Section III affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide for all adults and athletes an environment that is free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Sexual harassment is a violation of law. Therefore, Section III prohibits all forms of sexual harassment by employees, volunteers, student athletes, and non-employees such as contractors (officials) and vendors, which occur at all Section III sponsored events, programs and activities including those that take place at venues other than schools. Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
Section III acknowledges that in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred the totality of the circumstances, expectations, and relationships should be evaluated including, but not limited to, the ages of the harasser and the victim; the number of individuals involved, and the type, frequency and duration of the conduct. Section III recognizes that sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from a third party such as a visitor, volunteer, or vendor, or any other individual associated with Section III. Sexual harassment may occur from athlete-to-athlete, from adult-to-athlete, from athlete-to-adult, as well as adult-to-adult.
In order for Section III to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any person who believes that he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment within the Section III environment, immediately report such alleged harassment; such report shall be directed to or forwarded to the Section III Executive Director through informal and/or formal complaint procedures as developed by Section III. Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, although verbal complaints of alleged sexual harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy. In the event that the Executive Director is the offender, the complainant shall report his/her complaint to the President of Section III.
However, even in the absence of a complaint, if the Section has knowledge of or has reason to know of or suspect any occurrence of sexual harassment, the Section will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly.
Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, Section III will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis.
Based upon the results of the investigation, if Section III determines that an employee, and/or athlete has violated the terms of this policy and/or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted. Should the offending individual be an athlete, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied by the administration of the athlete’s school. Should the offending individual be a school employee, Section III will allow the school of employment of said individual to investigate the complaint, and then follow-up with a written report to Section III.
Third parties (such as officials, volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and/or accompanying regulations will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law.
Section III prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment.
Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. Section III will also provide an appeal procedure to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations.
Procedure for Sexual Harassment Complaints
Volunteers/Athletes representing School Districts: Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual harassment, Section III will refer the complaint to the school districts involved. Within 10 working days, the school districts shall provide a written report of their investigation to Section III. At that point, Section III has the right to declare the matter satisfactorily closed or continue the investigation with the possibility of a three person hearing.
Contractors, Officials, Volunteer: Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual harassment, Section III will investigate the complaint with appropriate sport representatives of the Officiating Committee. If necessary, a three-person hearing may be initiated by Section III to determine the appropriate consequences.
Investigations may consist of personal interviews with affected or involved individuals, and other methods and documents deemed pertinent. To the extent possible, Section III will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with Section III’s legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, Section III retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.
Section III will enforce appropriate sanctions against individuals engaging in sexual harassment, including warning, reprimand, suspension, or discharge.
Persons who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of harassment may also face disciplinary action.