Title IX/Educational Equality

The Governing Board desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic, extracurricular, and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any district school or school activity, discrimination, including harassment, intimidation, and bullying, targeted at any student by anyone, based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or related recovery, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

The following list of rights of a pupil and the public, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), may be used by the department for purposes of Section 221.6:

(a) You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
(b) You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
(c) You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
(d) You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
(e) You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
(1) Equipment and supplies.
(2) Scheduling of games and practices.
(3) Transportation and daily allowances.
(4) Access to tutoring.
(5) Coaching.
(6) Locker rooms.
(7) Practice and competitive facilities.
(8) Medical and training facilities and services.
(9) Publicity.
(f) You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
(g) You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
(h) You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
(i) You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
(j) You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
(Added by renumbering Section 271 by Stats. 2015, Ch. 43, Sec. 3. (AB 1538) Effective January 1, 2016.)

If you believe you have been discriminated or retaliated against on any of these bases by a covered entity, you may file a complaint with the BUSD or with OCR using either the electronic complaint form or the fillable PDF complaint form linked at the bottom of this page.

If you choose to file the complaint with BUSD the steps are as follows:

When a verbal report of unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation, or bullying, is made to or received by the principal or compliance officer, he/she shall make a note of the report and encourage the student or parent/guardian to file the complaint in writing, pursuant to the provisions in AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures. Once notified verbally or in writing, the principal or compliance officer shall begin the investigation and shall implement immediate measures necessary to stop the discrimination and ensure that all students have access to the educational program and a safe school environment. Any interim measures adopted to address unlawful discrimination shall, to the extent possible, not disadvantage the complainant or a student who is the victim of the alleged unlawful discrimination.

Any report or complaint alleging unlawful discrimination by the principal, compliance officer, or any other person to whom a report would ordinarily be made or complaint filed shall instead be made to or filed with the Superintendent or designee who shall determine how the complaint will be investigated.

Within one business day of initiating the investigation, the compliance officer shall provide the complainant and/or his/her representative with the opportunity to present the information contained in the complaint to the compliance officer and shall notify the complainant and/or his/her representative of the opportunity to present the compliance officer with any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. Such evidence or information may be presented at any time during the investigation.

In conducting the investigation, the compliance officer shall collect all available documents and review all available records, notes, or statements related to the complaint, including any additional evidence or information received from the parties during the course of the investigation. He/she shall individually interview all available witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint, and may visit any reasonably accessible location where the relevant actions are alleged to have taken place. At appropriate intervals, the compliance officer shall inform both parties of the status of the investigation.

Within 10 business days after the compliance officer receives the complaint, the compliance officer shall begin an investigation into the complaint.

To investigate a complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the compliance officer shall interview the alleged victim(s), any alleged offenders, and other relevant witnesses privately, separately, and in a confidential manner. As necessary, additional staff or legal counsel may conduct or support the investigation.

A complainant’s refusal to provide the district’s investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. Similarly, a respondent’s refusal to provide the district’s investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

In accordance with law, the district shall provide the investigator with access to records and other information related to the allegation in the complaint and shall not in any way obstruct the investigation. Failure or refusal of the district to cooperate in the investigation may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

The compliance officer shall apply a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in determining the veracity of the factual allegations in a complaint. This standard is met if the allegation is more likely to be true than not.

Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, a final decision shall be sent to the complainant within 60 calendar days of the district’s receipt of the complaint. Within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall prepare and send to the complainant a written report, as described in the section “Final Written Decision” below. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the compliance officer’s decision, he/she may, within five business days, file his/her complaint in writing with the Board.

The Board may consider the matter at its next regular Board meeting or at a special Board meeting convened in order to meet the 60-day time limit within which the complaint must be answered. When required by law, the matter shall be considered in closed session. The Board may decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the compliance officer’s decision shall be final.

If the Board hears the complaint, the compliance officer shall send the Board’s decision to the complainant within 60 calendar days of the district’s initial receipt of the complaint or within the time period that has been specified in a written agreement with the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

In resolving any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying), the respondent also shall be sent the district’s decision and, in the same manner as the complainant, may file a complaint with the Board if dissatisfied with the decision.

The district’s decision on how it will resolve the complaint shall be in writing and shall be sent to the complainant and respondent. (5 CCR 4631)

In consultation with district legal counsel, information about the relevant part of a decision may be communicated to a victim who is not the complainant and to other parties who may be involved in implementing the decision or are affected by the complaint, as long as the privacy of the parties is protected. In a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying), notice of the district’s decision to the alleged victim shall include information about any sanction to be imposed upon the respondent that relates directly to the alleged victim.

If the complaint involves a limited-English-proficient student or parent/guardian and the student involved attends a school at which 15 percent or more of the students speak a single primary language other than English, then the decision shall also be translated into that language. In all other instances, the district shall ensure meaningful access to all relevant information for parents/guardians with limited English proficiency.

This information is more clearly stated in the policies below.

If you choose to file a complaint using the OCR form, you will be asked to provide your name, address, and email address; the name and address of the person discriminated against; and the name and address of the entity you believe discriminated.

You also will be asked which of the kinds of discrimination forms the basis for your complaint. You will need to provide a description of the conduct that you believe is discriminatory.

By law, complaints of discrimination must ordinarily be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If your complaint involves matters that occurred longer ago than this and you are requesting a waiver, you will be asked to show good cause why you did not file your complaint within the 180-day period.

You will be asked whether you have tried to resolve the matter using a grievance procedure or by filing with another agency.

In addition to the complaint, a signed Consent Form may be required. When disclosure of the identity of the complainant is necessary in order to resolve the complaint, OCR will require written consent before proceeding. The complainant will be informed that the complaint will be closed if written consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and is not received within 20 calendar days of the date of the acknowledgment letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant. The signed Consent Form may be submitted to OCR by mail, fax, email (with a scanned attachment), or in person.

When OCR has determined that consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and OCR has not received a signed Consent Form by the 15th calendar day of the date of the acknowledgment letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant, OCR will contact the complainant (e.g., by phone) to inform the complainant that the complaint will be closed if the signed Consent Form is not received within 5 calendar days. If OCR does not receive a signed written Consent Form, the complaint will be dismissed, and the complainant informed in writing.

A complainant on behalf of or regarding another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual, including when a parent files for a student over the age of 18. Where the person is a minor (under the age of 18) or a legally incompetent adult, the Consent Form must be signed by that person’s parent or legal guardian. Parental or legal guardian consent may not be required for persons under the age of 18 if they are emancipated under state law and are therefore considered to have obtained a majority. Proof of emancipation or incompetence must be provided.

If you submit the completed electronic complaint form, it will be routed to the OCR office with authority to handle complaints in the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your electronic complaint has been received and reviewed.

Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the alleged discrimination. For contact information, see the section above on “How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?” For more information, visit:

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/frontpage/faq/sex.html

If you select the fillable PDF complaint form, once you complete the complaint form and Consent Form, you should print them out, sign them; and mail them (or email scanned copies of the signed forms) to the Enforcement Office with authority for the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your complaint has been received and reviewed.

You may now continue to either the electronic complaint form or the fillable PDF complaint form, or you may abandon the form and return to the OCR Complaint Process page.

An explanation of how to file a complaint under Title IX and how the complaint will be investigated is included in the policies below. The Title IX complaint form can be found here.

The Title IX coordinator for BUSD is the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Khushwinder Gill.  She can be reached at 707-747-8300 or by emailing TitleIX@beniciaunified.org. For information on how to appeal the District’s decision to the CDE within 15 calendar days, click here https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc/

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education

The address is below.

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1328

Telephone: 800-421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR@ed.gov

(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html) – link for OCR

ADA Accessible Website Initiative

The Benicia Unified School District is committed to providing accessibility for all. If you experience difficulty with the accessibility of any web pages or documents on our site, please contact us to request this information in an alternative format.

Non-Discrimination

District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying against an individual or group based on race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or related recovery, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information; a perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
The Title IX coordinator for BUSD is the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Khushwinder Gill.  She can be reached at 707-747-8300 or by emailing TitleIX@beniciaunified.org.
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