402.2 Harassment

Harassment of employees and students by employees will not be tolerated in the school district. School district includes school district facilities, school district premises, and non-school property if the employee or student is at any school sponsored, school approved or school related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events where students are under the control of the school district or where the employee is engaged in school business.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, sex, race and color, national origin, religion and creed, age, marital/parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, or socioeconomic status or familial status. Harassment by board members, administrators, employees, parents, students, vendors, and others doing business with the school district is prohibited. Employees whose behavior is found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to the investigation procedure which may result in discipline, up to and including, discharge or other appropriate action. Other individuals whose behavior is found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions as determined and imposed by the superintendent or board.

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

• submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

• submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

• such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working  environment.

Other types of harassment may include, but not be limited to, jokes, stories, pictures or objects that are offensive, tend to alarm, annoy, abuse or demean certain protected individuals and groups.

It shall be the responsibility of the board members, administrators, licensed and classified employees, students and others having business or other contact with the school district to act appropriately under this policy. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent and investigator to inform and educate employees or students and others involved with the school district about harassment and the school district's policy prohibiting harassment.

All members of the Spirit Lake School District, including, but not necessarily limited to, the Board, the administration, the faculty, the staff, and the students, are expected to conduct themselves at all times so as to provide an atmosphere free from sexual harassment. Any person who engages in sexual harassment while acting as a member of the school community will be in violation of this policy and subject to the procedures outlined below.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the investigator, to develop administrative rules regarding this policy.


Approved: 4/8/13

Reviewed: 10/14/19

Revised: 5/12/14

402.2R1 Harassment Investigation Regulations Complaint Procedures

Complaint Procedures

An employee or student who believes that they have been harassed shall notify their building principal, the designated investigator. The alternate investigator is the school nurse. The investigator may request that the employee or student complete the Harassment Complaint form and turn over evidence of the harassment, including, but not limited to, letters, tapes, or pictures. Information received during the investigation shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. The investigator, with the approval of the superintendent, or the superintendent has the authority to initiate an harassment investigation in the absence of a written complaint.

Investigation Procedure

The investigator shall reasonably and promptly commence the investigation upon receipt of the complaint. The investigator shall interview the complainant and the alleged harasser. The alleged harasser may file a written statement refuting or explaining the behavior outlined in the complaint. The investigator may also interview witnesses as deemed appropriate.

Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator shall report to the superintendent. The investigator will outline the findings of the investigation to the superintendent.

Resolution of the Complaint

The superintendent will complete the next step in the investigation reasonably and promptly upon receipt of the investigator's report. Following the investigator's report, the superintendent may investigate further, if deemed necessary, and make a determination of the appropriate next step which may include discipline up to and including discharge.

Prior to the determination of the appropriate remedial action, the superintendent may, at the superintendent's discretion, interview the complainant and the alleged harasser. The superintendent shall file a written report closing the case. The complainant, the alleged harasser and the investigator shall receive notices to the conclusion of the investigation.

Points to Remember in the Investigation

• Evidence uncovered in the investigation is confidential.

• Complaints must be taken seriously and investigated.

• No retaliation will be taken against individual involved in the investigation process.

• Retaliators will be disciplined up to and including discharge.


If the investigator is the alleged harasser or a witness to the incident, the alternate investigator shall be the investigator.

If the alleged harasser is the superintendent, the alternate investigator shall take the superintendent's place in the investigation process. The alternate investigator shall report the findings to the board.


Approved: 4/8/13

Reviewed: 10/14/19

Revised: 5/12/14

402.2R2 Sexual Harassment Investigation Regulations

The Grievance Officer

The board shall annually appoint a sexual harassment grievance officer who will be vested with the authority and responsibility of processing all sexual harassment complaints in accordance with the procedure set out below. Employees who believe they have suffered sexual harassment shall report such matters to their building principal. In the event that the principal becomes a party to a sexual harassment complaint, the employee may report directly to the grievance officer. In the event that the grievance officer becomes a party to a sexual harassment complaint, an alternate grievance officer, the district superintendent, shall assume this responsibility.


1. Any member of the school community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment shall report the incident(s) to the board-appointed grievance officer.

2. The grievance officer receiving complaints shall attempt to resolve the problem in an informal manner through the following interviewing process:

a.         The grievance officer shall confer with the charging party in order to obtain a clear understanding of that party's statement of the facts.

b.         The grievance officer shall then attempt to meet with the charged party in order to obtain his or her response to the complaint.

c.         The grievance officer may hold as many meetings with the parties as is necessary to gather facts.

d.         On the basis of the grievance officer's perception of the situation, he or she may:

(1)       Attempt to resolve the matter informally through conciliation.

(2)       Report the incident and transfer the record to the superintendent or his/her designee, and so notify the parties by certified mail.

3. After reviewing the record made before the grievance officer, the Superintendent or designee may attempt to gather additional evidence necessary to decide the case, and thereafter impose any sanctions deemed appropriate, including a recommendation to the board for termination or expulsion.

All matters involving sexual harassment complaints shall remain confidential to the extent possible.


Approved: 4/8/13

Reviewed: 10/14/19

Revised: 5/12/14