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Sexual Harassment Policy

Professional Standards of Conduct


The Berwyn North School District Board of Education supports the following Professional Standards of Conduct to apply to the District’s administration and employees. These standards are intended to direct administration and employees on areas of ethical risk, provide guidance to help recognize and deal with ethical issues, as well as provide mechanisms to report unethical conduct. It is intended to foster a culture of honesty and accountability, deter unethical behavior, and promote fair and accurate disclosure and reporting.
In addition to the Professional Standards of Conduct, the Board of Education has adopted an Employee Code of Excellence (ECOE). Link: Board-Approved Employee Code of Excellence. Each Employee Code of Excellence item is aligned to a Professional Standard of Conduct.

Standards of Conduct:

Standard 9: Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Any actions of this nature exhibited toward students or staff is prohibited and deemed as inappropriate, unethical, illegal and unacceptable (Please refer to the Workplace Harassment Policy 5:20 section in Board policy.)

Several of these standards will be addressed through the Infinitec System to satisfy Illinois State Law (PA 96-0431).  The purpose of ethics training is to review with employees the expectations and proper behavior of professionals in the workplace. Modules are set up every year and distributed to the different job categories based on compliance requirements.

These nine standards are designed to articulate professional standards of conduct and to provide guidance so that the health, safety, and welfare of all students and employees is maintained and protected. All district employees are expected to maintain high standards in their school relationships, to demonstrate integrity and honesty, to be considerate and cooperative, and to maintain professional relationships with students, parents, staff members, and others.

Sexual Harassment (Please refer to Board Policy 5:20)

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or

  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or

  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.                     

Sexual harassment can take two distinct forms:

  1. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when submission to sexual conduct is made a condition of employment or employment benefits.

  2. A hostile work environment occurs when sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, abusive, or offensive work environment.                    

Sexual harassment includes verbal harassment, such as epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs; physical harassment, such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work conduct; and visual harassment, such as derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings.     

Incidents of alleged sexual harassment will be taken seriously by Berwyn North District 98. Follow-up, investigation, and appropriate corrective action will be taken if necessary.

Any individual, who believes he/she is subject to sexual harassment, or believes sexual harassment may be taking place whether or not it directly affects that individual, must report the circumstances, verbal or written, as soon as possible to any one of the following: immediate supervisor or the Complaint Manager.

When a claim is raised, the Complaint Manager will prepare a written record of the complainant’s factual allegations that the complainant will have an opportunity to review and sign. Complainants are encouraged to prepare their own written notes promptly after such events occur, describing the date, time, and specific actions of the alleged harasser that the complainant considers offensive. The Complaint Manager has the responsibility of taking the necessary steps for initiating a timely investigation. 

It is the intent of Berwyn North District 98 to provide a work environment free from verbal, physical, and visual forms (e.g., signs, posters, or documents) of sexual harassment and an environment free of harassment, intimidation, or coercion in any form. All employees are expected to be sensitive to the individual rights of their co-workers.