Sexual Harassment & Discrimination
Steve Chatman (850) 689-7108 - Information regarding Equity Policies and Procedures
Melody Sommer (850) 833-3164 - Section 504
Andy Johnson (850) 689-7198 - Safe Schools Representative
Sexual harassment by an employee or student to another individual (student or adult) is strictly prohibited by School Board Policies 6-28 and 4-34. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, educational success, or participation in school-related activities, or
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment/educational decisions affecting such individual, or
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance, participation in school and school-related activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
Adults Equity Policy (6-28)
A. Harassment concerning an individual's race, color, sex, age, religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin, marital status or disability is a form of misconduct which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship.
B. Adverse remarks or epithets and other forms of harassment concerning an individual's race, color, sex, age, relation, national or ethnic background or disability are strictly prohibited. A disability exists when an individual has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the individual's major life activities.
Students Equity Policy (4-34)
A. It is the policy of the School Board of Okaloosa County to offer students the opportunity to participate in appropriate programs, services and activities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, parenthood, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, or social and family background.
B. Students, while they are in school or participating in school-related activities, are entitled to an environment free of discrimination and/or harassment by other students or adult employees or volunteers, or persons with whom the district contracts for services.
C. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes harassment or discrimination, the totality of the circumstances, the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred will be investigated.
1. If an adult needs to report an alleged violation of these policies, an informal Equity Complaint should be made to a principal or department director. If the situation cannot be resolved informally, a Formal Equity Grievance (MIS 5139, Rev 3/14), in compliance with School Board Policy 6-29, should be directed to the superintendent's designees listed above. Employees have the option of filing a grievance through appropriate Master Contract procedures in lieu of the Formal Equity Grievance.
2. If a student needs assistance with a situation involving these policies, a Student Equity Complaint should be filed in writing and submitted to a teacher or an administrator at the school. If the situation cannot be resolved at the school level, a formal complaint may be filed with one of the superintendent's designees.