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PARENT/ STUDENT RIGHTS: Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities. All public schools, like Colonial School District (CSD), that receive any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Colonial has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively. If Colonial knows or reasonably should know about sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence that creates a hostile environment, Colonial will take immediate action to eliminate the sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. 

Even if a student or his/her parent does not want to file a complaint or does not request that Colonial take any action on the student’s behalf, if Colonial knows or reasonably should know about possible sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence, it will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence does not relieve Colonial of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.

Colonial does not discriminate on the basis of sex, nor does it tolerate discrimination on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities.

Inquiries concerning potential discrimination on the basis of sex can be directed to the District’s Title IX coordinator or to the Office of Civil Rights. 

The District’s Title IX coordinator is:
Director of Human Resources
Colonial School District
318 East Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720
302-323-2700

The Office of Civil Rights is located:
Office for Civil Rights, Philadelphia 
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel:   (215) 656-8541
Fax:  (215) 656-8605

The Title IX coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing all complaints of sex discrimination and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.

The Colonial School District strives to provide an environment free from sex discrimination.  The district encourages students, parents and staff to identify barriers to a discrimination-free environment in all schools and worksites.  Any employee, parent/guardian of a student enrolled in the Colonial School District, or student eighteen years of age or older may file a grievance if he/she believes the student has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex by students, employees or third parties. All grievances will be received and investigated in a fair and expeditious manner.

Violation of the prohibition against sex discrimination will result in formal action taken by Colonial.

Steps to Resolution

Step 1:
The best solutions to parent/student concerns often occur at the school level. Therefore, the District encourages parents to attempt to resolve concerns by working with the building principal or other appropriate building staff to reach a joint resolution of the issue. Contact the building principal to arrange a meeting or to discuss the complaint.  Mediation is also encouraged, though not required.

Step 2:
If the issue is not resolved at the school level, a formal written grievance form filed by the complainant or respondent shall be submitted to the District Title IX Compliance Officer (Director of Human Resources), within 10 business days of the alleged violation to request a hearing.  The Compliance Officer will be independent and impartial.  If he or she has prior knowledge of the situation, an independent and impartial designee shall be appointed.  He or she will investigate the circumstances of the concern, hear evidence and statements from witnesses, and then convene a meeting to present a report of his or her findings of fact and conclusions within 30 business days using a preponderance of the evidence standard.  The complaint should be sent to:

Colonial School District
Attention: Director of Human Resources
318 East Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720
302-323-2700

The letter should contain:
the child’s name, date of birth, address and the school he or she attends;
your name, address and phone number;
your relationship to the child (parent, guardian, surrogate);
name, address and phone number of the person representing you (if you have someone);
decision of the school with which you disagree and the reason;|
date you received this decision; and
your signature.

Similar relevant information shall be provided by the accused if the accused is the one making the request. 

Step 3:
The complainant or respondent may appeal the decision of the district Title IX Coordinator to the Superintendent (or designee) within 10 days of receiving the Title IX Coordinator’s decision.  The Superintendent (or designee) shall review all statements and evidence as well as the Coordinator’s  (or his or her designee’s report), gather such additional evidence as deemed necessary, and then  issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than 30 days after its filing.  Colonial must disclose to the complainant information about the sanction imposed on the perpetrator when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student.

In the event there is a finding of discrimination, the district shall take remedial efforts to prevent recurrence.  

Any party aggrieved shall have the right to file a formal complaint after the Superintendent’s (or designee) decision with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

Office for Civil Rights, Philadelphia 
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel:   (215) 656-8541
Fax:  (215) 656-8605
E-mail: ocr@ed.gov
OCR Electronic Complaint Form: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

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