Introduction

  • The Falmouth Public Schools believe in the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial community of Falmouth.  We must be aware that what we say, do, or think, allow to happen, or fail to stop has the power to harm or to help our students, their families, our colleagues, and ultimately ourselves.  Remarks and actions that negatively impact members of our community are not acceptable.  There are times when each of us is a member of a majority and times when we are in a minority.  Each of us must be sensitive to the people around us and work for a school system and world in which we will be judged only by the content of our character.  We are working to support fully the formal notice of non-discrimination below and we want to know of any situation that might be in non-compliance.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

  • Falmouth Public Schools does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its services, programs and activities, on the basis of race, color or national origin, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); on the basis of sex, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; on the basis of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); or on the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination Act of 1974 (Age Discrimination Act). Nor does it discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or religion, in accordance with Chapter 622 of the Acts of 1971 (M.G.L. c.76, §5) and Chapter 151B of the General Laws.

    To file a complaint alleging discrimination or harassment by Falmouth Public Schools on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, or religion or to make inquiry concerning the application of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, the ADA, the Age Discrimination Act, or applicable state laws and their respective implementing regulations, please contact:

    Equity/Affirmative Action Officer

    Falmouth Public Schools

    340 Teaticket Highway

    East Falmouth, MA 02536

    508-548-0151

    Inquiries concerning the applicability of the aforementioned federal laws and regulations to Falmouth Public Schools also may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), JW McCormack POCH, Boston, Massachusetts 02109-4557, telephone (617) 223-9662, TTY (617) 223- 9695.

    A grievant may file a complaint with OCR, generally,

    • within 180 calendar days of alleged discrimination or harassment, or
    • within 60 calendar days of receiving notice of Falmouth Public School’s final disposition on a complaint filed through Falmouth Public Schools, or
    • within 60 calendar days of receiving a final decision by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Bureau of Special Education Appeals, or
    • instead of filing a complaint with Falmouth Public Schools.

    Inquiries relative to state law may be referred to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5023 (telephone 781-338-3300) or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination at One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108 (telephone 617-727-3990).

Policy on Preventing Harassment and Discrimination/Sexual Harassment

  • The Falmouth Public School System shall maintain learning and working environment free from discrimination and harassment. In both the education and employment environments of the Falmouth Public Schools, various laws prohibit discrimination and harassment. In an education context, law prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of disability, national origin, race, color, religion, sex or sexual orientation. In an employment context, law also prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of age. All such harassment and discrimination is unlawful and will not be tolerated in the Falmouth Public School System, M.G.L. c76, §5.

    In September, building principals are responsible for reviewing and insuring that all staff are notified in writing annually of the building procedures for filing a report relative to incidents of discrimination and/or harassment.

    Defining Discrimination and Harassment

    Discrimination:  Discrimination occurs when school system actions, procedures, policy or personnel treat an individual adversely in an educational or employment context solely on the basis of the individual's race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, citizenship, military status, sexual orientation, gender, disability or genetic information. Discrimination on the basis of sex shall include, but not be limited to, sexual harassment.

    Sexual Harassment:  Sexual harassment is unwanted attention directed toward a person because of his or her gender. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:

    1. submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made as an implied or explicit term or condition of success in school, employment; or as a basis for employment conditions; or
    2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for student grading/participation decisions or employment decisions affecting such individual.
    3. the advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's school or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive learning or working environment.

    Sexual harassment includes advances, requests or conduct by a student to a student, an adult to a student, an adult to an adult or student to adult. Sexual harassment can include advances, requests or conduct directed from male to female, female to male, male to male, or female to female. Sexual harassment can occur by conduct transmitted by telephone, computer, or other electronic means.

    Examples of actions that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following unwelcome actions:

    • whistling, catcalling or making offensive noises;
    • staring or making obscene gestures;
    • making suggestive remarks, telling jokes of a sexual nature, or using derogatory sexual terms;
    • displaying offensive photographs, illustrations, or sex related objects;
    • blocking a person's movements;
    • touching, brushing, pinching or patting;
    • pulling or lifting of clothing;
    • pressuring a person for dates, sex or information about personal relationships or sexual experiences; or
    • leaving pictures of a homosexual or sexual nature on a locker or making derogatory comments of a homosexual nature;
    • transmitting harassing remarks or pictures on the Internet, through a cell phone, or by other electronic means.

    Other Forms of Illegal Harassment Including Hate Crimes:  Harassment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disability includes any unwanted physical or verbal action toward another that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. Harassment of this form includes advances, requests by a student to a student, an adult to a student, an adult to an adult, student to adult, male to female, female to male, male to male and female to female. Harassment can occur by conduct transmitted by telephone, computer or other electronic means.

    Examples of actions that may constitute harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • using racial slurs;
    • displaying intimidating symbols or words such as swastikas;
    • making generalizations;
    • using stereotypes;
    • telling racial or ethnic jokes;
    • leaving pictures of a homosexual or sexual nature on a locker or making derogatory comments of a homosexual nature;
    • transmitting harassing remarks or pictures on the Internet, through a cell phone, or by other electronic means.

    Harassment in the Form of Bullying:  Although not unlawful discrimination, actions in the form of bullying or victimizing (hate crimes) by any members of the Falmouth school community will be considered harassment under the “Falmouth School Committee Policy on Preventing Harassment and Discrimination.” A student is being bullied when he/she is exposed to negative actions from students, Falmouth Public Schools' employees, or other third parties that have the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student's school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment for the student.

    Examples may include but are not limited to:

    • physical threatening (bullying);
    • making derogatory comments about peoples' size, weight, height, etc.;
    • making derogatory comments about peoples' perceived intelligence or ability or use of sarcasm.

    Where Can Harassment Originate?

    Harassment can come from:

    • students;
    • administrators, teachers, coaches or other employees of the Falmouth Public Schools; or
    • third parties such as vendors or contractors doing business with the Falmouth Public Schools; visitors or volunteers present within the schools with the permission of the Falmouth Public Schools.

    Statements Made Within the Context of the Academic Curriculum:  This policy is not meant to stifle or chill the free exchange of ideas in the teaching and learning environment. It should be understood that in the teaching and learning environment, in order to encourage the learning process, statements, writings or visuals may occasionally take on overtones that could be offensive to some individuals. Teachers should use professional discretion when considering whether to include potentially offensive material in the curriculum and then inform students when this is the case and assure them that it is part of the learning environment and not meant to be discriminatory or harassing.

    What to do if you feel you have been Discriminated Against or Harassed

    Students:  Any student who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment should notify any teacher, guidance counselor, nurse, any administrator in his/her building, or any central office administrator. To effectively resolve complaints of discrimination or harassment, people are encouraged to file complaints soon after an incident occurs. Parents or guardians will be notified within 48 hours.

    What to do if you are aware that Someone has been Discriminated Against or Harassed

    Students:  Any student who has knowledge or belief of conduct that occurred that might be discrimination or harassment should contact any teacher, guidance counselor, nurse, any administrator in his/her building or any central office administrator.

    Consequences for Harassment and Discrimination

    Students:  Any student found to have engaged in harassment will be subject to school imposed discipline and/or legal action. Consequences imposed on any student found to have engaged in harassment may include, but are not limited to, parent conference, written or verbal statement of apology, suspension, expulsion and mandatory counseling sessions with a guidance counselor or mandatory in-house counseling sessions with a School Department administrator. Parents or guardians will be notified within 48 hours.

Last Modified on August 24, 2018