Incidents of student-to-student sexual harassment would be strictly prohibited in a revised conduct policy being considered by the Murray City Board of Education.
The revised policy, heard for the first time Wednesday night, also addresses teacher-to-student sexual harassment. Existing policy prohibits the conduct among peers or co-workers and between supervisors and subordinates.Alleged incidents of sexual harassment among students will be handled under the district's discipline policy, said personnel director Barbara Brunker.
The policy is intended to address instances such as the highly publicized hazing incident at Skyview High School in 1993, when the school's back-up quarterback was taped nude to a locker room towel rack by members of the football team. The boy's parents have sued the school district, and the school board canceled the remainder of the football season following the incident.
"Nobody should have to put up with anything that makes them uncomfortable," Brunker said. "To me, that boy was harassed."
While it would cover the hazing incident, the policy is broad in nature.
The existing policy states that sexual harassment may be verbal, such as sexually oriented "kidding," insults or subtle pressure for sexual activity, or visual, including sexually suggestive pictures, posters, cartoons or objects displayed in a work area that are directed toward an individual.
Sexual harassment may also include physical contact such as patting, pinching or constant brushing against another's body and/or demands for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats concerning an individual's employment or student status.
The policy states the school district strongly disapproves of any form of sexual harassment at the workplace or in the school, including the acts of non-employees, which would include visitors to the school, Brunker said. "It could be anybody," including parents, she said.
Students would be informed of the policy during school orientation and in writing, Brunker said.
The policy, established in 1992, also outlines a grievance procedure for staff or students who believe they have been sexually harassed.