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Madison Metropolitan School District

Employee Handbook 2021-2022

2.8 Harassment

The District is committed to the provision of a professional, harassment-free environment for employees. The District considers all forms of harassment, including hazing, to be unacceptable behavior because it undermines productivity in the work and academic environments, degrades, intimidates, isolates and is discriminatory. Harassment infringes upon the rights of all and creates a hostile environment for learning and working.

To ensure that all employees work in an environment free of all forms of harassment, the District expressly prohibits harassment based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, disabilities, handicap, religion, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest/conviction record, source of income, association with a person with a disability, physical appearance, student status, political beliefs, less than honorable discharge, gender identity and gender expression and will take all the necessary steps to prevent such harassment from occurring. Any employee who engages in harassment will be disciplined as appropriate.

Harassment is defined as: Unwanted, deliberate or repeated unsolicited comments (oral or written), gestures, graphic material, physical contacts, verbal/nonverbal or physical conduct directed to an individual because of his/her membership in a protected class constitute harassment when this conduct:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment; or

  2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably or substantially interfering with an individual’s work; or

  3. Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment; or

  4. Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or

  5. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual or

  6. Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it adversely affects an individual’s ability to work.

Examples of harassment may include but are not limited to:

  • Unwanted physical contact including touching, pinching and/or brushing the body.

  • Indecent exposure, including lewd and lascivious behaviors.

  • Persistent requests for social/sexual encounters and favors.

  • Making inappropriate statements or jokes about students or staff because of their protected status, (e.g., gender, disability, sexual preference, race, religion, etc.).

  • Basing a personnel decision on someone providing sexual favors, or someone protected status (e.g., ancestry, age, political beliefs, physical appearance, religion, etc).

  • Displaying graphic, sexually explicit objects, posters or pictures that show adolescents, women, racial minorities, people who have disabilities or students in a degrading or humiliating manner.

  • Obscene gestures, nonverbal suggestive behavior (leering) or insulting sounds(whistling).

Any person who believes that he/she has been harassed may file a complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer of the District in accordance with the District’s complaint procedure.

Board Policy 8012

For additional information:

Difference Between Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination