CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
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 from discrimination.
Employee, Supervisor, and Manager Responsibilities
The Gardner School Department shall administer this policy and accompanying procedures in the following manner:
a) The School Department shall designate two investigators, one of whom shall be a male and one female to examine the relative merits of the situation.
b) All such investigators shall be trained in sexual harassment investigative techniques. Such training shall include interviewing techniques and conflict resolution.
c) There shall be one investigation team for Gardner High School and one team representing the remainder of the school district.
Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Procedures
If any employee believes that he or she has been subjected to a violation of civil rights, the employee has the right to file a complaint. This may be done in writing or orally.
To file a complaint at Gardner High School, the primary contact persons are the assistant principals.
To file a complaint in any other building within the school department, the primary contact persons: is the Assistant Superintendent.
The grievant is encouraged to submit a formal complaint within thirty (30) days of the alleged violation.
Violation of Civil Rights Investigation
When the complaint is received, the allegation will be investigated promptly in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The investigation will include a private interview with all of the principle participants included in the civil rights dispute.
When the investigation is complete, the investigative team will, to the extent appropriate, inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the civil rights violation.
If it is determined that inappropriate behavior has occurred, the investigative team will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate, recommend disciplinary action to both the building principal and the school Superintendent.
Please note that while this policy sets forth the school department’s goals of promoting a school environment that is free of violation of civil rights, the policy is not designed or intended to limit the school department’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for which is deemed as unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of violation of civil rights.
Possible outcomes of a civil rights investigation are:
- If the investigation of a complaint indicates that an individual has engaged in conduct constituting a violation of civil rights, disciplinary action will be taken. The disciplinary action will depend upon the seriousness of the violation. Such action may range from counseling to criminal charges being sought.
- Any individual who prevents or attempts to prevent any other individual from making a violation of civil rights complaint, or fails to cooperate with or interferes in any way with the investigation of such a complaint, will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Any employee who retaliates or discriminates in any way against an individual who makes a violation of civil rights complaint or assists in the investigation of such complaint will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements and the guidelines suggested in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
- Any non-employee (e.g., parent, vendor) found to have committed a violation of civil rights be removed from school department premises, or other appropriate action, such as the filing of criminal charges, may be taken.
- In the event that the grievance is unsatisfied with the actions or recommendations taken by the investigative team, an appeal could be filed with the school Superintendent.
- A civil rights grievant has available civil and criminal remedies as well as a cause of action under Title III, Title VI, Title XI, and Federal Law 502.
State and Federal Remedies
In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to a violation of civil rights, you may file a complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below.
- The United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1 Congress Street – 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
- The Massachusetts Commission Against
Boston Office: Springfield Office
One Asburton Place, Rm. 601 424 Dwight Street, Rm 220
Boston, MA 02108 Springfield, MA 01103
(617) 727-3990 (413) 739-2145
[Revised: January 2003]
[Revised: November 2007]