School Policies that Relate to Employee Interactions with Students
Assembly Bill 500 (AB500), effective January 1, 2018, adds section 44050 of the California Education Code, which requires schools to provide the section on employee interactions with students in its code of conduct, to parents and guardians of enrolled students on the School’s website. Portions of the below School policies which are included in the School’s Employee Handbook, include language relating to interactions between students and employees.
Excerpt from the Parent Handbook:
Sexual Harassment Policy
Los Encinos School prohibits unlawful sexual harassment of or by any student, by anyone in or from the School. Conduct which constitutes sexual harassment of students impairs the ability of students to make full and effective use of the School’s instructional programs. Sexual harassment can cause embarrassment, feelings of powerlessness, reduced ability to perform schoolwork, and increased absenteeism and tardiness. California Education Code section 212.5 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or a condition of an individual’s employment, academic status, or progress.
2. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment, academic status, or progress.
3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
4. Submission to, or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the School.
Sexually harassing conduct can occur between students of the same or different gender, and same or different age. Students who engage in sexual harassment are subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and expulsion from the School.
Any student of Los Encinos School who believes that she or he has been the victim of sexual harassment is urged to bring the problem to the attention of the Head of School or Assistant Head of School so that appropriate action may be taken to resolve the problem. The School will investigate all reports of possible sexual harassment.
While such reports should ordinarily be brought to the attention of the Head of School or Assistant Head of School because they are responsible for maintaining a suitable learning environment, are trained to investigate misconduct, and are authorized to impose appropriate disciplinary action, the School recognizes that, due to the possibly embarrassing nature of sexual harassment conduct, individual students may instead choose to make a report to another trusted adult employee such as a counselor, nurse, or teacher. Los Encinos School employees who receive such reports are expected to take appropriate action to ensure that students are not subjected to sexual harassment.
Additionally, should the sexual harassment constitute child abuse, reporting shall be made in the manner provided in the Employee Handbook.
All Los Encinos School staff involved in the receipt of, or investigation of allegations of sexual harassment are to hold such information in appropriate confidence to the extent possible so as to ensure the privacy of the individuals concerned.
Discriminatory harassment is a particular form of personal disrespect that Los Encinos School DOES NOT TOLERATE among students, among employees, or between employees and students. Los Encinos School is committed to providing an educational environment free of discriminatory harassment. This policy defines discriminatory harassment.
Discriminatory harassment of a student includes harassment based on actual or perceived sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Discriminatory harassment violates this policy and will not be tolerated. It is also improper to retaliate against any individual for making a complaint of discriminatory harassment or for participating in a harassment investigation. Retaliation constitutes a violation of this policy.
Discriminatory harassment can consist of virtually any form or combination of verbal, physical, visual or environmental conduct. It need not be explicit or even specifically directed at the victim. Discriminatory harassing conduct can occur between students of the same or different protected classifications. Examples of the types of discriminatory harassment prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to, the following behavior:
a. Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments;
b. Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually-oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures;
c. Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of sex, race or any other protected basis;
d. Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition to avoid loss and/or offers of other benefits in return for sexual favors; and
e. Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
All of the above guidelines also apply to online and electronic communication.
Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.
Harassment can consist of virtually any form or combination of verbal, physical, visual, and/or environmental conduct. It need not be explicit or even specifically directed at the victim.
No student shall create a hostile or offensive environment for any other person by engaging in any discriminatory harassment or by tolerating it on the part of any student.
No student shall assist any individual in doing any act that constitutes discriminatory harassment against any student.
All students shall report any conduct, which fits the definition of discriminatory harassment, to the Head of School or Assistant Head of School or other appropriate authority figure.
All complaints or allegations of discrimination or harassment will be kept confidential during any informal and/or formal complaint procedures except when disclosure is necessary during the course of an investigation, in order to take subsequent remedial action and to conduct ongoing monitoring.
The school will investigate all reports of possible discriminatory harassment and/or retaliation. All students shall cooperate with any investigation authorized or conducted by Los Encinos School into any alleged act of discriminatory harassment.
Los Encinos School believes that all students have a right to a safe and healthy school environment. The School and community have an obligation to promote mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance.
The School will not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety of any student. A student shall not intimidate or harass another student through words or actions. Examples of the type of behavior prohibited by this policy include:
• direct physical contact, such as hitting or shoving;
• verbal assaults, such as teasing or name-calling;
• social isolation or manipulation.
Any student who engages in bullying may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
The School expects both students and staff to immediately report incidents of bullying to the Head of School or Assistant Head of School. Staff members are expected to immediately intervene when they see a bullying incident occur. Each complaint of bullying should be promptly investigated in a thorough and confidential (to the extent possible) manner. This policy applies to students on School grounds, while traveling to and from school or a school-sponsored activity, during the lunch period, and during a school-sponsored activity.
To ensure bullying does not occur on campus, the school will provide staff development training in bullying prevention and cultivate acceptance and understanding in all students and staff to build the School’s capacity to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment. Teachers should discuss this policy with their students in age-appropriate ways and should assure them that they need not endure any form of bullying.
If the complainant student or the parent of the student feels that appropriate resolution of the investigation or complaint has not been reached, the student or the parent of the student should contact the Head of School. The School prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process.