What are SWIHA’s responsibilities to address sexual harassment and sexual violence?
- SWIHA has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively. If we know or reasonably should know about sexual harassment or sexual violence that creates a hostile environment, we must take immediate action to eliminate the sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
- Even if a student or his or her parent does not want to file a complaint or does not request that we take any action on the student’s behalf, if we know or reasonably should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence, we must promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.
- A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence does not relieve us of our duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.
- Title IX requires SWIHA Has and Distributes a Policy Against Sex Discrimination
- Title IX requires that SWIHA publishes a policy that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities. This notice must be widely distributed and available on an on-going basis.
- The policy must state that inquiries concerning Title IX may be referred to the our Title IX coordinator or to OCR.
- SWIHA Must Have a Title IX Coordinator
- Every school must designate at least one employee who is responsible for coordinating the school’s compliance with Title IX. This person is sometimes referred to as the Title IX coordinator. Schools must notify all students and employees of the name or title and contact information of the Title IX coordinator.
- The coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing all complaints of sex discrimination and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.
SWIHA Must Have and Make Known Procedures for Students to File Complaints of Sex Discrimination.
- Title IX requires SWIHA to adopt and publish grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence. SWIHA can use general disciplinary procedures to address complaints of sex discrimination. But all procedures must provide for prompt and equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints.
- Every complainant has the right to present his or her case. This includes the right to adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, the right to have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence, and the right to the same appeal processes, for both parties.
- Every complainant has the right to be notified of the time frame within which: (a) SWIHA will conduct a full investigation of the complaint; (b) the parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint; and (c) the parties may file an appeal, if applicable.
- Every complainant has the right for the complaint to be decided using a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred).
- Every complainant has the right to be notified, in writing, of the outcome of the complaint. Even though federal privacy laws limit disclosure of certain information in disciplinary proceedings:
- SWIHA must disclose to the complainant information about the sanction imposed on the perpetrator when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student. This includes an order that the harasser stay away from the harassed student, or that the harasser is prohibited from attending SWIHA for a period of time, or transferred to other classes or another residence hall.
- Additionally, the Clery Act (20 U.S.C. §1092(f)), which only applies to postsecondary institutions, requires that both parties be informed of the outcome, including sanction information, of any institutional proceeding alleging a sex offense. Therefore, SWIHA may not require a complainant to abide by a non-disclosure agreement, in writing or otherwise.
- The grievance procedures may include voluntary informal methods (e.g., mediation) for resolving some types of sexual harassment complaints. However, the complainant must be notified of the right to end the informal process at any time and begin the formal stage of the complaint process. In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, mediation is not appropriate. If you want to learn more about your rights, or if you believe that a school district, college, or university is violating Federal law, you may contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (800) 421-3481 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to fill out a complaint form online, you may do so at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.
What procedures must we have in place to prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence and resolve complaints?