• Sexual Harassment Policy


    The Pittsburgh Public Schools prohibits sexual harassment of, or by, all persons within the School District of Pittsburgh including, by way of illustration but not by way of limitation, all students, employees, applicants for employment, and non-employees who transact business within the School District with or without compensation. This policy applies to conduct during and related to the operation of the schools, school sponsored activities, and all School District business. The Board considers sexual harassment in the work and educational environment to be inappropriate and offensive. It will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    This policy adopted in May, 1995 is intended to help students and non-students recognize, understand, prevent and take corrective action to address sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature in the workplace and in instructional settings.


    The Pittsburgh Public School District"s Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Form can be found below. A copy can also be obtained in person from Dr. Milton Walters, Director of Human Resources, Pittsburgh Public Schools, 341 S. Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, (412) 529-3651 (voice/TTY/TDD), Fax (412) 622-7968.
     

    For more information on preventing and responding to sexual harassment, please click on any of the links below.

    1. Definition of Sexual Harassment
    2. Where to Go for Help
    3. Who May be Involved in Sexual Harassment
    4. Conduct Which May Constitute Sexual Harassment
    5. Legal Protection
    6. Reporting to Outside Agencies
    7. Sexual Harassment Policy Governing All Non-Students Within the School District
    8. Sexual Harassment Policy Governing All Students Within the School District
    9. Equity & Compliance Statement

     

    Definition of Sexual Harassment

     
    Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature which interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment or of adversely affecting the employee’s or student’s performance, advancement, assigned duties or any other condition of educational programs, employment or career development.
     
     
     

    Where to Go for Help

     

    Students of the Pittsburgh Public Schools may contact any of the following individuals or offices for guidance or information on a sexual harassment issue:

    Your school principal, advisors, teachers or other identified staff.
    Office of Student Services (412) 622-3950.

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    Who May be Involved in Sexual Harassment


    Male to Male
    Female to Female
    Male to Female
    Female to Male

     

    Conduct Which May Constitute Sexual Harassment


    The following examples are intended to include all persons affiliated with the School District, whether adults or children, students or non-students. These examples are provided to illustrate the type of conduct proscribed by this policy; the list is not exhaustive.

    • Unwelcome leering, staring, sexual flirtations or propositions.
    • Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions.
    • Unwelcome graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body or overly personal conversation.
    • Unwelcome sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures, or gestures.
    • Unwelcome spreading of sexual rumors.
    • Unwelcome touching of an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way.
    • Cornering or blocking of a sexual nature of normal movements.
    • Displaying objects in a sexually suggestive manner in the educational or work environment.
    • Unwelcome teasing or sexual remarks about a student enrolled in a predominately single-sex class.
    • Purposely limiting of a sexual nature of a student’s access to educational tools.
    • Conditioning academic and/or student activity privileges on submission to unwanted sexual conduct from students or non-students as hereinafter defined.
     
     

    Legal Protection


    In addition to the Board of Education policy, there are several other federal and state measures that protect individuals from sexual harassment discrimination and provide specific prohibitions against acts of discrimination or other unlawful conduct.

    Federal Law


    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1972 and 1991, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

     

    Pennsylvania State Law


    The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender among other bases.

     

    Reporting to Outside Agencies

     

    Any person who has been sexually harassed may have the right to file a complaint with federal, state or local regulatory agencies. Time limits for filing complaints with these agencies vary. The complainant should check directly with the agency for specific instructions for filing a complaint.
     

    Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    1000 Liberty Avenue
    Federal Building - Room 2038
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    412-644-3444
    Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
    State Office Building
    300 Liberty Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1210
    412-565-5395

    Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations
    908 City-County Building
    414 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2464
    412-255-2600
    Office of Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Education
    The Wanamaker Building, Suite 515
    100 Penn Square East
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    215-656-8541

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    Sexual Harassment Policy Governing All Non-Students Within the School District

     

    Definition of Non-Student


    As used in this Policy, a non-student is a person who is 17 years of age or older and is not a student in the School District. The term includes, but is not limited to, school directors, employees, volunteers, contractors, and their employees, parents, guardians and visitors.

    Discipline/Consequences


    The School District will take all necessary steps to put a stop to sexual harassment of anyone in a school, at school sponsored activities, or in the conduct of all School District business, and to prevent any future occurrences of such harassment. Any employee who permits or engages in such conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Any non-employee who engages in such conduct may be subject to sanctions to the extent of the School District’s authority and control over the alleged harasser or employer of the alleged harasser.

    Any employee who receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal and central office administrator housed in the Office of Employee Relations shall be disciplined appropriately.

    Any employee who retaliates against any individual who has made a complaint of sexual harassment or participated in an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. In addition, any non-employee doing business with the School District who retaliates against any individual who has made a complaint of sexual harassment may be sanctioned to the extent of the School District’s authority over the non-employee or his/her employer. If deemed necessary, the School District may refer the victim of sexual harassment to any of the agencies listed under E above.

    Reporting Procedure/Investigation

     

    • The Board encourages and expects all persons to immediately report incidents of sexual harassment to the principal and central office administrator in the Office of Employee Relations.
    • Any supervisor who receives a report, verbally or in writing, from any person regarding sexual harassment of that person, by an employee, a non-employee doing business with the School District, or a student in the work setting must notify the principal and central office administrator within 24 hours or a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause. Failure to comply with this reporting could result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
    • No person shall be required to report an allegation of sexual harassment to the individual who is the harasser.
    • All complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated and promptly resolved. The complainant and alleged harasser will have the opportunity during the investigation to present witnesses or other evidence with respect to the complaint. Upon receipt of an allegation of sexual harassment from any person, the principal or central office administrator will designate an investigator who will initiate an investigation into the complaint within 48 hours.
    • Each complaint of sexual harassment shall be promptly investigated in a way that respects the privacy of all parties concerned to the extent permitted by law and to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances.
    • Verbal reports of sexual harassment should be put in writing by the individual complaining or by the person who receives the complaints and should be signed by the person complaining; however, if a complaining person chooses not to sign a written complaint for any reason, a thorough and complete investigation of the complaint must still be made.
    • The School District will designate a sufficient number of employees who are trained to investigate sexual harassment complaints.
    • The complaint investigator will put his/her findings in writing and will forward a copy to the principal and central office administrator within one week or a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause after concluding the investigation.
    • The investigator will communicate his/her findings, in writing, to the principal and central office administrator a expeditiously as possible. The principal and central office administrator will communicate the findings of the investigator to the complainant and the alleged harasser.
    • The record of the investigation with findings and recommendation for discipline will be maintained by the School District, in the office of the central office administrator, separate and apart from any personnel file. The findings and recommendation for discipline will only become a part of an individual’s personnel file if disciplinary action is taken against an individual for sexual harassment. 

     

    Retaliation Prohibited


    The School District prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process. The good faith initiation of a complaint of sexual harassment will not reflect negatively on the person who initiates the complaint nor will it affect the person’s job assignment, status, rights, privileges or benefits.

    Enforcement


    Each non-school site administrator and principal shall have the responsibility of maintaining a work environment and/or educational environment free of sexual harassment. Both non-school site administrators and principals shall take appropriate actions to reinforce the School District’s sexual harassment policy. These actions will include:

    • Providing staff in-service within two weeks after the adoption of this policy and annually thereafter.
    • Acquainting new employees in the School District with this policy.
    • Taking prompt action to investigate complaints of sexual harassment.
    • Taking appropriate disciplinary action as needed, including action to prevent reoccurrence of complained sexual harassment and/or retaliation.
    • Instructing non-students on the procedures for reporting sexual harassment on an as-needed basis. 

     

    Notifications


    A copy of this School District policy on Sexual Harassment of and by non-students shall:

    • Be displayed in a prominent location at each work site.
    • Be provided to each School District employee within two weeks of the adoption of this policy, and whenever a new employee is hired.
    • Appear in any School District or work site publication, which sets forth the School District’s comprehensive rule, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct for employees.
    • Be made available to such non-student individuals as contractors, volunteers, parent representatives, and members of the Parent-School Community Council.

     

    Penalty for Falsely Accusing a Person of Sexual Harassment

     

    Any non-student covered by this policy who has filed a complaint alleging that he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment within the School District and a subsequent investigation reveals that the individual has falsely accused the purported harasser of sexual harassment knowingly, and that, in fact, no sexual harassment occurred, shall be subject to discipline, which may include but not be limited to verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension without pay, demotion, or dismissal, with respect to employees and whatever steps are deemed appropriate with respect to non-employees.
     

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    Sexual Harassment Policy Governing All Students Within the School District

     

    Definition of a Student


    As used in this Policy, a student is a person who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes within the School District, including Kindergarten through twelfth grade and the Connelley Technical Institute and Adult Education Center, regardless of age.

    Discipline/Consequences


    Any student who engages in sexual harassment of any one in the school setting, at school sponsored activities, and in the conduct of all School District business may be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the current Code of Student Conduct.

    Reporting Procedure/ Investigation

     

    • The Board encourages and expects students to immediately report incidents of sexual harassment to their teacher, principal, or other individual staff member within the school, designated to receive reports of sexual harassment.
    • All reports, whether verbal or written, from a student regarding sexual harassment of that student, by another student, an employee or non-employee doing business with the School District, shall be communicated to the principal or designated staff member and central office administrator within 24 hours or within a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause. Failure to comply with this reporting requirement could result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
    • No student shall be required to report an allegation of sexual harassment to the individual who is the harasser.
    • All complaints of sexual harassment shall be investigated and promptly resolved. The complainant and alleged harasser will have the opportunity during the investigation to present witnesses or other evidence with respect to that complaint. Upon receipt of an allegation of sexual harassment, the principal or designated staff member will initiate an investigation into the complaint within 48 hours.
    • Each complaint of sexual harassment shall be promptly investigated in a way that respects the privacy of all parties concerned to the extent permitted by lay and to the extent practical and appropriate under circumstances.
    • Verbal reports of sexual harassment should be put in writing by the individual complaining or by the person who receives the complaint and should be signed by the person complaining; however, if a complaining person chooses not to sign the written complaint for any reason, a thorough and complete investigation of the complaint must still be made.
    • The School District will designate a sufficient number of employees who are trained to investigate sexual harassment complaints.
    • The investigator will communicate his/her findings, in writing, to the complainant and the alleged harasser as expeditiously as possible. Results may be indeterminate. If so, the matter will be recorded as unresolved.
    • The complaint investigator will put his/her finding, in writing and will forward a copy to the principal or designated staff member and central office administrator within one week or a reasonable extension of time thereafter for good cause after concluding the investigation.
    • The record of the investigation with findings and recommendation for discipline will be maintained by the School District, in the office of the central office administrator, separate and apart from any student file.


    All communications shall be confidential and will be covered by State regulation found in 22 PA Code 12.12.

    The above reporting/investigation procedures apply to internal investigation of complaints by the School District.

    Nothing in this reporting procedure shall relieve any employee at the School District from the reporting obligation imposed under the child abuse reporting acts.

    Retaliation Prohibited


    The School District prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process. The initiation of a complaint of sexual harassment will not reflect negatively on the student who initiates the complaint nor will it affect the student’s academic standing, rights, or privileges.

    Enforcement


    Each principal has the responsibility of maintaining an educational environment free of sexual harassment and shall take appropriate action to reinforce the School District’s Sexual Harassment Policy. These actions include:

    • Removing promptly all vulgar or sexually offensive graffiti.
    • Providing staff in-service within two weeks of the adoption of this policy and by the first week of each school year thereafter.
    • Providing student instruction about sexual harassment through at least one assembly and two full class periods of each school year.
    • Taking appropriate disciplinary action as needed, including action to prevent reoccurrence of complained of sexual harassment, and/or retaliation.
    • All health/physical education teachers shall discuss this policy with their students within one month after its adoption by the Board and during the first week of the school year thereafter. Written copies of this policy shall be given to each student as part of these discussions. Written material shall contain information that is age appropriate and must assure students that they need not endure any form of sexual harassment. Discussion shall also be age appropriate and must deliver the same message to all students.
    • In addition, all teachers counselors and administrators shall instruct students on the procedures for reporting sexual harassment within the educational setting on an as-needed basis.

     

    Notifications


    A copy of this sexual harassment policy shall:

    • Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year.
    • Be displayed in a prominent location near each school principal’s office.
    • Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new students at the beginning of each school year.
    • Appear in any school or School District publication that sets forth the school or School District’s comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures and standards of conduct.

     

    Penalty for Falsely Accusing a Person of Sexual Harassment

     

    Any student covered by this policy who has filed a complaint alleging that he/she has been victim of sexual harassment within the School District and a subsequent investigation reveals that the student has falsely accused the purported harasser of sexual harassment and that, in fact, no sexual harassment occurred, shall be subject to discipline as set forth in the current Code of Student Conduct.
     

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    Equity & Compliance Statement


    The Pittsburgh Public School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability in its activities, programs or employment practices as required by Title II of ADA, Title VI, Title IX and Section 504. View the entire Equity and Compliance Statement.