Guide to Student & Staff Investigations
The Brunswick School Department is committed to providing an educational and working environment that is safe, secure, respectful, and equitable for all students and staff. The district has zero-tolerance for harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, or violations of school or district rules and responds to allegations swiftly. The response is guided by Maine and federal laws as well as district policy and procedures. An overview of the response process and the different pathways follows. It should be noted that no two allegations are alike and this document is not intended to capture every possible situation or nuance. In some situations, multiple pathways may be followed concurrently.
A district employee learns of an incidence of possible misbehavior/complaint.
The employee/complainant notifies a building administrator of the allegation.
The administrator ensures the complainant is safe and supported.
The administrator conducts a preliminary investigation to determine the appropriate pathway.
Title IX Sexual Harassment
Alleged behavior involving sex could be a Title IX violation. The determination is guided by by district policies ACAA: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students and ACAB: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of School Employees. Title IX investigations are guided by district procedures ACAA-R and ACAB-R.
Non-Title IX Harassment of a Protected Class or Sexual Harassment
Alleged behavior that does not qualify under Title IX could still be harassment of a protected class or sexual harassment. The determination is guided by by district policies ACAA: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students and ACAB: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of School Employees. Non-Title IX harassment of a protected class or sexual harassment investigations are guided by district procedures ACAA-R and ACAB-R.
Bullying of a Student
Alleged behavior that included bullying or cyberbullying are investigated using the district’s bullying protocol. Bullying and cyberbullying are defined in district policy JICK and the response process is illustrated in JICK-E4. Complaints of alleged bullying are recorded on JICK-E1, the administrator’s response is recorded using form JICK-E2, and the actions taken are recorded using form JICK-E3.
Bullying of a Staff Member
Effective 10/18/21, Maine law now requires that districts have a Staff Bullying policy and procedure. The School Board is currently developing this policy.
Alleged illegal behavior is referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency or district attorney. The district may also undertake a school investigation if there may be a violation of school rules. Legal and school investigations are guided by different laws and regulations. Concurrent legal and school investigations are independent and one does not influence the other.
Other Alleged Violations of School Rules
Most alleged misbehavior is a violation of school or district rules. These allegations are investigated using standard practices. Although each school strives to be consistent in the application of disciplinary action, each situation is unique.