The PAUSD Title IX Office receives and investigates complaints brought by parents and students alleging unlawful discrimination including discriminatory harassment, (such as sexual harassment, sexual violence or harassment based on a protected characteristic), intimidation, or bullying against any person in district programs and activities, including, but not limited to, those program or activities funded directly by or that receive or benefit from any state financial assistance, based on the person's actual or perceived characteristics or race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200  or 220 , Government Code 11135 , or Penal Code 422.55 , or based on the person's association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics (5 CCR 4610).
4/13/18: The Title IX Office held an Investigations Bootcamp professional development opportunity that 25 PAUSD administrators attended, as well as administrators from seven other school districts.
3/29/18: The Office For Civil Rights visited the District office and two high schools meeting with staff and administrators to discuss changes in procedure following the resolution agreement between OCR and PAUSD. OCR representatives held office hours, meeting with members of the community.
3/13/18: The Title IX Coordinator presented at the Board Meeting, reporting on Title IX complaints since August 2017 and the improvement of the District's response to Title IX matters.
11/2/17: The District added their first Title IX Coordinator, a position solely dedicated to educating, investigating, and informing the PAUSD community about Title IX.
10/19/17: Message to the PAUSD community from PAUSD Board President Terry Godfrey:
The final report developed in response to the Board’s direction last Spring that the firm of Cozen O’Connor conduct an investigation of how district staff handled the issues surrounding the events at Palo Alto High School in the Fall of 2016 can be found here.
Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) response is below:
In sum, we find that the District’s response to the 2016 Title IX report did not comport with key aspects of Title IX, state law, Board policy and the District’s administrative regulations. While School administrators took timely action to respond to the Complainant’s report, they did not provide the Complainant with the full range of procedural options available under Title IX, state law, Board policy and administrative regulations. The initial steps, which included a limited investigation, the provision of support and remedial measures, and the imposition of a disciplinary sanction against the Respondent were insufficient to meet the District’s obligations under Title IX, state law and Board policy. While the steps taken reflected care for the welfare of both students, the response to the report by the School and the District reflected systemic concerns about the application of Title IX and Board policy given our observations about the role of the Title IX Coordinator, the level of supervisory authority exercised, the coordination of information and personnel and the failure to follow written policies in practice.
10/10/17: Interim Superintendent Karen Hendricks announced the formation of a special Superintendent’s Task Force focused on combating sexual harassment and assault.
Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP)
The Palo Alto Unified School District maintains a uniform complaint procedure for investigating complaints of: (1) discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying on the basis of actual or perceived characteristics of age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, nationality, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Penal Code 422.55, or Government Code 11135, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, including retaliation; and (2) complaints of violations of the laws and regulations governing consolidated categorical aid programs, Adult Education, Career/Technical Education, Child Development, Special Education and Nutrition services, or Federal and State Categorical Programs (No Child Left Behind, Title 1, McKinney Vento, English Language Learners, Foster Youth, other programs) and the prohibition against requiring students to pay fees, deposits, or other charges for participating in educational activities. Any individual, public agency or organization may file a written complaint of noncompliance. PAUSD’s form can be found here.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et. seq. (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive or benefit from Federal financial assistance. Generally, a provider may not exclude, deny or provide different or lesser services to applicants or beneficiaries on the basis of sex.
The following Board Policies (BPs) are under revision per the OCR Resolution Agreement (RA) approved by the Board 2/28/17. Per the RA the District must revise them and submit the revisions for OCR review and approval by 6/30/17. These BPs have been revised by staff and legal counsel, reviewed by the Board Policy Review Committee (BPRC) on 5/4/17 and submitted to OCR for comment. Staff is awaiting (as of 5/17/17) input from the OCR. If input is received in time these BPs will go to the full Board for approval on 6/7/17.