Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Annual Report required by Sexual Harassment Policy still missing

I know that I harp on this every couple months, but it has been another couple of months.

Board Policy 3208, Sexual Harassment, requires an annual report from the Superintendent. The policy was adopted over four years ago, in December of 2011, but there has yet to be even one annual report submitted.

In 2014, following a reported rape on a school field trip, the Board and the Superintendent tearfully expressed how gravely they are concerned about sexual harassment and how deeply committed they are to compliance with all of the various policies, rules, laws, and regulations that deal with it. Yet, despite their grave concern and their deep commitment, the Superintendent has yet to produce the required report. The Board did wake up and ask for the report. In June of 2015 the Board directed the Superintendent to deliver the report in August of 2015. That was six months ago. The superintendent did not provide the report at that time. When confronted about the failure in December, he claimed that senior staff was pre-occupied with collective bargaining. That excuse might have worked in August or even December, but now, in March, it is clear that collective bargaining was not the obstacle that was preventing him from producing the report.

No more delays. The Superintendent should produce the report immediately. More importantly, the Board needs to demand the report immediately. The report is now more than six months overdue. Is this what accountability looks like?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought Harris was going to take care of this on day one? So much for her words.

One would think with a female majority board things like this would get done.


Next year?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't recall Harris saying this; could you cite when she said this?

The Board has been female majority for years.

Anonymous said...

But Joe Biden said on the Oscars that sexual harassment and sexual predation was bad! Surely all the JSCEE staffers glued to their TVs made note of the wild popularity of the speech and moved this item up their 'to do' lists.

DistrictWatcher

mirmac1 said...

Serious. Next year better get on the ball and fix it himself, right?

Anonymous said...

It's the failure to follow policy that leads to sexual assault and Title IX investigations.

Seattle Public Schools in the Washington Post 1/17 National Education Reporter Emma Brown.

North Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

link to the article North Seattle parent referenced: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sexual-violence-isnt-just-a-college-problem-it-happens-in-k-12-schools-too/2016/01/17/a4a91074-ba2c-11e5-99f3-184bc379b12d_story.html

LisaG

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised that SPS does not follow its own policies and why the board of directors does not hold its sole employee accountable. Thanks, Charlie, for keeping this topic alive.

Rita

Anonymous said...

The response to the May 29, 2015 TITLE IX COORDINATOR INTERIM REPORT is dated January 14, 2016 and that it states that "With respect to 2014-2015 report, SCRO and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources are working on determining when it can be completed.” I suppose we should be grateful that the report also states, "The revised 3208SP specifies what the annual report should entail for 2015-2016.” No doubt it is easier to produce a report when one knows what it should contain.

Tami

Charlie Mas said...

Near as I can suss it out, here's how it went.

In 2014 the report was made by the Security folks. It was a presentation to the Operations Committee by Pegi McEvoy. In the committee meeting minutes you can find a description of a presentation that could be interpreted as meeting the reporting requirements of the policy. If you're looking for a written report you're just mistaken.

Later that year the superintendent re-wrote the procedure and assigned the duty of making the report to HR.

In August 2015, when the 2015 report was due, the HR people were occupied with collective bargaining. All of them. There wasn't any capacity in the department for the report.

HR never did get around to working on the report before December when the superintendent revised the procedure to make the report the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator. At that point, it appears, the HR people reckoned it wasn't their duty any more.

The Title IX coordinator, who accepts responsibility for the 2016 report, doesn't feel responsible for the 2015 report which should have been done by HR.

The Board, however, has been asking for the report - or at least for a timeline for a report. It looks like HR will accept the responsibility for the 2015 report and will put something together. It may not be a written report. It will probably be little more than a re-hash of the Interim Coordinator's report and the Task Force report. And then this issue will be resolved.

There does appear to be some interest in policy compliance among a few members of the District leadership. It's not much, and they are few, but it is there.

Beth D said...

I sent in an e-mail to the Board and senior staff on Wednesday copying much of Charlie's statement (and noting its source). I asked to require the report immediately as its critical to the safety of our students.

Haven't heard anything back...

Momof2