Equity and Nondiscrimination

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is responsible for ensuring that all individuals are treated equitably in the District’s programs, activities, practices and employment and shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation, and bullying consistent with federal and state nondiscrimination laws.  Pursuant to law and District policy, all individuals participating in District programs and activities shall be afforded equal rights and opportunities regardless of actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital, family, or parental status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, homelessness or foster status, 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. School Personnel are required to take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so when he/she witnesses an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, you should immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Kevin R. Platt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 and/or kplatt@smjuhsd.org.

Links to information, policies, complaint procedures, and forms related to discrimination and harassment can be found by clicking on the specific subjects from links provided below and/or upon request.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.  Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, sexual harassment, discrimination in a school’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and programs, and discrimination based on pregnancy.

 

Title IX- Sex-Based Discrimination is Prohibited 

What is Title IX? 

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in all educational programs and activities, including athletic programs.  No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity operated by the District.  Title IX protects all participants in the District’s educational programs and activities, including students, parents, employees, and job applicants.  The District does not discriminate on the basis of sex.  Discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment and sexual violence. 

In addition to Title IX, the California Education Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools.  (California Education Code §§ 220-221.1.)  Other state and federal laws also prohibit discrimination and ensure equality in education.  Please refer to the SMJUHSD’s board policy and administrative regulations below for more information on the District’s anti-discrimination policies.

Board Policy:
BP 5145.7 Sexual Harassment (Students)- revised November 14, 2017
BP 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

 

Administrative Regulations:
AR 5145.7 Sexual Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017
AR 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

 

Title IX information provided here applies to every school site and to all District programs and activities.

What are my rights under Title IX?

  • You have the following rights under Title IX, to the extent applicable at the District:
  • You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
  • You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
  • You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school or appropriate District personnel as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
  • You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships if the District offers any.
  • You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following related to athletics, if any are provided by the District:  
    • Equipment and supplies;
    • Scheduling of games and practices;
    • Transportation and daily allowances;
    • Access to tutoring;
    • Coaching;
    • Locker rooms;
    • Practice and competitive facilities;
    • Medical and training facilities and services; and have the right to have access to a sex/gender equity coordinator, referred to as the Title IX Coordinator, to answer questions regarding sex/gender equity laws.
  • You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on sex/gender equity laws.
  • You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or the California Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
  • You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
  • You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.

(California Education Code § 221.8.) 

The District has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.  If the District knows or reasonably should know about sex discrimination, it must take action to eliminate the sex discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.  The District must resolve complaints of sex discrimination promptly and equitably.  Information on filing a complaint alleging sex-based discrimination is below, including contact information for the District’s Title IX Coordinator.

For more information specific to anti-discrimination in District employment, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Learn more about your rights under Title IX:

 

Visit the website of the California Department of Education of Equal Opportunity  and the webpage on Gender Equity/Title IX

 

Review related District policies and regulations: 
Discrimination at Your School (Uniform Complaint Procedures)
Williams Complaint
Bullying
Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination (Title IX)
Gender Discrimination in Athletics (Title IX)
 

Who is the Title IX Coordinator?

The District has a Title IX Coordinator who oversees the District’s compliance with Title IX requirements and promotes sex equity in the District’s programs.  Contact the District’s Title IX Coordinator:

Kevin R. Platt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer
Human Resources
2560 Skyway Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Telephone: (805) 922-4573
Email: kplatt@smjuhsd.org

 

How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?

A student, parent, guardian, employee, individual, or organization may file a written complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying on the basis of a protected characteristic under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure by sending a complaint to:

Kevin R. Platt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
 Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer
Human Resources
2560 Skyway Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Telephone: (805) 922-4573
Email: kplatt@smjuhsd.org

The Uniform Complaint Procedure is available at Discrimination at Your School (Uniform Complaint Procedures)

 

You may also file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity at https://www.eeoc.gov

If you need assistance putting your complaint in writing, please contact the district by calling the District Human Resources Division at (805) 922-4573. You may file a complaint anonymously, but the District’s ability to investigate and respond may be limited by a lack of information.

You may also file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.  The electronic complaint form for the Office for Civil Rights is available online at https://ocrcas.ed.gov/. Contact the Office for Civil Rights at:

San Francisco Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 486-5555
Fax: (415) 486-5570; TDD: (800) 877-8339

Email: ocr.sanfrancisco@ed.gov

 

For information about how to file other types of complaints and the procedures for those complaints, please contact the District Office at (805) 922-4573.

When must a complaint be filed?

A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination or retaliation must be filed no later than six months from the date the discrimination or retaliation occurred, or six months from when the complainant first learned of the unlawful discrimination.  The Superintendent or designee may extend this timeline by up to ninety days for good cause, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension.

How will a complaint be investigated?

Complaints filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and a decision made within sixty calendar days of the District’s receipt unless the complainant agrees to an extension.  The District’s compliance officer or designee may interview alleged victims, alleged offenders, and relevant witnesses.  The compliance officer may review available records, statements, or notes related to the complaint, including evidence or information received from the parties during the investigation.  The compliance officer may visit reasonably accessible locations where discrimination is alleged to have occurred.  As appropriate, the District’s compliance officer periodically will inform the parties of the status of the investigation.  The complainant will be notified when a decision is made. Complaints that are not filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and decided pursuant to the applicable procedure.

What happens when the investigation is complete?

For complaints filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, the compliance officer will prepare and send a final written decision to the complainant and respondent, if any, within 60 calendar days of the District’s receipt of the complaint (unless this deadline is extended by mutual agreement). 

The complainant or respondent may appeal the District’s decision within fifteen calendar days to the California Department of Education.  The appeal must specify the reason for the appeal and whether the District’s facts are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied.  The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint to the District and a copy of the District’s decision.  For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s webpage on Uniform Complaint Procedures

For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination based on state law, the complainant may pursue available civil law remedies, including seeking assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys, sixty calendar days after filing an appeal with the California Department of Education.  (California Education Code § 262.3.)  Note that this sixty-day moratorium does not apply to complaints seeking injunctive relief in state courts or to discrimination complaints based on federal law.  (California Education Code § 262.3.)

Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.  For contact information, see the section above on “How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?”  

If the compliance officer finds that a complaint has merit, the District will take appropriate corrective action.  

How do I get more information?

For more information regarding Title IX and sex equity in education or in District employment, please visit the district’s Human Resources website, contact the District’s Title IX Coordinator, or go to the Office of Equal Opportunity.

  


 Complaint Process

The SMJUHSD takes your concerns seriously and has provided these resources to assist you in determining how to file a complaint. The District encourages the early resolution of complaints at the school site level whenever possible. If a parent/guardian has a concern or wishes to make a complaint, she/he may contact the principal at their student's school. Please see the school directory for phone numbers of each school site. Alternatively, complaints may be sent directly to the District’s Chief Equity Compliance Officer, Mr. Kevin R. Platt.

 

Kevin R. Platt
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
2560 Skyway Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 922-4573
kplatt@smjuhsd.org

If you have additional questions, or are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the principal at your student’s school, please contact Mr. Kevin R. Platt, Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer

 


Complaints Against School, Office or Employee

Employee Complaint Form (English)
Employee Complaint Form (Spanish)
 


Uniform Complaint Procedures

The UCP process may be used to report a failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations; file complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying; unauthorized charging of pupil fees for educational activities; failure to comply with education provisions for students in foster care and students who are homeless; courses without educational content and previously completed/graded courses sufficient for satisfying requirements/prerequisites for post-secondary education and receipt of a diploma, except under specified conditions; failure to reasonably accommodate lactating students; and/or alleging failure to comply with legal requirements under the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Complainants are encouraged to attempt resolution of their complaints directly at the school site or work site, if possible. Complainants should contact the principal or lead administrator at the school site or work location to make a complaint or discuss a concern. 

Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint alleging a matter which, if true, would constitute a violation by the District of federal or state laws or regulations governing the programs and activities as well as allegations of unlawful discrimination identified above. UCP complaints are to be submitted in writing to: 

Santa Maria Joint Union High School District
Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer

Kevin R. Platt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
2560 Skyway Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455

Any individual with a disability or who is unable to prepare a written complaint can receive assistance from the District by calling the Human Resources Division at (805) 922-4573.

In the investigation of complaints, the District assures confidentiality to the maximum extent possible.  The District prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint or anyone who participates in the complaint investigation process.  Complainants are advised that civil law remedies may also be available to them.

Board Policy:
BP 1312.3 Uniform Complaint Procedures

 

Administrative Regulation:
AR 1312.3 Uniform Complaint Procedures

 

Instructions
Uniform Complaint Procedure Instruction (English)
Uniform Complaint Procedure Instruction (Spanish)

 

Forms
Uniform Complaint Procedures Form (English)
Uniform Complaint Procedures Form (Spanish)

 

Brochures
2017 UCP BROCHURE (ENGLISH)
2017 UCP BROCHURE (SPANISH)
 


Williams Complaints

Education Code Section 35186 created a procedure for the filing of complaints concerning deficiencies related to instructional materials, conditions of facilities that are not maintained in a clean or safe manner or in good repair, and teacher vacancy or misassignment. The complaint and response are public documents as provided by statute. Complaints may be filed anonymously.

 

Administrative Regulation
AR 1312.4 Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures

 

Complaint Forms
Williams Complaint Form (English)
Williams Complaint Form (Spanish)

 

Classroom Posting
Williams Classroom Posting (English)
Williams Classroom Posting (Spanish)

 


 Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities

The Board of Trustees is committed to providing equal opportunity for all individuals in education. District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discrimination against an individual or group based on race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital, pregnancy, or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; a perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.


Board Policy:
BP 0410 Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities - revised December 13, 2016

 


Nondiscrimination/ Harassment (Students)

The Board of Trustees desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district's academic, extracurricular, and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any district school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying, targeted at any student by anyone, based on the student's actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

 

Board Policy:
BP 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

 

Administrative Regulation:
AR 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

  


 Sexual Harassment (Students)

The Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining a safe school environment that is free from harassment and discrimination.   Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education, including K-12 schools. Title IX is a federal law that has been used to promote equity in education by ensuring that females receive equal resources and treatment in the classroom and also provides protections for students who are sexually harassed and discriminated against and/or bullied based on their gender.  In addition to this federal law, the California Education code similarly prohibits schools discriminating against its students on the basis of sex (Education Codes 220-221.1).

Title IX applies to harassment by students, harassment by administrators/teachers/staff, and harassment by volunteers or school visitors.

For information related to the definition of sexual harassment, how to file a complaint of sexual harassment (Title IX), related statutes of limitations, and the investigation process and procedures please review the SMJUHSD’s board policy and administrative regulations, below.


Board Policy:
BP 5145.7 Sexual Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017
BP 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

 

Administrative Regulation:
AR 5145.7 Sexual Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017
AR 5145.3 Nondiscrimination/Harassment (Students) - revised November 14, 2017

 

You may also contact the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to file a complaint.

 


Bullying (Students)

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District believes that all students have a right to a safe and healthy school environment and will not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety of any student. The district recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.

 

Board Policy:
BP 5131.2 Bullying (Students) - adopted March 8, 2016

 


 Nondiscrimination in Employment (Personnel)

The Board of Trustees is determined to provide district employees and job applicants a safe, positive environment where they are assured of full and equal employment access and opportunities, protection from harassment or intimidation, and freedom from any fear of reprisal or retribution for asserting their employment rights in accordance with law.  The Board prohibits district employees from discriminating against or harassing any other district employee or job applicant on the basis of the person's actual or perceived race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, military and veteran status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex, or sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

 

Board Policy:
BP 4030 Nondiscrimination in Employment (Personnel) - revised February 9, 2016

 

Administrative Regulation:
AR 4030 Nondiscrimination in Employment (Personnel) - revised September 29, 2016

 


Sexual Harassment (Personnel)

The Board of Trustees prohibits sexual harassment of district employees and job applicants.  The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against district employees or other persons who complain, testify or otherwise participate in the complaint process established pursuant to this policy and administrative regulation.

 

Board Policy:
BP 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 Sexual Harassment (Personnel) - revised October 10, 2012

 

Administrative Regulations:
AR 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 Sexual Harassment (Personnel) - revised December 8, 2015

  


Title IX - Athletics

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") is most commonly associated with its application to athletic opportunities. However, Title IX applies to all SMJUHSD schools and it prohibits discrimination in all educational programs and activities, not just athletics. Athletic programs are considered educational programs and activities.

Title IX provides female athletes the right to equal opportunities in athletics. Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to providing equal opportunities and benefits to all of its student-athletes.

The SMJUHSD’s Title IX Officer is Kevin R. Platt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. To file a complaint with SMJUHSD regarding Title IX, please contact Mr. Platt.

2016 - 2017 Student Athlete Data

 

Kevin R. Platt
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
2560 Skyway Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 922-4573
kplatt@smjuhsd.org

For more information regarding Title IX or to file a Title IX complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, please contact the Office for Civil Rights or the Office of Equal Opportunity.

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NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: SMJUHSD programs, activities, practices and employment prohibits discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identifications, age, religion, marital, family or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or kplatt@smjuhsd.org. You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.