Sexual Harassment Defined
Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment or the educational relationship; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting the individual; or (3) such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s right to receive an education free from discrimination, unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or an employee’s work performance, and creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment. Sexual harassment also includes sexual violence, which, in addition to violating this zero tolerance policy, is a crime.
Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, encompasses a wide range of conduct. Examples of specifically prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Promising, directly or indirectly, a student a reward, if the student complies with a sexually oriented request;
- Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against a student if the student refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request;
- Denying, directly or indirectly, a student an education-related opportunity, if the student refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request;
- Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation or physical contact or touching a student;
- Displaying pornographic or sexually oriented materials;
- Telling sexual or “dirty” jokes;
- Engaging in indecent exposure;
- Making unwanted sexual or romantic advances toward a student;
- Spreading sexual rumors or rating other students as to sexual activity or performance; or
- Physical conduct such as assault, touching, or blocking normal movement.
The conduct can occur in any school program or activity and can take place in classrooms, school facilities, dorms, or at off-campus locations.