, color, and/or national origin of the student is reported.

Students found to have harassed or intimidated a fellow student based upon such student’s race, color, and/or national origin shall receive an appropriate discipline taking into consideration the student’s age and maturity level. Such discipline may include a warning, suspension, or expulsion of the offending student. Where an of­fending student engages in repeated acts of harassment or intimidation based upon another student’s race, color, and/or national origin, the discipline administered shall reflect the fact of the repeated behavior and shall minimally require the suspension or expulsion of the offending student.

Immediate disciplinary action may be taken for incidents involving physical attacks against a person and/or damage or destruc­tion of property where the value of the damaged or destroyed property is fifty ($50.00) dollars or more.

Reprisal: The School District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or other school employee who retaliates against any person who reports an alleged incident of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination based on the race, color, and/or national origin of a student or one who testifies, as­sists, or participates in an investigation or other action related to such harassment, intimidation, or discrimination report.
 
 DESIGNATION AND DUTIES OF THE DISTRICT-WIDE COORDINATOR: Mr. Lawrence Thompson, the Acting Chief Desegrega­tion Implementation Officer, is designated as the district-wide coordinator. His duties include the following:
  • Informing the Superintendent and School Board members of complaints and re­ports of harassment based on race, color, or national origin;
  • Investigating such complaints and/or advising and assisting other school personnel in handling such complaints and reports of harassment based on race, color, or national origin;
  • Preparation of a report making findings based upon an investigation of an incident of harassment or intimidation based on the race, color, or national origin of a student;
  • Mailing by return receipt mail of a report containing a finding of harassment or intimidation based on the race, color, or national origin of a student to the family of the student victim and the student perpetrator;
  • Maintenance and review of documentation of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination incidents;
  • Review of the effectiveness of the School District’s efforts to correct and prevent harassment, intimidation, or discrimination based on race, color, or national origin;
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of training for school-based coordinators, staff, administrators, and students and proposing improvements to such training where necessary;
  • Publication of this policy in the Student Handbook;
  • Review of the school district’s curriculum to assure that it provides instruction to students as to how to prevent instances of harassment/ intimidation based on race, color, or national origin;
  • Review on an annual basis to determine whether a systemic response or change in the district-wide or individual school, policies are required to effectively respond to complaints of harassment based on race, color, or national origin.

 REVIEW OF A FINDING OF HARASSMENT OR INTIMIDATION PERPETRATED BY A STUDENT:

Upon a finding by the district-wide coordinator, made after an investigation, of an incident of alleged harassment/intimidation by a student, the student’s parent, legal guardian, or the student where emancipated may petition the School Board for a hearing to review the finding of the district-wide coordinator prior to the imposition of discipline. A request for review must be physically received by the district-wide coordinator within fifteen (15) days of the date the finding is received by the parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student. If the fifteenth day falls on a weekend or school holiday, the request for review shall be deemed timely submitted if physically received by the district-wide coordinator on the next school day. By at least a majority vote of the members of the School Board present and voting the findings of the district-wide coordinator shall either be upheld or set aside.

REVIEW OF A FINDING OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR DISCRIMINATION BY A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE: Upon a finding by the district-wide coordinator, made after an investigation, of an incident of alleged harassment, intimidation, or discrimination allegedly committed by a school employee, such finding shall be reviewed by the superintendent of schools who, upon concurrence with such finding shall recommend an appropriate disciplinary action to the school board for consideration. By at least a majority vote of the members of the school board present and voting the recommendation of the superintendent shall either be adopted or rejected. Should the superintendent of schools determine that the findings of the district-wide coordinator are not based upon a sufficiently credible factual basis, he/she shall so advise the district-wide coordinator in writing and provide a copy thereof to the court compliance officer. A request for review must be submitted in writing within fifteen school days of receipt of notification from the Superintendent of his/her concurrence with the findings of the district-wide coordinator. Notification of concurrence shall be made by return receipt mail. Review of a finding of harassment/intimidation or discrimination by a non-school employee: A non-school employee seeking review of a finding by the district-wide coordinator of an incident of harassment/intimidation or discrimination may request review by the School Board by submitting a written request for review within fifteen (15) days of receipt of notification from the district-wide coordinator of a finding of an incident of harassment/intimidation or discrimination. Notification shall be made by return receipt mail. By at least a majority vote of the members present and voting the finding by the district-wide coordinator shall either be upheld or set aside.

REVIEW IN EXECUTIVE SESSION: A parent, emancipated minor, school employee, or non-school employee may request that the review provided for herein be conducted in an executive session. School Board action on the review shall be made in open session. Failure to timely request review: Upon a failure to timely request review of a recommendation by the Superintendent or a finding by the district-wide coordinator, the disciplinary action recommendation of the superintendent of schools or the district-wide coordinator, as the case may be, shall be immediately implemented upon expiration of the delay for review. (New policy: July 2010) Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ‘’17:183, 17:416, 17:416.13; Joyce Marie Moore, et al. v. Tangipahoa Parish School Board, CA No. 65-15556, USDC E.D. La.

Parents who suspect that their child may have been discriminated against based upon the race of the child in connection with participation in an extracurricular activity or by removal from participation in an extracurricular activity must submit a written complaint to Mr. Lawrence Thompson, Acting Chief Desegregation Implementation Officer, 1745 SW Railroad Avenue, Hammond, LA 70403.

 
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