Nashua board agrees on school district sexual harassment policies
The first policy is a guideline for cases that involve any staff members in the district. The second policy is specifically for student-to-student cases of harassment and discrimination.
The two policies follow the general outline provided by the state Department of Education and are similar to sexual harassment policies in other school districts. Sexual harassment is defined but not limited to verbal harassment that is sexual in nature, sexual advances, gestures or pressure for sexual activity, sexist remarks, unwelcomed touching, leering, demands for sex accompanied by threats or promises of rewards or benefits, displaying sexual objects, pictures, or writing and physical assaults that are sexually motivated.
The director of human resources is the school district’s human rights officer and is responsible for ensuring that the schools protect anyone who feels he or she is a victim of sexual harassment.
An audit by the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights required Nashua to provide specific information on how anyone with a complaint can bypass the traditional route of reporting sexual harassment and discrimination to the school administration and go directly to the N.H. Commission, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, in Boston, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, also based in Boston.
“Sometimes, it can be so complex, and it takes a lot of time to investigate,” said Seusing.