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Los Angeles COE |  BP  5145.3  Students

Nondiscrimination/Harassment   

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This policy shall apply to all acts constituting unlawful discrimination or harassment related to school activity or to school attendance occurring within a LACOE school or program, and to acts which occur off campus or outside of LACOE school-related or school-sponsored activities but which may have an impact or create a hostile environment at the LACOE school.

LACOE is committed to providing a safe school environment that allows all students equal access to opportunities in admission and access to LACOE's academic and other educational support programs, services, guidance and counseling programs, athletic programs, testing procedures, and other activities. LACOE programs and activities shall be free from discrimination, including harassment, with respect to a student's race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, citizenship status, immigration status, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Specifically, state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in enrollment, counseling, and the availability of physical education, athletic activities, and sports. Transgender students shall be permitted to participate in gender-segregated school programs and activities (e.g., athletic teams, sports competitions, and field trips) and to use facilities consistent with the student's gender identity. LACOE assures that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation in LACOE programs. Unlawful discrimination against a student in any LACOE school, program, or activity, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying, is prohibited. Any form of retaliation against an individual who files or otherwise participates in the filing or investigation of a complaint or report regarding an incident of discrimination is also prohibited.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in LACOE Programs and Activities)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)

Unlawful discrimination may result from physical, verbal, nonverbal, or written conduct against a student based on the student's actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or the student's association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Unlawful discrimination also occurs when the prohibited conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; has the effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student's academic performance; or otherwise adversely affects a student's educational opportunities.

Gender identity of a student means the student's gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior as determined from the student's internal sense, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the student's physiology or assigned sex at birth.

Gender expression means a student's gender-related appearance and behavior, whether stereotypically associated with the student's assigned sex at birth. (Education Code 210.7)

Unlawful discrimination also includes disparate treatment of students based on one of the categories above with respect to the provision of opportunities to participate in any LACOE school, program, or activity, or the provision or receipt of educational benefits or services, such as prohibiting a student from enrolling in a class or course on the basis of the student's sex.

When, as permitted by law, LACOE maintains sex-segregated facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, or offers sex-segregated programs and activities, such as physical education classes, students may choose to access facilities and participate in such programs and activities consistent with the student's gender identity. In addition, students may choose to participate in accordance with their gender identity in other circumstances where students are separated by gender, such as for class discussions, yearbook pictures, and field trips.

Each student's gender identity shall be the gender asserted by the student. Transgender and gender-nonconforming students shall be afforded the same rights, benefits, and protections as all LACOE students.

Complaints of unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying or retaliation may be filed in accordance with LACOE's uniform complaint procedures (UCP) pursuant to BP 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. Such complaints must be filed no later than six months after knowledge of the alleged discrimination was first obtained. These terms are defined by state or federal statute. For a complaint form or additional information, contact the Title IX Coordinator or your site principal. The Coordinator is:

Jason Hasty, Executive Director, Educational Programs

9300 Imperial Highway, EC-223

Downey, CA 90242

Phone: (562) 803-8451; Fax: (562) 401-5300

Email: ComplianceSupportServices@lacoe.edu

For complaints of sexual harassment, it is the responsibility of LACOE's Title IX Coordinator to determine whether the complaint should be addressed through UCP or, if the alleged conduct meets the federal definition of sexual harassment pursuant to 34 CFR 106.30, the complaint procedures established in 34 CFR 106.44-106.45. Regardless of whether a complainant complies with the writing, timeline, and/or other formal filing requirements, all complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying, shall be investigated and prompt action shall be taken to stop the discrimination, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effect on students.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in LACOE Programs and Activities)

(cf. 5146 - Married/Pregnant/Parenting Students)

(cf. 6164.6 - Identification and Education Under Section 504)

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 5145.71 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures)

The County Board prohibits discrimination, intimidation, or harassment or bullying of any student by any employee, student, or other person in LACOE. Prohibited harassment includes physical, verbal, nonverbal, or written conduct based on one of the categories listed above that is so severe and pervasive that it affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student's academic performance; or otherwise adversely affects the student's educational opportunities.

The County Board also prohibits any form of retaliation against any student who files a complaint or report regarding an incident of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Retaliation complaints shall be investigated and resolved in the same manner as a discrimination complaint.

School staff and volunteers shall carefully guard against segregation, bias, and stereotyping in the delivery of services, including, but not limited to, instruction, guidance, and supervision. In Juvenile Court Schools, LACOE shall work with the County Probation Department on practices and procedures for incarcerated students.

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)

(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)

The Principal or designee shall develop a plan to provide students with appropriate accommodations when necessary for the student's protection from threatened or potentially harassing or discriminatory behavior.

The County Superintendent or designee shall facilitate students' access to the educational program by annual notifications publicizing LACOE's nondiscrimination policy and related complaint procedures to students, parents/guardians, and employees. The County Superintendent or designee shall provide training and information on the scope and use of the policy and complaint procedures and take other measures designed to increase the school community's understanding of the requirements of law related to discrimination. In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall post LACOE's policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying and other required information on the LACOE website in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students, in accordance with law and the accompanying administrative regulation. The County Superintendent or designee shall regularly review the implementation of LACOE's nondiscrimination policies and practices and, as necessary, shall take action to remove any identified barrier to student access to or participation in the educational program. The County Superintendent or designee shall report the findings and recommendations to the County Board after each review.

Students who engage in discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or retaliation in violation of law or County Board policy or procedures or administrative regulation shall be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including counseling, suspension, and/or involuntary release to the student's district of residence when the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined in Education Code 48900.4. Any employee who permits or engages in prohibited discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Antidiscrimination Measures

To prevent or address unlawful discrimination in LACOE schools, programs, and activities, LACOE will do the following:

1. Designation of a coordinator/compliance officer to handle complaints alleging unlawful discrimination

2. Posting of information regarding Title IX prohibitions against discrimination based on a student's sex, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, and parental status as required pursuant to Education Code 221.61, and a link to the Title IX information included on the California Department of Education's (CDE) web site, in a prominent and conspicuous location on the LACOE's web site in a manner that is easily accessible for parents/guardians and students, as required pursuant to Education Code 221.61 (Education Code 221.6, 221.61, 234/6)

3. Publicizing of LACOE's nondiscrimination policies and complaint procedures

4. Provision of training and information about LACOE's nondiscrimination policies and complaint procedures, including information related to state and federal laws pertaining to the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students, to students, parents/guardians, LACOE employees, and others as applicable

5. Establishment of a complaint process that ensures a prompt and fair resolution of complaints

6. Provision of annual notification required by law

7. Maintenance of student records in accordance with law

8. Posting of LACOE's policies and procedures prohibiting discrimination, harassment, student sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, and cyberbullying, including a section on social media bullying that includes all of the references described in Education Code 234.6 as possible forums for social media, in a prominent location on LACOE's web site in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students (Education Code 234.6)

9. Posting of the definition of sex discrimination and harassment as described in Education Code 230, including the rights set forth in Education Code 221.8, in a prominent location on LACOE's web site in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students (Education Code 234.6)

10. Posting of a link to statewide CDE-compiled resources, including community-based organizations, that provide support to youth who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying and to their families. Such resources shall be posted in a prominent location on the COE's web site in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students. (Education Code 234.5, 234.6)

(cf. 4118 - Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 4119.21/4219.21/4319.21- Professional Standards)

(cf. 4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5145.9 - Hate-Motivated Behavior)

(cf. 5146 - Married/Pregnant/Parenting Students)

(cf. 6164.6 - Identification and Education Under Section 504)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

32261 Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985

48900.3 Suspension or expulsion for act of hate violence

48900.4 Suspension or expulsion for threats or harassment

48904 Liability of parent/guardian for willful student misconduct

48907 Student exercise of free expression

48950 Freedom of speech

48985 Translation of Notices

49060-49079 Student records

51500 Prohibited instruction or activity

51501 Prohibited means of instruction

60044 Prohibited instructional materials

CIVIL CODE

1714.1 Liability of parents/guardians for willful misconduct of minor

GOVERNMENT CODE

11135 Nondiscrimination in programs or activities funded by state

PENAL CODE

422.55 Definition of hate crime

422.6 Crimes, harassment

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

432 Student Record

4600-4687 Uniform Complaint Procedures

4900-4965 Nondiscrimination in elementary and secondary education programs

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

1681-1688 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 29

794 Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 42

2000d-2000e-17 Title VI and Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended

2000h-2-2000h-6 Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

6101-6107 Age Discrimination Act of 1975

12101-12213 Title II equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 28

35.107 Nondiscrimination on basis of disability; complaints

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 34

100.3 Prohibition of discrimination on basis of race, color or national origin

104.7 Designation of responsible employee for Section 504

104.8 Notice

106.8 Designation of responsible employee for Title IX

106.9 Notification of nondiscrimination on basis of sex

110.25 Prohibition of discrimination based on age

COURT DECISIONS

Donovan v. Poway Unified School District, (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 567

Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, (2003) 324 F.3d 1130

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

Updated Legal Guidance: Protecting Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students Against Sex Discrimination, March 2017

Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for All Students, Policy Brief, April 2010

Final Guidance Regarding Transgender Students, Privacy, and Facilities, March 2014

Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LEGAL ADVISORIES

California Student Safety and Violence Prevention - Laws and Regulations, April 2004

CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL PUBLICATIONS

Promoting a Safe and Secure Learning Environment for All: Guidance and Model Policies to Assist California's K-12 Schools in Responding to Immigration Issues, April 2018

FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER PUBLICATIONS

Public Schools and Sexual Orientation: A First Amendment Framework for Finding Common Ground, 2006

NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS

Dealing with Legal Matters Surrounding Students' Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2004

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS PUBLICATIONS

Notice of Non-Discrimination, January 1999

Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying, October 2010

Dear Colleague Letter: Title IX Coordinators, April 2015

Resolution Agreement Between the Arcadia Unified School District, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, (2013) OCR 09-12-1020, DOJ 169-12C-70

Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying, October 2010

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Fact Sheet, August 2010

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PUBLICATIONS

Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, August 2003

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Safe Schools Coalition: http://www.casafeschools.org

California Department of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov

California Office of the Attorney General: http://oag.ca.gov

First Amendment Center: http://www.firstamendment.org

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr

Policy LOS ANGELES COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

adopted: October 20, 2020 Downey, California