Nondiscrimination and Title IX
The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education and in employment. BCSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ethnicity or race, which is inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, such as braids, locks, and twists, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identifications, religion, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, physical disability, mental disability, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, medical information, genetic information, homelessness, foster status, military veteran status, political affiliation or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws consistent with Education Code 200, 220 and 234.1, Penal Code 422.55, Government Code 11135, and Title IX. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment.
If you believe you, or your student, have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying you should contact your school site principal and/or the District’s Chief Compliance and Title IX Officer, Erin Johnston, by phone at (661) 631-4663, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield, CA 93305. Copies of BCSD’s Uniform Complaint policy, Sexual Harassment policy, and Nondiscrimination policies are available upon request. Links to information, policies, complaint procedures, and forms related to discrimination and harassment can be found by on the links provided below.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY NOTICE
The Bakersfield City School District is committed to maintaining a safe workplace and learning environment that is free of sexual harassment and retaliation. The Board of Education prohibits sexual harassment of students, job applicants, interns, volunteers, employees, contractors, or any other individuals including but not limited to parents and vendors. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against persons who complain, testify, assist or otherwise participate in investigations of complaints regarding sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may, in certain circumstances, be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, and/or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as California law. All persons including applicants, employees, interns, volunteers, students and independent contractors are protected under this policy.
UNIFORM COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
The Governing Board recognizes that the District has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs. The District shall investigate complaints alleging failure to comply with such laws and/or alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying and shall seek to resolve those complaints in accordance with the District's uniform complaint procedures. The Board encourages early resolution of complaints whenever possible. Anyone who wishes to file a complaint may utilize the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedures by contacting:
Erin Johnston, Director I, Human Resources
1300 Baker Street
Bakersfield, California 93305
GENDER EQUITY/TITLE IX INFORMATION
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in all educational programs and activities, including athletic programs. No person shall, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity operated by the District. Title IX protects all participants in the District’s educational programs and activities, including students, parents, employees, and job applicants. The District does not discriminate on the basis of sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment and sexual violence.
In addition to Title IX, the California Education Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools. (California Education Code §§ 220-221.1.) Other state and federal laws also prohibit discrimination and ensure equality in education. Please refer to the BCSD's board policy and administrative regulations above for more information on the District’s anti-discrimination policies.
What are my rights?
Title IX and California Education Code affords the following rights on behalf of students:
B. Students and employees may not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to harassment or other forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in any program or activity.
C. Students may not be required to take and/or may not be denied enrollment in a course because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
D. Students have the right to be evaluated and graded without regard to their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
E. Counseling and guidance provided to students must not be discriminatory
F. Staff may not urge students to enroll in particular classes or programs or activities based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
G. Schools must offer female and male students equal opportunities to play sports.
H. Equipment and supplies, game and practice schedules, budgets, coaching travel allowances, facilities, publicity, support services and tutoring offered to teams are to be equivalent between male and female teams.
I. Pregnant and parenting students have the same right as any other student to continue in their regular school and in any program for which they qualify.
K. Students have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
L. Students have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
M. Students 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.
N. Students have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
O. Students have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?
If you believe you, or your student, have been subjected to unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, you should contact your school site principal and/or the District's Title IX Coordinator:
Erin Johnston, Director I, Human Resources
1300 Baker Street
Bakersfield, California 93305
When must a complaint be filed?
A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination or retaliation must be filed no later than six months from the date the discrimination or retaliation occurred, or six months from when the complainant first learned of the unlawful discrimination. The Superintendent or designee may extend this timeline by up to ninety days for good cause, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension.
How will a complaint be investigated?
Complaints filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and a decision made within sixty calendar days of the District’s receipt unless the complainant agrees to an extension. The District’s compliance officer or designee may interview alleged victims, alleged offenders, and relevant witnesses. The compliance officer may review available records, statements, or notes related to the complaint, including evidence or information received from the parties during the investigation. The compliance officer may visit reasonably accessible locations where discrimination is alleged to have occurred. As appropriate, the District’s compliance officer periodically will inform the parties of the status of the investigation. The complainant will be notified when a decision is made. Complaints that are not filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and decided pursuant to the applicable procedure.
What happens when the investigation is complete?
For complaints filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, the compliance officer will prepare and send a final written decision to the complainant and respondent, if any, within 60 calendar days of the District’s receipt of the complaint (unless this deadline is extended by mutual agreement).
The complainant or respondent may appeal the District’s decision within fifteen calendar days to the California Department of Education. The appeal must specify the reason for the appeal and whether the District’s facts are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied. The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint to the District and a copy of the District’s decision. For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s webpage on Uniform Complaint Procedures.
For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination based on state law, the complainant may pursue available civil law remedies, including seeking assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys, sixty calendar days after filing an appeal with the California Department of Education. (California Education Code § 262.3.) Note that this sixty-day moratorium does not apply to complaints seeking injunctive relief in state courts or to discrimination complaints based on federal law. (California Education Code § 262.3.)
Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. For contact information, see the section above on “How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?”
If the compliance officer finds that a complaint has merit, the District will take appropriate corrective action.
For additional information regarding Title IX rights and responsibilities please contact the Title IX Coordinator or visit the web sites for The California Department of Education's Office for Equal Opportunity and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.