Handbook » Parent Handbook - Appendix F

Parent Handbook - Appendix F

John R. Briggs Elementary School


Parent Handbook

We Grow and Learn Together, Here at JRB



  1. Introduction 

It is the goal of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment  of employees occurring in the workplace or in other settings in which employees may find themselves in connection with their employment is unlawful  and will not be tolerated by this organization. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation  against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve  our goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided  a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by employees. 

Because Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond to complaints of sexual  harassment and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such  corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate. 

Please note that while this policy sets forth our goals of promoting a workplace that is free of sexual harassment, the policy is not designed or intended  to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct which we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct  satisfies the definition of sexual harassment.


  1. Definition of Sexual Harassment 

In Massachusetts, the legal definition for sexual harassment is this: 

“sexual harassment” means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (a) submission to or rejection of such advance, requests or conduct is made either or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for  employment decisions; 

(b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an  intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment. 

(c) Under these definitions direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as  favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment. The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad in addition to the above examples, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is  unwelcome and has the effect of creating a workplace environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers may also  constitute sexual harassment. 

While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if  unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its perverseness:  

Unwelcome sexual advances – whether they involve physical touching or not; 

Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on an individual’s body, comment  about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies , or prowess; 

Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; 

Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments; 

Inquires into one’s sexual experiences; and, 

Discussion of one’s sexual activities 

All employees should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual; who has complained about sexual harassment, and retaliation  against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated by this organization. III. Complaints of Sexual Harassment 

If any of our employees believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, the employee has the right to file a complaint with our  organization. This may be done in writing or orally. 

If you would like to file a complaint you may do so by contacting the District’s Compliance Officers. Their names and addresses are posted in the main office  of each building. These people are also available to discuss any concerns you may have and to provide information to you about our policy on sexual  harassment and our complaint process. 


  1. Sexual Harassment Investigation 

When we receive the complaint we will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a  way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will include a private interview with the person filing  the complaint and with witnesses. We will also interview the person alleged to have committed sexual harassment. When we have completed our  investigation. We will, to the extent appropriate, inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct of the results of  that investigation. 

If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where it is appropriate we will also  impose disciplinary action. 


  1. Disciplinary Action

If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by one of our employees, we will take such action as is appropriate under the  circumstances. Such action may range from counseling to termination from employment, and may include such other forms of disciplinary action as we  deem appropriate under the circumstances. 


  1. State and Federal Remedies 

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government  agencies set forth below. Using our complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short  time period for filing a claim (EEOC-180 days; MCAD-6 months). 

  1. The United State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) 

1 Congress Street – 10th Floor 

Boston, MA 02114 


  1. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) 

Boston Office: Springfield Office: 

One Ashburton Place–Rm. 601 424 Dwight Street-Rm. 220 

Boston, MA 02108 Springfield, MA 01103 

617.727.3990 413.739.2145 

First Reading: 11.26.96 Approved: 12.10.96