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Tittle IX

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal assistance. The Title IX regulation describes the conduct that violates Title IX. Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under title IX include sexual harassment, the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, and discrimination based on pregnancy. To enforce Title IX, the US Department of Education maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with headquarters in Washington, DC and 23 offices across the United States. Source: US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2015). Title IX and Sex Discrimination

 

In accordance to California Education Code 221.6, public schools that receive funds and are subject to the requirements of Title IX, shall post in a prominent and conspicuous location on their Internet Web sites all of the following:

  1. The name and contact information of the Title IX Coordinator
    1. Brian Zimmerman, Director of Pupil Personnel Services
      1. 708 South Miller   Santa Maria, CA 93454
      2. 805-361-8141
      3. bzimmerman@smbsd.net
        Form for reporting
  2. The rights of a pupil and the public and the responsibilities of the school district under Title IX, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, Internet Web links to information about those rights and responsibilities located on the Internet Web sites of the department’s Office for Equal Opportunity and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, and the list of rights specified in Section 221.8.
    1. US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
    2.  Office of US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    3.  California Department of Education Office of Equal
    4. Opportunity Section 221.8 Rights: The following list of rights, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), may be used by the department for purposes of Section 221.6: (a) You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex. (b) You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics. (c) You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school. (d) You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships. (e) You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following: (1) Equipment and supplies. (2) Scheduling of games and practices. (3) Transportation and daily allowances. (4) Access to tutoring. (5) Coaching. (6) Locker rooms. (7) Practice and competitive facilities. (8) Medical and training facilities and services. (9) Publicity. (f) You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws. (g) You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws. (h) You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex. (i) You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against. (j) You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.

An overview of the Uniform Complaint Procedures may be found in the Santa Maria-Bonita Board Policies, BP 1312.3 – Community Relations: Uniform Complaint Procedures. A description of how to file a complaint under Title IX, may be found under AR 1312.2 – Community Relations: Uniform Complaint Procedures. A blank copy of the Reporting Form can be here.

Explanation of statute of limitations within which a complaint must be filed after an alleged incident of discrimination has occurred, and how a complaint must be filed beyond the statute of limitations can be found here:

The complaint shall be presented to the compliance officer who shall maintain a log of complaints received, providing each with a code number and a date stamp. If a site administrator not designated as a compliance officer receives a complaint, the site administrator shall notify the compliance officer.

All complaints shall be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. If a complainant is unable to put a complaint in writing due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, district staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint. (5 CCR 4600)

Complaints shall also be filed in accordance with the following rules, as applicable:

1. A complaint alleging district violation of applicable state or federal law or regulations governing the programs specified in the accompanying Board policy may be filed by any individual, public agency, or organization.  (5 CCR 4600)

2. Any complaint alleging noncompliance with law regarding the prohibition against student fees, deposits, and charges or any requirement related to the LCAP may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support an allegation of noncompliance. A complaint about a violation of the prohibition against the charging of unlawful student fees may be filed with the principal of the school or with the Superintendent or designee.

3. A UCP complaint, except for a UCP complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, shall be filed no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred. For complaints related to the LCAP, the date of the alleged violation is the date when the County Superintendent of Schools approves the LCAP that was adopted by the Governing Board.  (5 CCR 4630)

4. A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed only by a person who alleges having personally suffered unlawful discrimination, a person who believes that any specific class of individuals has been subjected to unlawful discrimination, or a duly authorized representative who alleges that an individual student has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  (5 CCR 4630)

5. A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be initiated no later than six months from the date that the alleged unlawful discrimination occurred, or six months from the date that the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension.  (5 CCR 4630)

6. When a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying is filed anonymously, the compliance officer shall pursue an investigation or other response as appropriate, depending on the specificity and reliability of the information provided and the seriousness of the allegation.

7. When a complainant of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or the alleged victim, when not the complainant, requests confidentiality, the compliance officer shall inform the complainant or victim that the request may limit the district's ability to investigate the conduct or take other necessary action. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the district shall nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and resolve/respond to the complaint consistent with the request.

Mediation

Within three business days after receiving the complaint, the compliance officer may informally discuss with all the parties the possibility of using mediation to resolve the complaint. Mediation shall be offered to resolve complaints that involve more than one student and no adult.  However, mediation shall not be offered or used to resolve any complaint involving an allegation of sexual assault or where there is a reasonable risk that a party to the mediation would feel compelled to participate. If the parties agree to mediation, the compliance officer shall make all arrangements for this process. 

Before initiating the mediation of a complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the compliance officer shall ensure that all parties agree to permit the mediator access to all relevant confidential information. The compliance officer shall also notify all parties of the right to end the informal process at any time.

If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the compliance officer shall proceed with an investigation of the complaint.

The use of mediation shall not extend the district's timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time. If mediation is successful and the complaint is withdrawn, then the district shall take only the actions agreed upon through the mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, the district shall then continue with subsequent steps specified in this administrative regulation.

Investigation of Complaint

Within 10 business days after the compliance officer receives the complaint, the compliance officer shall begin an investigation into the complaint..

Within 5 business days of initiating the investigation, the compliance officer shall provide the complainant and/or his/her representative with the opportunity to present the information contained in the complaint to the compliance officer and shall notify the complainant and/or his/her representative of the opportunity to present the compliance officer with any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. Such evidence or information may be presented at any time during the investigation.

In conducting the investigation, the compliance officer shall collect all available documents and review all available records, notes, or statements related to the complaint, including any additional evidence or information received from the parties during the course of the investigation. He/she shall individually interview all available witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint, and may visit any reasonably accessible location where the relevant actions are alleged to have taken place. At appropriate intervals, the compliance officer shall inform both parties of the status of the investigation.

To investigate a complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the compliance officer shall interview the alleged victim(s), any alleged offenders, and other relevant witnesses privately, separately, and in a confidential manner. As necessary, additional staff or legal counsel may conduct or support the investigation.

A complainant's refusal to provide the district's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. Refusal by the district to provide the investigator with access to records and/or information related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or any other obstruction of the investigation may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant (5 CCR 4631)

Timeline for Investigation Report

Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, a final decision shall be sent to the complainant within 60 calendar days of the district's receipt of the complaint.

Within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall prepare and send to the complainant a written report, as described in the section "Investigation Report" below. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the compliance officer's decision, he/she may, within five business days, file his/her complaint in writing with the Board.

The Board may consider the matter at its next regular Board meeting or at a special Board meeting convened in order to meet the 60-day time limit within which the complaint must be answered. When required by law, the matter shall be considered in closed session. The Board may decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the compliance officer's decision shall be final.

If the Board hears the complaint, the compliance officer shall send the Board's decision to the complainant within 60 calendar days of the district's initial receipt of the complaint or within the time period that has been specified in a written agreement with the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

For any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, the respondent shall be informed of any extension of the timeline agreed to by the complainant, and, in the same manner as the complainant, may file a complaint with the Board if dissatisfied with the decision.

Investigation Report

For all complaints, the decision shall include: (5 CCR 4631)

1. The findings of fact based on the evidence gathered
 

2. A conclusion providing a clear determination for each allegation as to whether the district is in compliance with the relevant law
 

3. Corrective action(s) whenever the district finds merit in the complaint, including, when required by law, a remedy to all affected students and parents/guardians and, for a student fees complaint, a remedy that complies with Education Code 49013 and 5 CCR 4600
 

4. Notice of the complainant's right to appeal the district's investigation report to CDE, except when the district has used the UCP to address a complaint not specified in 5 CCR 4610
 

5. Procedures to be followed for initiating an appeal to CDE

The investigation report may also include follow-up procedures to prevent recurrence or retaliation and for reporting any subsequent problems. 

In consultation with district legal counsel, information about the relevant part of an investigation report may be communicated to a victim who is not the complainant and to other parties who may be involved in implementing the investigation report or are affected by the complaint, as long as the privacy of the parties is protected.  In a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, notice of the investigation report to the alleged victim shall include information about any sanction to be imposed upon the respondent that relates directly to the alleged victim. 

If the complaint involves a limited-English-proficient (LEP) student or parent/guardian, then the district's response, if requested by the complainant, and the investigation report shall be written in English and the primary language in which the complaint was filed.

For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on state law, the investigation report shall also include a notice to the complainant that:

1. The complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of the district's complaint procedures, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining orders or other remedies or orders, 60 calendar days after the filing of an appeal with CDE.  (Education Code 262.3)
 

2. The 60 days moratorium does not apply to complaints seeking injunctive relief in state courts or to discrimination complaints based on federal law.  (Education Code 262.3)
 

3. Complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, gender, disability, or age may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights at www.ed.gov/ocr within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.

Corrective Actions

When a complaint is found to have merit, the compliance officer shall adopt any appropriate corrective action permitted by law. Appropriate corrective actions that focus on the larger school or district environment may include, but are not limited to, actions to reinforce district policies; training for faculty, staff, and students; updates to school policies; or school climate surveys.

For complaints involving retaliation or unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, appropriate remedies that may be offered to the victim but not communicated to the respondent may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Counseling

2. Academic support

3. Health services

4. Assignment of an escort to allow the victim to move safely about campus

5. Information regarding available resources and how to report similar incidents or retaliation

6. Separation of the victim from any other individuals involved, provided the separation does not penalize the victim

7. Restorative justice

8. Follow-up inquiries to ensure that the conduct has stopped and there has been no retaliation

For complaints of retaliation or unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying involving a student as the respondent, appropriate corrective actions that may be provided to the student include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Transfer from a class or school as permitted by law

2. Parent/guardian conference

3. Education regarding the impact of the conduct on others

4. Positive behavior support

5. Referral to a student success team

6. Denial of participation in extracurricular or co-curricular activities or other privileges as permitted by law

7. Disciplinary action, such as suspension or expulsion, as permitted by law

When an employee is found to have committed retaliation or unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the district shall take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with applicable law and collective bargaining agreement.

The district may also consider training and other interventions for the larger school community to ensure that students, staff, and parents/guardians understand the types of behavior that constitute unlawful discrimination discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, that the district does not tolerate it, and how to report and respond to it.

When a complaint is found to have merit, an appropriate remedy shall be provided to the complainant or other affected person.

However, if a complaint alleging noncompliance with the law regarding student fees, deposits, and other charges, physical education instructional minutes, courses without educational content, or any requirement related to the LCAP is found to have merit, the district shall provide a remedy to all affected students and parents/guardians subject to procedures established by regulation of the State Board of Education.  (Education Code 49013, 51222, 51223, 51228.3, 52075)

For complaints alleging noncompliance with the laws regarding student fees, the district shall attempt in good faith, by engaging in reasonable efforts, to identify and fully reimburse all affected students and parents/guardians who paid the unlawful student fees within one year prior to the filing of the complaint. (Education Code 49013; 5 CCR 4600)

Appeals to the California Department of Education

Any complainant who is dissatisfied with the district's investigation report on a complaint regarding any specified federal or state educational program subject to UCP may file an appeal in writing with CDE within 30 calendar days of receiving the district's investigation report.  (5 CCR 4632)

The appeal shall be sent to CDE with a copy of the original locally filed complaint and a copy of the district's investigation report for that complaint. The complainant shall specify and explain the basis for the appeal, including at least one of the following:  (5 CCR 4632)

1. 
The district failed to follow its complaint procedures.
 
2. 
Relative to the allegations of the complaint, the district's investigation report lacks material findings of fact necessary to reach a conclusion of law.

3. The material findings of fact in the district's investigation report are not supported by substantial evidence.

4. The legal conclusion in the district's investigation report is inconsistent with the law.

5. In a case in which the district found noncompliance, the corrective actions fail to provide a proper remedy.

Upon notification by CDE that the district's investigation report has been appealed, the Superintendent or designee shall forward the following documents to CDE within 10 days of the date of notification:  (5 CCR 4633)

1. 
A copy of the original complaint
 
2. 
A copy of the district's investigation report
 
3. 
A copy of the investigation file including, but not limited to, all notes, interviews, and documents submitted by the parties and gathered by the investigator
 
4. 
A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint
 
5. 
A copy of the district's UCP
 
6. 
Other relevant information requested by CDE

If notified by CDE that the district's investigation report failed to address allegation(s) raised by the complaint, the district shall, within 20 days of the notification, provide CDE and the appellant with an amended investigation report that addresses the allegation(s) that were not addressed in the original investigation report. The amended report shall also inform the appellant of the right to separately appeal the amended report with respect to the allegation(s) that were not addressed in the original report.  (5 CCR 4632)

Health and Safety Complaints in License-Exempt Preschool Programs

Any complaint regarding health or safety issues in a license-exempt California State Preschool Program (CSPP) shall be addressed through the procedures described in 5 CCR 4690-4694.

In order to identify appropriate subjects of CSPP health and safety issues pursuant to Health and Safety Code 1596.7925, a notice shall be posted in each license-exempt CSPP classroom in the district notifying parents/guardians, students, and teachers of the health and safety requirements of Title 5 regulations that apply to CSPP programs pursuant to Health and Safety Code 1596.7925 and the location at which to obtain a form to file any complaint alleging noncompliance with those requirements.  For this purpose, the Superintendent or designee may download and post a notice available from the CDE web site.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4691)

The district's annual UCP notification distributed pursuant to 5 CCR 4622 shall clearly indicate which of its CSPP programs are operating as exempt from licensing and which CSPP programs are operating pursuant to requirements under Title 22 of the Code of Regulations.  (5 CCR 4691)

Any complaint regarding specified health or safety issues in a license-exempt CSPP program shall be filed with the preschool program administrator or designee, and may be filed anonymously.
The complaint form shall specify the location for filing the complaint, contain a space to indicate whether the complainant desires a response to the complaint, and allow a complainant to add as much text as desired to explain the complaint.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4690)


If it is determined that the complaint is beyond the authority of the preschool program administrator, the matter shall be forwarded to the Superintendent or designee in a timely manner, not to exceed 10 working days, for resolution. The preschool administrator or the Superintendent or designee shall make all reasonable efforts to investigate any complaint within their authority.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4692)

Investigation of a complaint regarding health or safety issues in a license-exempt CSPP program shall begin within 10 days of receipt of the complaint.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4692)

The preschool administrator or designee shall remedy a valid complaint within a reasonable time period not to exceed 30 working days from the date the complaint was received.  If the complainant has indicated on the complaint form a desire to receive a response to the complaint, the preschool administrator or Superintendent's designee shall, within 45 working days of the initial filing of the complaint, report the resolution of the complaint to the complainant and CDE's assigned field consultant. If the preschool administrator makes this report, the information shall be reported at the same time to the Superintendent or designee.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4692)

If a complaint regarding health or safety issues in a license-exempt CSPP program involves an LEP student or parent/guardian, then the district's response, if requested by the complainant, and the investigation report shall be written in English and the primary language in which the complaint was filed.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the resolution of a complaint, the complainant has the right to describe the complaint to the Board at a regularly scheduled hearing and, within 30 days of the date of the written report, may file a written appeal of the district's decision to the Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with 5 CCR 4632.  (Education Code 8212; 5 CCR 4693, 4694)

All complaints and responses are public records.  (5 CCR 4690)

On a quarterly basis, the Superintendent or designee shall report summarized data on the nature and resolution of all CSPP health and safety complaints, including the number of complaints by general subject area with the number of resolved and unresolved complaints, to the Board at a regularly scheduled Board meeting and to the County Superintendent.  (5 CCR 4693)