All persons associated with the Brockton Public Schools including, but not necessarily limited to, the Committee, the administration, staff, and 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. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating in an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.

Because the Brockton School Committee takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly 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 and school environment 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 or school conduct which we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of sexual harassment.


In the employment context, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment under Massachusetts law when:

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In the educational context, sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one

or more of the following:

The Title IX Coordinator must document in writing the supportive measures offered/provided or why no supportive measures were offered/provided. Complainant and respondents must be offered supportive measures even if they do not file a formal complaint.

If the complainant declines to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator must consider whether to sign a formal complaint and start an investigation despite the complainant’s preferences. This decision may be appropriate when safety or similar concerns lead the district to conclude that a non-deliberately indifferent response to actual knowledge of Title IX sexual harassment could reasonably require the school district to investigate and potentially sanction a respondent. A Title IX Coordinator’s decision to override the complainant’s decision not to file a formal complaint must be documented in writing along with an explanation of why this decision was necessary in order to avoid deliberate indifference.

Formal complaints may also be filed directly with the Title IX Coordinator by a complainant in person, by mail, by email, or by telephone at any time, including during non-business hours.

The complaint may be written by the complainant, or it will be reduced to writing by either the school employee who receives the complaint, the building Principal, or the Title IX Coordinator. Whether the complaint is reduced to writing by a student, parent, or staff member, the written complaint should include the name of the complainant, the name of the alleged victim (if different), the name of the respondent, the location of the school/department where the alleged discriminatory action occurred, the basis for the complaint, witnesses (if any), and the corrective action the complainant is seeking. This information will be made on or transferred to a discrimination/ harassment complaint form maintained by the District.

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There is no time limit or statute of limitation on timing to file a formal complaint. However, at

the time of filing a formal complaint, an alleged victim must be participating or attempting to

participate in a program or activity of the school district. Additionally, the district has discretion

to dismiss a formal complaint where the passage of time would result in the district’s inability to

gather evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility, or when the district loses responsibility for the respondent (e.g., the respondent no longer attends or is employed by the district).

If the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in this policy even if proved, did not occur in the school district’s education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States, then the school district must dismiss the formal complaint under these procedures, but could investigate it under other policies and procedures. The school district must send written notice of any dismissal.

Investigations to allegations of sexual harassment will be prompt and the formal process will be completed within a sixty day timeframe where feasible. There may be a temporary delay of the grievance process or the limited extension of time frames for good cause with written notice to the complainant and the respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action.

Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.

Written Notice

Before any investigation can begin, the district must send written notice to both parties including sufficient details. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known. The written notice must include a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. The written notice must inform the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may inspect and review evidence. The written notice must inform the parties that the District’s code of conduct prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If additional allegations are added during the course of the investigation, additional written notice must be provided.

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Informal Resolution

Where appropriate, after notice has been issued, the Title IX Coordinator should also consider

offering the parties an option for informal resolution (e.g., mediation). Informal resolution may

only be offered after a formal complaint is filed, and the parties must give written consent to

engage in this process. Informal resolution may not be used if the allegation is against an employee respondent. Facilitators of informal resolution will be designated by the Title IX Coordinator and must not be biased against any of the parties.

Informal resolution is entirely voluntary. Complainants may elect to pursue formal procedures at any step in the process of making their complaint, even if informal resolution has already begun. Similarly, respondents may elect to follow formal procedures and decline informal resolution.

If the complainant and the respondent feel that their grievances have been sufficiently addressed via informal resolution, then no further action needs to be taken. This voluntary conversation must occur within five (5) school days after receiving the complaint of discrimination or harassment, unless both parties agree otherwise. The results of an informal resolution shall be maintained by the facilitator, in writing.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution from the informal process, or if he/she does not choose informal resolution, then he/she can begin the formal complaint procedure described below.


If informal resolution is not offered to or accepted by the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will designate an investigator and a decision maker, who may not be the same person. The Title IX Coordinator is free to cast himself/ herself in either role, where appropriate.

The investigator must not be biased against any of the parties at the outset of the investigation. The investigator will be responsible for interviewing parties and witnesses, finding facts, and making determinations related to credibility, all of which will go into a written report. The investigator must avoid all questions that are protected by legal privilege, unless the privilege has been waived, and should avoid asking about the complainant’s sexual history unless it is directly relevant to prove consent to the conduct at issue or to prove that the conduct was committed by someone other than the respondent.

Prior to completion of the investigative report, the school district will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy, and the parties must have at least 10 days to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to completion of the investigative report.






The investigator must avoid making any final determinations of responsibility for sexual


Findings should be written in a factual way in an investigative report. Credibility determinations may not be based on an individual’s status as complainant, witness, or respondent.

During the investigative process and any further hearings, complainants and respondents have a right to have advisors of their choice participate in all aspects of the proceedings. The district will provide both parties with written notice of investigative interviews, meetings, and hearings, with sufficient time to prepare.

The investigation will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

Findings of Responsibility

After the investigator has completed the investigation, the designated decision-maker will be assigned to determine final responsibility or lack thereof for violating Title IX. The decision- maker must not be biased against any of the parties at the outset of this process.

Before the district can determine responsibility, an investigative report will be sent to the parties and the decision-maker will offer both the complainant and respondent the opportunity to submit proposed relevant, written questions to ask of any party or witness, to respond to questions posed by another party, and to offer additional limited follow-up. Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent. The decision-maker(s) must explain to the party proposing the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

After this process is complete, the decision-maker will create a written determination regarding whether sexual harassment has occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

A “preponderance of the evidence” means that it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred. The decision-maker shall further recommend what action, if any, is required. If it is determined that sexual harassment occurred, the District will take steps to prevent the recurrence of the harassment and correct its discriminatory effect on the complainant and others if appropriate.

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The written determination must be issued to both parties simultaneously and must include:

  1. Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;

  2. A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;

  3. Findings of fact supporting the determination;

  4. Conclusions regarding the application of the recipient’s code of conduct to the facts;

  5. A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the recipient imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity will be provided by the recipient to the complainant; and

  6. The district’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal (a copy of, or direct reference to, this policy will suffice).

If there is a finding that sexual harassment occurred, the school district will provide remedies to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the school district’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include supportive measures.

Formal disciplinary actions may be imposed in the event that the preponderance of the evidence indicates a violation of this policy, up to and including expulsion or termination. Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with due process rights under State law and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

As indicated above, these procedures do not limit the District from removing a student or employee from a program or activity on an emergency basis based on immediate threats to people’s physical health or safety or placing an employee on administrative leave during the pendency of the investigation.


A record will be maintained for a period of seven years of any actions, including supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment and district staff will document the basis for the district’s conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent.

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The district will ensure that Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any

person who facilitates an informal resolution process, receive training on the definition of sexual

harassment, the scope of the recipient’s education program or activity, how to conduct an

investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.

The district will ensure that decision-makers receive training on any technology to be used in interviews and on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.

The district also must ensure that investigators receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.

Any materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, must not rely on sex stereotypes and must promote impartial investigations and adjudications of formal complaints of sexual harassment.

These training materials will be posted on the school district’s website.


Any party may appeal the decision in writing to the Superintendent within fifteen (15) school days of receipt of the findings of the formal procedure or a dismissal on the following bases:

  1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;

  2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and

  3. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant

or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

The school district will notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed and implement appeal procedures equally for both parties. Both parties will have a reasonable, equal opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome.

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The Superintendent or designee, as a further impartial decision-maker, will review the

comprehensiveness and accuracy of the investigation and the conclusions, and issue written

findings to both the complainant and respondent within thirty (30) school days of the appeal.

External Grievance Procedure

Any student, parent or employee who chooses not to use the District's internal grievance procedures or who is not satisfied with the District's internal grievance procedures may file a complaint of discrimination or harassment with an appropriate state or federal agency.

Referral to Law Enforcement, Other Agencies

Some alleged conduct may constitute both a violation of District policies and criminal activity. The building Principal, coordinator, Superintendent, or designee will refer matters to law enforcement and other agencies as appropriate under the law or District policy, and inform the complainant/ alleged victim of the right to file a criminal complaint.


Complainants and those who participate in the complaint resolution process or who otherwise oppose in a reasonable manner an act or policy believed to constitute discrimination are protected from retaliation by law and District policy. The coordinator or designee will inform all involved individuals that retaliation is prohibited, and that anyone who feels that they have experienced retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in the resolution process should inform the coordinator. The coordinator will investigate reports of retaliation and, where retaliation is found, take separate remedial and disciplinary action.

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