All persons associated with the Gardner Public schools including, but not necessarily limited to, the committee, the administration, the staff, and the student, are expected to conduct themselves at all times so as to provide an atmosphere free discrimination. It is the policy of the Gardner Public schools that violation of the civil rights of a student, teacher, employee, school official, or representative of the school department shall not be tolerated.
Redress for violations of this policy shall be sought through the school department’s Civil Rights Complaint Procedure (see GBE-R). This policy statement applies to all officials, school employees, students, parents, teachers, school vendors, and individuals that are commissioned to work in the school setting. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about a violation of civil rights is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Definition of a Civil Rights Infringement:
The legal definition of civil rights infringement is as follows:
A person shall not receive any form of discrimination as a result of their race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age that is illegal under Title III, Title VI, Title IX, and Federal Law 504 (ADA). These laws provide that each person shall have full access to all privileges, services and benefits within the public school system regardless of their individual race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age.
Examples of Violations of Civil Rights
While it is not possible to list all circumstances that would constitute violation of civil rights, the following are some examples of activities, which would be deemed to be unacceptable under federal statute:
- A student receives a zero on a test grade for an absence predicated upon his or her religious beliefs.
- A male locker room exists in a school setting without a female locker room with basic comparable equipment.
- A library located on the second floor of a school is unreachable to a student with a physical handicap.
- A teacher does not make reasonable accommodations to discuss a student’s grade with parents who may have extremely limited English skills.
- A student receives disparaging comments on his or her perceived sexual orientation within a school setting.
- They physical education curriculum is written so rigidly that students with severely limited physical skills may not have an option to seek an adaptive program.
- All students in a specific grade level are mandated to attend a workshop on sexual education regardless of their religious beliefs.
All personnel will be responsible for implementing, monitoring, and enforcing the above policy. All personnel are to strictly adhere to this policy.
State and Federal Remedies. If you believe you have been subjected to a violation of civil rights, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Using our complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC – 180 days; MCAD – 6 months).
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
One Ashburton Place – Rm 601
Boston, MA 02108
436 Dwight Street, Rm 220
Springfield, MA 01103
[Adopted: April 12, 1999]
[Reviewed: January 2003]
[Revised: April 2017]