Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) has signed a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in regards to two open investigations, one at each of the school district’s high schools dating back to the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. Both investigations are related to matters of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and student safety on and off campus.
On March 8, 2017, OCR released its findings after investigating whether PAUSD complied with the following mandated areas:
The Title IX requirements regarding the development and dissemination of notice of nondiscrimination pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 106.9;
The Title IX requirements regarding the designation and notice of a Title IX Coordinator pursuant to 34 C.F.R § 106.8(a);
The District’s sexual harassment and sexual violence policies and procedures pursuant to 34 C.F.R § 106.8(b);
A prompt and equitable response to the incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence of which it had notice pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §§ 106.31 and 106.8; and
Provide a prompt and equitable response to the schools’ oral reports and written complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, which led students to be subjected to or to continue to be subjected to a sexually hostile environment pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §§ 106.31 and 106.8.
The safety of all PAUSD students is of high priority for the school district as it understands that a child needs to feel safe at school in order to learn and thrive. That said, PAUSD will continue its collaborative partnership with the Office of Civil Rights as it reviews the school district’s response at the time of the allegations, its processes, its Board of Education policies, and future systems and programs to protect all students.
The PAUSD Board of Education (BOE) has been discussing the agreement during regular meetings since December. The final agreement was approved at the Tuesday, February 28, 2017, regular meeting. This resolution agreement between OCR and PAUSD outlines the school district's plan of action to address these findings and further strengthen PAUSD’s BOE policies, procedures, professional training for staff, and responsiveness to any allegations under Title IX or the Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP). OCR will be monitoring the school district’s response to past and any future allegations of sexual harassment or assault for the next three years.
The school district is working on completing requirements in the resolution agreement. In addition, revised Board policies and administrative regulations will be presented to the Board Policy Review Committee (BPRC) at the meeting scheduled for April 21, 2017.
The PAUSD community will have the opportunity to learn of any updates on the resolution from Superintendent Dr. Glenn "Max" McGee in his Superintendent’s Report at the beginning of each Board of Education Regular Meeting.