filing a civil rights complaint

  • Sexual & Other Harrassment

    The Project School is committed to an environment in which all individuals, children and adults, are treated with respect and dignity. The Project School expressly prohibits discrimination and all forms of harassment on the bases of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service or status in any group protected by law.


    Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and is prohibited by law. For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, behavioral or physical conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual, unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Unwelcome sexual advances (either verbal or physical), 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 status as a student; (2) submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making enrollment or placement decisions; or, (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the individual.


    Sexual harassment may include a range of behaviors. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:


    • Unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
    • Sexual or derogatory jokes, comments or innuendo that create discomfort for any person;
    • Unwelcome physical interaction;
    • Insulting or obscene comments or gestures;
    • Offensive email, voicemail or text messages;
    • Suggestive or sexually explicit materials brought to the school through print or technology;
    • Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
    • Visual conduct that includes leering, making sexual gestures or displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons or posters;
    • Verbal sexual advances or propositions;
    • Physical conduct that includes assaulting, impeding or blocking movements; and
    • Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited.


    Complaint Procedure

    The Project School strongly encourages the reporting of all instances of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. If you believe that you or your child has experienced or witnessed harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or another protected class, promptly report the incident to the School Leader.

    Catherine Diersing, School Leader  |   812.558.0041   |

    The School Leader will investigate reported allegations of discrimination, harassment or retaliation promptly, thoroughly and impartially. The School Leader may also designate additional staff to carry out the investigation and report the findings to them within a reasonable time.


    1. Right to File a Complaint - Any person alleging discrimination based on any of the protected classes has a right to file a complaint within 180 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory action. Complaints can be either written or verbal.
    2. Acceptance - All civil rights complaints, written or verbal, shall be accepted and forwarded to the State Agency within three (3) working days. It is necessary that the information provided be sufficient to determine the identity of the agency or individual towards which the complaint is directed and to indicate the possibility of a violation. Anonymous complaints should be handled as any other complaints.
    3. Verbal Complaints - In the event a complainant makes the allegation verbally or through a telephone conversation and refuses or is not inclined to place such allegations in writing, the person to whom the allegations are made shall write up the elements of the complaint for the complainant.


    The necessary components of a complaint are as follows:


    • Contact information for the complainant   
    • The specific location of the harassment   
    • The nature of the incident or action that led the complainant to feel that harassment was a factor
    • The basis on which the complainant feels harassment exists within any of the protected classes
    • The names and role of persons who may have knowledge of the harassment
    • The date(s) during which the alleged harassment occurred or, if continuing, the duration of such actions


    The School Leader will also report information to the Administrative Assistant, who is the Food Service Director and therefore contact for civil rights complaints. The complainant may also directly contact the USDA and/or the Office of Civil Rights with a complaint.


    Any person found to be engaged in any form of sexual or other unlawful harassment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school.


    The Project School expressly prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment, or assists in investigating such charges. Any form of retaliation is considered a direct violation of this policy and, like discrimination or harassment itself, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school.