SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School
Jun 21st, 2013 by

Why teachers should embrace learning differences in boys
Upon reviewing some paperwork from the previous school year, New Hampshire middle-school teacher Jessica Lahey said she noticed she disciplined male students much more often than female students. She writes in this commentary that the traditional classroom model may not work for boys, who are statistically more likely than girls to be suspended, disciplined and diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. She writes that researchers have found boys tend to thrive in a classroom environment where they can develop an end-product and participate in structured, competitive games.

read more ………………

Share
Play By The Rules – Great Free Curriculum
Jun 10th, 2013 by

Play by the Rules is a promising award winning program developed by the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education to teach law to youth to develop their sense of civic responsibility and provide them with the tools they need to prevent crime, save lives and build safer communities.

The Play by the Rules program is proudly brought to you by the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education. This website is funded by the Young Lawyers Section of the Alabama State Bar.

See the Connecticut site.

Free copies are available to schools. The book covers many areas often faced by Title IX Coordinators, such as:

  • What is Harassment?
  • What is Bullying and is it a Crime?
  • What are My Rights as a Student?

The curriculum is being used by School Resource Officers.

Share
Another Title IX Retaliation Lawsuit Emerges
Jun 7th, 2013 by

Source: College Sports Business News

Floodgates of litigation opening

Texas A&M’s former head diving coach, Kevin Wright, has filed a Title IX retaliation lawsuit. He was fired in September from his position as head coach. The lawsuit alleges that he was terminated in retaliation for reporting concerns about gender discrimination in athletics.  Wright has filed suit under a Texas whistleblower protection statute that protects state employees.

The floodgates of litigation seem to have opened regarding a new wave of Title IX complaints and administrators across the nation need to take notice. Multiple cases from California have been resolved recently. The prevalence of these cases has been significantly influenced by the Supreme Court’s decision in 2005 in Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education. In that case, the Court ruled that individuals who complain about sex discrimination and are later subjected to some form of retaliatory action have a private right of action for retaliation under Title IX. Jackson involved a former girl’s high school coach who had allegedly been dismissed because of his gender equity advocacy for the girls’ teams.

The Jackson decision was a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court because the prohibition against retaliation was not explicitly set forth in Title IX.

read more …..

 

Share
Sample Grievance, Complaint, Investigation forms
Jan 22nd, 2013 by

Sample Grievance, Complaint, Investigation forms can be found at:

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2681&q=322602

 

Many thanks to Tim  Connor, Assistant Superintendent of Hampden-Wilbraham RSD and Randy Ross of the New England Equity Assistance Center for providing these forms.

 

Here is a note from Randy:

“Most of these materials are from Hampden-Wilbraham RSD.  These files are from their Investigative Manual and I have a few more if they would be helpful. Their terrific Title IX person is Tim Connor, Asst Superintendent. His email is tconnor@hwrsd.org. He would certainly respond graciously to any queries from CT districts.

On our website I have some other forms, policies, etc. These are from about 2 years ago. The link is http://neeac.alliance.brown.edu/ourwork_safety_materials.php.  As I mentioned before, generally, when OCR is not involved, I recommend a policy that is inclusive of all forms of harassment and, when possible, also covers bullying. OCR of course can only require a policy based on the particular type of harassment complaint. For sexual harassment, they see the Grievance Procedure as inclusive of the policy.”

Share
YEAR IN REVIEW: Anoka-Hennepin School District seeks to make progress after challenging times
Jan 4th, 2013 by

Source: Press & News

By Mindy Mateuszczyk on January 3, 2013 at 12:03 am

Anoka-Hennepin School District made national headlines for its sexual orientation policy in 2011, which led to breaking more news in 2012 with a consent decree resulting from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by six students in 2011. Here’s a look at some of the top news stories in the school district for 2012.

 

Anoka-Hennepin School District reaches

lawsuit settlement/Tinglestad resigns

Anoka-Hennepin School Board members approved a consent decree, achieving settlement in two federal investigations and a harassment lawsuit. After more than a dozen mediation sessions and months of research, review and rough drafts, Anoka-Hennepin School District administration announced March 5, that they reached a proposed agreement that involved monetary compensation and specific follow-up measures to be enacted and overseen by the Department of Justice for the next five years.

Represented by Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), six students filed the lawsuit stating the district failed to intervene when they were being bullied over their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. While some of the students remain in the district, for others, the situation had gotten so bad they ended up leaving altogether for safety.

The settlement also addresses the federal inquiry into the way the district handled issues involving bullying and sexual orientation, which began in 2010. The Justice Department said the agreement was a collaborative effort among the parties to the suit.

The investigation by the departments of Justice and Education found that the school district violated Title IX and Title IV of the Education Code by permitting a hostile environment against students on the basis of sex, including the failure to conform to sex stereotypes. Federal investigators reviewed more than 7,000 district documents and included interviews with more than 60 individuals, including current and former students, parents, district staff, teachers and administrators.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson described the consent decree as “a positive statement of the continuing effort to ensure a welcoming environment for all students and families in our district.”

The 61-page decree describes several steps Anoka-Hennepin will take to enhance its current anti-harassment efforts.

As part of the settlement, the six students were paid a total of $270,000 by the district’s insurance carrier. Additionally, the school district was also required to achieve the following:

• Retain an equity consultant to provide a systemic review and recommend any needed revisions to district policies related to harassment, as well as district procedures relating to the investigation and response to incidents of harassment, parental notification, and tracking of harassment incidents.

• Hire a Title IX/equity coordinator who will implement district policies and procedures, monitor complaints, ensure that district administrators and staff adhere to sex and sexual orientation-based discrimination laws, and identify trends and common areas of concern.

• Work with the equity consultant and Title IX coordinator/equity coordinator to develop improved and effective trainings on harassment for all students and employees who interact with students.

• Ensure that a counselor or other qualified mental health professional will be available during school hours for students in need.

• Hire a mental health consultant to review and access current practices in the district relating to assisting students who are subject to harassment.

• Provide additional specificity to further strengthen its annual anti-bullying survey.

• Expand the district’s harassment-prevention task force formed the summer of 2011 to advise the district regarding how to best foster a positive educational climate for all students.

• Work with the equity consultant to further identify hot spots in district schools where harassment is or becomes problematic, including outdoor locations and on school buses, and work the with equity consultant to develop actions that better align with a safe, welcoming school environment.

• Implement a tracking system that tracks reports of incidents and requires the district to investigate in a timely fashion. Comprehensive data management will be required on every incident.

School Board Chairman Tom Heidemann said the $500,000 cost to implement those steps would come from a specific fund allocated for health and safety areas of the school district. The settlement money will be paid by the school’s insurance. Despite the findings of the Departments of Education and Justice, Heidemann was still unwilling to admit any mistakes on behalf of the district as he reiterated past commentary.

“The district determined through an exhaustive investigation that our administrators and teachers dealt with the harassment reports in a professional, timely and appropriate manner,” said Heidemann. “We are concerned that a monetary settlement negotiated by our insurer, Riverport, leaves the impression that our staff did not take appropriate action.”

The lawsuits were dismissed with the district denying fault or wrongdoing, the district stated in a press release.

As part of the agreement, a five-year partnership was established between the Anoka-Hennepin School District and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The DOJ and the OCR will monitor and assist the district’s implementation of the consent decree through 2017. Should the district fail to implement the measures or if disputes arise, the issue would end up back in court.

“We approach the monitoring role of the DOJ and OCR in a spirit of collaboration, as it will provide an opportunity for continued communication on this important concern. Our efforts to further address harassment related to sexual orientation will result in positive change in our schools that will extend far beyond the five years of the consent decree,” said Superintendent Carlson.

As a result of the lawsuit, Dist. 6 representative Kathy Tinglestad resigned from her position on the board. She served a little more than three years on the board, first appointed in January 2009, then elected to a full term in November 2009, from which she resigned in April 2012.

Tinglestad cast the lone opposing vote against the consent decree. In a letter she read at the press conference, Tinglestad cited three reasons she voted against the settlement: costs, governance issues and precedent.

As part of the result of the consent decree, the school district also adopted a new policy to replace the sexual orientation policy that promoted neutrality. The new policy called the “respectful learning environment” policy can be read in its entirety here: http://www.anoka.k12.mn.us/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid=233661&fileitem=116008&catfilter=11704

 

Share
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa