ABS Policies and Procedures Concerning Discrimination

ABS Policies and Procedures Concerning Discrimination

(Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

ABS strives to ensure that it maintains an environment for students and employees that is free of unlawful sexual discrimination in all aspects of the educational experience. A Title IV Coordinator has been designated the duties of investigating reports of complaints based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, race, color, age, or national origin. Once a complaint is received, the Title IV Coordinator shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation regarding any complaint and shall take disciplinary or remedial action as appropriate. If the Title IV Coordinator determines that he or she cannot apply these procedures fairly and impartially because the identity of a complainant, respondent, or witness, or due to any other conflict of interest, the Title IV Coordinator shall designate another appropriate individual to administer these procedures.  If the Title IV Coordinator is named as a witness or alleged to have engaged in the wrongful conduct, the CEO shall conduct the investigation.  At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, a neutral third-party may be secured to investigate into any complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Filing a Grievance-

All grievances concerning unlawful sexual discrimination or harassment should be submitted to the following ABS Title IX Coordinator:

Larry Gable- Title IX Coordinator / Director of Training

4511 SE 29th Street Oklahoma City, OK 73115

(405) 672-6511

Email: larry@radioschool.com

Any questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the above listed Title IX Coordinator or to the OCR.

Timeframes-

ABS shall begin its investigation as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) days after the complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation is made. ABS will complete an investigation within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the complaint, absent extenuating circumstances. ABS will strive to have the entire process, from the date of the complaint to the resolution of any appeal, competed within sixty (60) days.

Rights of the parties-

During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. These rights include: Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence; similar and timely access to all information considered by the Title IX Coordinator; equal opportunity to review any statements or evidence provided by the other party; and equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Title IX Coordinator of the investigation. During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The Title IX Coordinator will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint. During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person/advisor to accompany him or her at all stages of the process. In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person/advisor cannot be another complainant or respondent. The support person/advisor does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.  At any time during the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses are appropriate. These interim remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or creating alternative class schedules. Failure to comply with the terms of these interim remedies or protections may constitute a separate violation of the ABS Policies Concerning Discrimination.

Pending criminal investigation-

Some instances of discrimination and harassment may also constitute criminal conduct. In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and, if requested, ABS will assist the complainant in doing so. The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve ABS of its responsibilities. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, ABS will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint.

Resolution-

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will prepare a written report. The written report will explain the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact, and state whether any allegations in the complaint were found to be substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence. If the written report determines that policy violation occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will include those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the institution. Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Examples of such action include: no-contact orders, class schedule reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions. The complainant and respondent will receive a copy of the written report and within five (5) business days following the completion of the investigation. The written report of the Title IX Coordinator shall be final, subject only to the right of appeal set forth below.

Duty to cooperate-

When asked, employees and students shall fully and completely cooperate with such investigations and provide truthful information. Failure to cooperate, or interfering with an investigation, shall subject employees and/or students to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment or expulsion from ABS.

Informal resolution-

Informal means of resolution, such as mediation, may be used in lieu of the formal investigation and determination procedure. However, informal means may only be used with the complainant’s voluntary cooperation and the involvement of the Title IX Coordinator to which the complaint pertains. The complainant, however, will not be required to work out the problem directly with the respondent. Moreover, the complainant may terminate any such informal means at any time. In any event, informal means, even on a voluntary basis, will not be used to resolve complaints alleging any form of sexual violence. ABS shall take disciplinary or remedial action as appropriate in order to ensure that further discrimination, harassment, or retaliation does not occur. Such action may include, but is not limited to: counseling, awareness training, warning, suspension, expulsion, or termination.

Appeal of Decision-

The Title IX Coordinator’s decision, and any disciplinary or remedial action that results from any such decision, may be subject to appeal and review by the CEO at the request of the complainant or anyone who is disciplined. Appeals to the CEO shall be made within fourteen (14) days of the notice of the final decision and/or disciplinary or remedial action following any type of investigation.   Appeals must be submitted by mail in writing, addressed to: Staci Cockrell, CEO, American Broadcasting School, 4511 SE 29th Street, Oklahoma City, OK, 73115 or by e-mail to: staci@radioschool.com.   Appeals may only be made on the following grounds: The decision was contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence; there is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Title IX Coordinator, would result in a different decision; bias or prejudice on the part of the Title IX Coordinator; or the punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense.   Appeals should contain the following information:

  • Name of the complainant;
  • Name of the respondent;
  • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any
  • A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances; and argument in support of it; and
  • Requested action, if any.

An appeal will be reviewed and a decision rendered by the CEO. ABS shall complete the appeal as soon as practicable upon receipt of any appeal. Absent extenuating circumstances, ABS shall complete the appeal process with a final determination no later than thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of the appeal. As soon as is practicable after the appeal process has been completed, ABS shall, in writing, notify the parties of its determination and take disciplinary or remedial action as appropriate.

 

Confidentiality-

ABS shall honor a complainant’s request to keep his or her name confidential to the extent that this can be done consistent with ABS’s efforts to remedy the discrimination, harassment or retaliation and take steps to prevent future discrimination, harassment or retaliation. In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, ABS will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, ABS’s ability to respond may be limited.   ABS cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality and reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the ABS community.

Recordkeeping-

All records concerning discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaints shall be kept confidential to the extent possible and maintained in a separate locked file. Access to these records shall be given only to the Title IX Coordinator, the CEO, and the School President. Approval for individuals to view the record of a discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaint and investigation shall be given only when required by law or when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the disclosure of the requested record is necessary.