Policy 3420 – Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District
The District is committed to creating and maintaining an environment which is free from discrimination and harassment. This policy addresses complaints of discrimination and/or harassment made under applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as any applicable District policy, regulation, procedure, or other document such as the District’s Code of Conduct.
In accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, the District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, age, or marital state, in its education programs and activities or when making employment decisions, and prohibits discrimination and harassment on school property and at school functions on the basis of any legally protected class.
The District will promptly respond to reports of discrimination and/or harassment, ensure that all investigations are conducted within a reasonably prompt time frame and under a predictable fair grievance process that provides due process protections, and impose disciplinary measures and implement remedies when warranted.
Inquiries about this policy may be directed to the District’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer(s) (CRCO(s)).
Scope and Application
This policy outlines the District’s general approach to addressing complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. This policy applies to the dealings between or among the following parties on school property and at school functions:
- Applicants for employment;
- Paid or unpaid interns;
- Anyone who is (or is employed by) a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant, or other person providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace;
- Volunteers; and
- Visitors or other third parties.
Further, discrimination and/or harassment that occurs off school property and somewhere other than a school function can disrupt the District’s educational and work environment. This conduct can occur in-person or through phone calls, texts, emails, or social media. Accordingly, conduct or incidents of discrimination and/or harassment that create or foreseeably create a disruption within the District may be subject to this policy in certain circumstances.
Other District policies and documents such as regulations, procedures, collective bargaining agreements, and the District’s Code of Conduct may address misconduct related to discrimination and/or harassment and may provide for additional, different, or more specific grievance procedures depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, who is involved, where the alleged discrimination and/or harassment occurred, and the basis of the alleged discrimination and/or harassment. These documents must be read in conjunction with this policy.
The dismissal of a complaint under one policy or document does not preclude action under another related District policy or document.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- “School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, or land contained within the real property boundary line of any District elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus or District vehicle.
- “School function” means a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where the event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place virtually or in another state.
What Constitutes Discrimination and Harassment
Determinations as to whether conduct or an incident constitutes discrimination and/or harassment will be made consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as any applicable District policy, regulation, procedure, or other document such as the District’s Code of Conduct. These determinations may depend upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the particular conduct or incident at issue; the ages of the parties involved; the context in which the conduct or incident took place; the relationship of the parties to one another; the relationship of the parties to the District; and the protected class or characteristic that is alleged to have been the basis for the conduct or incident. The examples below are intended to serve as a general guide for individuals in determining what may constitute discrimination and/or harassment. These examples should not be construed to add or limit the rights that individuals and entities possess as a matter of law.
Generally stated, discrimination consists of the differential treatment of a person or group of people on the basis of their membership in a legally protected class. Discriminatory actions may include, but are not limited to: refusing to promote or hire an individual on the basis of his or her membership in a protected class; denying an individual access to facilities or educational benefits on the basis of his or her membership in a protected class; or impermissibly instituting policies or practices that disproportionately and adversely impact members of a protected class.
Generally stated, harassment consists of subjecting an individual, on the basis of his or her membership in a legally protected class, to unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct which may include, but is not limited to: derogatory remarks, signs, jokes, or pranks; demeaning comments or behavior; slurs; mimicking; name calling; graffiti; innuendo; gestures; physical contact; stalking; threatening; bullying; extorting; or the display or circulation of written materials or pictures.
This conduct may, among other things, have the purpose or effect of: subjecting the individual to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment; creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or a student’s educational performance, opportunities, benefits, or well-being; or otherwise adversely affecting an individual’s employment or educational opportunities. Petty slights or trivial inconveniences generally do not constitute harassing conduct.
Civil Rights Compliance Officer
The Board of Education adopts a resolution annually at its July organizational meeting designating two District employees to serve as CRCOs. Names and contact information for the District’s CRCOs, including telephone numbers and email addresses, are posted to the district website:
The CRCO(s) will coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with its responsibilities under applicable non-discrimination and anti-harassment laws and regulations including, but not limited to: the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.
Where appropriate, the CRCO(s) may seek the assistance of other District employees, or a designee, to investigate, respond to, or remedy complaints of discrimination and/or harassment.
Reporting Allegations of Discrimination and/or Harassment
Any person may report discrimination and/or harassment regardless of whether they are the alleged victim or not. Reports may be made in person, by using the contact information for the CRCO, or by any other means that results in the CRCO receiving the person’s oral or written report. This report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the office address, listed for the CRCO.
Reports of discrimination and/or harassment may also be made to any other District employee including a supervisor or building principal. All reports of discrimination and/or harassment will be immediately forwarded to the CRCO. Reports may also be forwarded to other District employees depending on the allegations.
All District employees who witness or receive an oral or written report of discrimination and/or harassment must immediately inform the CRCO. Failure to immediately inform the CRCO may subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination.
In addition to complying with this policy, District employees must comply with any other applicable District policy, regulation, procedure, collective bargaining agreement, or other document such as the District’s Code of Conduct. Applicable documents include, but are not limited to, the District’s policies, regulations, and procedures related to Title IX, sexual harassment in the workplace, and the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
If the CRCO is unavailable, including due to a conflict of interest or other disqualifying reason, the report will be directed to another CRCO, if the District has designated another individual to serve in that capacity. If the District has not designated another CRCO, the Superintendent will ensure that another person with the appropriate training and qualifications is appointed to act as the CRCO. This does not preclude the District from having the CRCO or the Board on his/her behalf, designate an independent party to investigate such matters.
Grievance Process for Complaints of Discrimination and/or Harassment
The District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether oral or written, of discrimination and/or harassment based on any legally protected class and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further discrimination and/or harassment. The CRCO will oversee the District’s investigation of all complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. In the event an anonymous complaint is filed, the District will respond to the extent possible.
If an investigation reveals that discrimination and/or harassment based on a legally protected class has occurred, the District will take immediate corrective action as warranted. This action will be taken in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as any applicable District policy, regulation, procedure, collective bargaining agreement, third-party contract, or other document such as the District’s Code of Conduct.
Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Any employee or student who knowingly makes false accusations against another individual as to allegations of discrimination and/or harassment will face appropriate disciplinary action.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The District prohibits retaliation against any individual because the individual made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment.
Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the CRCO, or the Superintendent of Schools.
Where appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that the discrimination and/or harassment has not resumed and that those involved in the investigation have not suffered retaliation.
To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated as confidential. Disclosure may be necessary in certain circumstances such as to complete a thorough investigation and/or notify law enforcement officials. All disclosures will be in accordance with law and regulation.
In order to promote familiarity with issues pertaining to discrimination and harassment in the District, and to help reduce incidents of prohibited conduct, the District will provide appropriate information and/or training to employees and students. Special training may be provided for individuals involved in the handling of discrimination and/or harassment complaints.
Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District will publicize information on its website which advises students, parents or legal guardians, employees, and other relevant individuals of the District’s established grievance process for resolving complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. This publication will include the name, office address, telephone number, and email address of the CRCO(s).
A copy of this policy and its corresponding regulations and/or procedures will be available upon request and will be posted and/or published in appropriate locations and/or District publications.
Regulations and/or procedures will be developed for reporting, investigating, and remedying allegations of discrimination and/or harassment.
42 USC § 1324b
Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 USC § 6101 et seq.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 USC § 621 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 USC § 12101 et seq.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20 USC § 1701 et seq.
Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), 42 USC § 2000ff et seq.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 USC § 151 et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 790 et seq.
Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000c et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000d et seq.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000e et seq.
Title IX, 20 USC § 1681 et seq.
USERRA, 38 USC § 4301 et seq.
28 CFR Part 35
29 CFR Chapter I – National Labor Relations Board
29 CFR Chapter XIV – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
34 CFR Parts 100, 104, 106, 110, and 270
Civil Rights Law §§ 40, 40-c, 47-a, 47-b, 48-a, and 115
Correction Law § 752
Education Law §§ 10-18, 313, 313-a, 2801, 3201, and 3201-a
Labor Law §§ 194-a, 201-d, 201-g, 203-e, 206-c, 215
New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law § 290 et seq.
Military Law §§ 242, 243, and 318
8 NYCRR § 100.2
9 NYCRR § 466 et seq.
NOTE: Refer also to Policies:
#3421 — Title IX and Sex Discrimination
#6120 — Equal Employment Opportunity
#6121 — Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
#6122 — Employee Grievances
#7550 — Dignity for All Students
#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students
#8130 — Equal Educational Opportunities
District Code of Conduct