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School sex harassment rule proposed


A proposed sexual harassment policy on tomorrow's school board agenda is unrelated to recent events at Northeast High School, where a teacher has been indicted on charges of sexually abusing girls, says a spokeswoman for the Board of Education.

"The two are definitely not related," said Nancy Jane Adams, the spokeswoman. "We've been working on this for several months. We're constantly revising the policy manual."

The proposed policy has three sections, including one that states: "The Board of Education recognizes that harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of both federal and state discrimination laws."

The statement adds that, "The Board of Education is committed to maintaining an environment free from sexual harassment from any source."

Regulations to enforce the intent of the policy would have to be enacted separately, Ms. Adams said. She added that the sexual harassment policy draft before the board would apply to school staff members.

"The policy will be the same for students, but the regulations will have to be different," said Ms. Adams.

Carolyn Roeding, president of the County Council of PTAs, said she wants to know the school board's timetable for enacting the regulations.

"I would be anxious to know how quickly they will act to ensure students will not be harassed," said Mrs. Roeding. "I also want to know what type of disciplinary action an employee would face for violating the policy.

"I also want to know if they'll have something outlining disciplinary actions against employees who harass other employees or students. As with everything else, I think they're being reactive rather than proactive."

The board is not scheduled to take action on the sexual harassment policy proposal, but is scheduled to vote on a policy that would require school bus drivers to undergo drug testing.

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