Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Title IX Update

Since the District settled with the family of the student who reported a rape during a Garfield field trip, the press attention on Title IX compliance has dropped off considerably. What about the District's attention to Title IX compliance? During the summer and fall it seemed that the District's response was more in reaction to the press attention than a recognition that they had some internal issues that needed resolution. Now that the press isn't watching as closely, what is the District doing?

New Appointment. The District has hired a Title IX Compliance officer, Barbara Nahouraii. She started work on December 1.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring trainings, providing notices, annual reporting, arranging for investigation of complaints, determining the appropriate response and remedial actions and tracking the District’s response to complaints, and identifying and addressing District-wide patterns and systemic problems.

I'm not sure how this appointment alters the duties of those who were previously appointed to responsibilities for Title IX compliance. Nor do I know Ms Nahouraii's place in the District organization chart. Does she report to the Assistant Superintendent for Operations? Is she in Human Resources? Is she part of the internal auditor's office? Don't know, but I'll ask.

Policy 3208, Sexual Harassment, has not been revised. This was required action in response to the Comprehensive Program Review by the OSPI. The District committed to doing it by July. After the July deadline passed District staff assured us that it would be done by the fall. It now appears that there is no plan to revise this policy until after the Title IX Task Force makes their recommendations. The District is using a Task Force schedule to justify a delay in action that was promised quickly. Stop me if you've heard that one before. There is, of course, nothing to prevent the District from revising the policy quickly and then revising it again (if necessary) after receiving the Task Force recommendations.

Revisions to the superintendent procedure 3208 were also required by the CPR, they were also promised quickly. A draft of a revised procedure was circulated, but, to this date, the revised procedure has not been adopted. Again, it is likely that the superintendent is waiting until the Task Force completes their work before revising the procedure. See the pattern? The District promises quick action and then blames the delay on the Task Force and, undoubtedly the "Seattle Process". There is, of course, nothing to prevent the District from revising the procedure quickly and then revising it again (if necessary) after receiving the Task Force recommendations.

There have been promises of assignment of Title IX compliance responsibilities at every school and training for those assigned, but it is unclear whether the assignments have been made, whether the training was done, or whether, with the changes in District level Title IX officials, the previous training isn't now obsolete. The training had given the names of the central office people to contact to report issues and seek expertise and they might no longer be the people to contact.

The annual report required by policy 3208 still hasn't been presented. It has never been presented. There is no timetable for presenting it. The Board, so far as I know, is not asking for it.

While some of the various documents and web sites have been amended to include Title IX notices, the notices are not yet on all of them.

There are a number of training sessions that were promised. Given the whirlpool of Title IX official appointments it is unclear if any of the people who are now tasked with Title IX compliance attended any of them and it is unclear if some of those tasked earlier still have those responsibilities or not.

The District's General Counsel maintains a log of the required actions to address the District's acknowledged failures in compliance with Title IX. This log is presented at each meeting of the Audit and Finance Committee.

On the whole, it appears that the only progress since September has been the appointment of a Title IX Compliance Officer, yet another new central office administrative position.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The districts reaction to everything is driven by reports to the media or OSPI by parents. Don't believe anything the districts says about self-reporting. A little research shows it's parents who blow the whistle on the district FIRST then the district pulls CYA and claims self reporting.

--Michael



Anonymous said...

Although the parents and the District reached a settlement, OCR is continuing its ongoing investigation of whether the District's handling of complaints of sexual assault, including the Garfield rape case, complied with Title IX.

Adam

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Has anyone contacted OCR to determine whether the District has met the requirements OCR has required as of now? What does OCR say about your concerns? Did I miss something in your post?

Aviva

Charlie Mas said...

UPDATE:
The revised superintendent procedure for policy 3208 will be signed today and will be uploaded to the District web site shortly.

A Title IX statistics report was submitted to the Operations Committee in September. This report, which utterly failed to meet the requirements of policy 3208 has been accepted as the sexual harassment report for 2014. Supposedly the Board asked for a better report next year and the staff promised to provide a better report next year, but this year - apparently - isn't worthy of a report that actually meets the requirements of the policy.

Anonymous said...

This link may be of possible interest regarding the right to an equal education. It's the Norman School District's, OK, response to massive demonstrations regarding sexual assault and gender-based harassment/bullying. http://www.norman.k12.ok.us/index.php?news-press-releases&action=view&post_id=159

Many reports on this activism and also here https://www.facebook.com/yesalldaughters. They received world-wide attention through their expert social media efforts. So far it doesn't appear that they have filed a complaint with OCR but certainly could.

SSAIS