It is the policy of the Hingham Public Schools to promote and maintain a working and educational environment that is free from all forms of harassment. The most productive and satisfying work environment is one in which work and work-related activities are accomplished in a spirit of mutual trust and respect. Harassment is a form of discrimination that is offensive, impairs morale, undermines the integrity of employment relationships and causes serious harm to the productivity, efficiency and stability of our organization.
All employees have a right to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassing conduct, including sexual harassment. Harassment on the basis of an employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual preference or disability is expressly prohibited under this policy. Harassment on any basis (race, sex, age, disability, etc.) exists whenever the conduct interferes with an employee’s work or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment violates state and federal law; and, therefore, the policies of the Hingham Public Schools. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or success as a student; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual, or; (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.
While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
- Unwelcome sexual advances – whether or not they involve physical touching;
- Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess, and sexually explicit e-mails or the use of social media to share such references, and
- Displays of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, and cartoons.
Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Such harassment can be defined as conduct that shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her protected characteristic and that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Each employee of the Town of Hingham is personally responsible for:
Ensuring that his/her conduct does not harass any student or other employee or applicant for employment, or other individual in the workplace or school;
Cooperating in the investigation of informal reports or formal complaints of alleged harassment by providing any information she/he possesses concerning the matters being investigated; and
Otherwise cooperating with efforts to prevent and eliminate harassment and to maintain a working and learning environment free from such unlawful discrimination.
Grievance Officers for all forms of harassment
Alleged Violations Between School Department Employees
For any alleged harassment violations between School Department employees, the Superintendent of Schools has designated the Director of Student Services as the Grievance Officer. He or she is vested with the authority and responsibility of processing or referring to an appropriate administrator or one of the Town Grievance Officers all harassment complaints in accordance with the procedure outlined under Procedure 2.6A. The Director of Student Services may be contacted at the School Administration Offices, telephone 741-1500.
Town Grievance Officers:
Human Resources Director (781) 804-2479
Assistant Town Administrator (781) 804-2401
Public Health Nurse (781) 804-2371
2/14/94 // 1/10/05 // 4/11/11