Thursday, August 29, 2013

Massachusetts School District Enters Voluntary Resolution Agreement

Framingham (Massachusetts) Public Schools has reportedly entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights, obligating itself to “promptly and equitably” address complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the future, and to strengthen its policies and staff training around those issues.  As we have earlier noted on the blog, Framingham schools were the subject of a Title IX complaint and subsequent federal investigation over complaints that school officials took it easy on a male student-athlete accused of sexually assaulting two female students. 

Under the agreement, the school district has until October 1 to add the name and contact information for the district's Title IX Coordinator to its website and student and employee handbooks, to instruct staff and faculty to report incidents of sexual harassment that come to their attention, and to communicate to students and parents the school's policy defining, prohibiting, and outlining the consequences for sexual harassment.  It must also establish a memorandum of understanding with the local police that clarifies the school district's independent obligation to address matters of sexual assault involving students, and by June, establish a plan to track and handle complaints of sexual harassment and assault.