Student Safety & Well Being
At Presentation, we help create intellectually competent women of faith who are dedicated to working with others and committed to personal growth. We empower young women and want to do everything we can to ensure our school is a safe and nurturing learning environment where students can thrive. Our students' education and well-being are our number one priority.
In September 2019, Presentation High School launched a thorough and impartial investigation into past reports of sexual abuse and misconduct and the handling of such allegations throughout the history of the school. Read the Sept 26, 2019 community announcement here. This process stemmed from upsetting stories about past reports of sexual abuse and misconduct.
On July 9, 2020 we shared the investigation report with the community. We know that the findings are difficult to read and to digest, however, this investigation was necessary to examine our past to build and maintain a safe and thriving environment for all students past, present, and future, and to ensure we do not repeat any mistakes.
To the survivors of abuse, we deeply and sincerely apologize. The stark truth is that our school did not live up to its commitment to protect you. We added further harm when we responded defensively when reports of past abuse began to surface in 2017. We understand that words cannot measure our regret or erase the harm that you endured. You were hurt, and we can only hope to make amends by caring for you now and doing everything within our power to ensure that students now and in the future will be cared for and safe.
We thank everyone who participated in the investigation and are grateful for your bravery and honesty. Without you, we would not be able to confront our past to ensure this does not happen again. We also recognize this investigation may not have revealed all instances of prior misconduct. Anyone with information about inappropriate conduct may contact Holly directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the hotline at (800) 490-7513, or reach out to Mary Ann Demos, Senior Case Manager at email@example.com.
The policies in the Student/Parent and Faculty/Staff Handbooks are in place to ensure Presentation employs best practices in its education and empowerment of young women in an open, safe, and supportive community. The policies are evaluated and revised annually. The following represents policies centered on the protection of students, which will be represented in handbooks for students, parents, faculty and staff in Fall 2020.
- Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy
- Verbal, Visual, and Physical Harassment Defined and Prohibited
- Sexual Harassment Defined and Prohibited
- Bullying Defined and Prohibited
- Protection Against Retaliation and False Reporting
- Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Abusive Conduct Complaint Procedure
- Resources for Students and Families
Presentation High School is committed to providing a safe school environment that respects Catholic values where all members of the community are treated with dignity and respect and that is free from harassment and bullying in any form. Harassment or bullying of any student by any other student, teacher, coach, staff member, or school volunteer is prohibited.
Specifically, bullying or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived traits or characteristics: age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex and gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical attributes, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status is prohibited. Presentation High School is committed to responding promptly to all allegations of prohibited bullying or harassment, and further commits to taking all reasonable steps to eliminate any ongoing harassment and remedying the harm.
No employee, volunteer or student shall engage in harassing behavior based on this list of traits or characteristics, or in bullying for any reason.
Harassing conduct by students towards other students or towards faculty or staff members may result in corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion from Presentation High School. Harassment of students by faculty or staff members will result in corrective or disciplinary action, up to termination of employment.
This policy applies to both on-campus and off-campus conduct.
Harassment can take many forms, and may include verbal, written, physical, or visual conduct.
What constitutes harassment is determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with the characteristic on which the harassment is based. What one person may consider acceptable behavior, or an innocent joke, may reasonably be viewed as harassment by another person. Therefore, students should consider how their words and actions might reasonably be viewed by other individuals. It is important to note that harassment can occur even if there is no intent to harm, or when the conduct is not directed at one individual.
Harassment on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, as identified above, is prohibited. This includes conduct such as:
- Verbal conduct, including threats, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, whether communicated verbally, in writing, electronically (such as email, instant message, text message, digital pictures or images, website postings - including social media) that intimidates, abuses or humiliates another based on an individual’s protected characteristic, and that the reasonable person would also find to be intimidating, abusive, or humiliating;
- Visual conduct, including derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures designed to intimidate, abuse or humiliate another based on protected characteristic;
- Physical conduct, including intimidating or unwelcome conduct, such as touching a person or a person’s property, hazing, assault, stalking, unwanted touching or blocking normal movement because of an individual’s protected characteristic;
- Offensive and unwanted communication via electronic media of any type of images, words, or threats that are sexual, or related to a protected characteristic.
Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:
- Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of education;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for educational decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.
- Unwanted sexual advances;
- Sexual comments, e-mails, texts, notes, letters, drawings, cartoons, photos, or images;
- Sending or showing nude drawings, cartoons, videos, photos, or images;
- Physical conduct such as unwanted kissing, hugging, patting, petting, pinching, touching, sexual assault or violence, intimidating or vulgar body language such as leering, brushing up against another’s body, or blocking normal movement;
- Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of admission to the school, continued good standing in class or at the school, maintaining a certain grade or status in class, or to gain some school benefit or to avoid some loss;
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to a sexual advance.
“Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as: unwanted purposeful written, verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior, including but not limited to any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that has the potential to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or cause long term damage; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation, is carried out repeatedly and is often characterized by an imbalance of power.
Bullying may involve, but is not limited to:
- Unwanted teasing
- Cyber stalking
- Physical violence
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- Public humiliation
- Destruction of school or personal property
- Social exclusion, including incitement and/or coercion
- Rumor or spreading of falsehoods
Students should keep in mind that sending or receiving nude images may also be a criminal act, as it is against the law to possess, produce, or distribute obscene matter depicting children under 18 years of age.
Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who: reports sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, or bullying; provides (or could provide) information during an investigation of such behavior; or witnesses or has reliable information about such behavior. Retaliation against any individual for reporting violations of the policy, or for participating in an investigation, will not be tolerated. Each retaliatory offense will be investigated and, if appropriate, sanctioned. A student found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion.
Retaliation against a person because the person has filed a bullying or harassment complaint or assisted or participated in a harassment investigation or proceeding is prohibited.
An individual who knowingly files a false bullying or harassment complaint and a person who gives knowingly false statements in an investigation shall be subject to discipline by appropriate measures.
Any student who believes that she has been harassed, discriminated against, or subjected to retaliation or abusive conduct should immediately report their concerns to any faculty or staff member of Presentation High School, or to the Director of the Office for the Prevention of Student Bullying, Harassment, and Abuse. Reports can also be submitted via the anonymous STOPit app or on paper in the Speak Up boxes located in the Main Office, Center, and Counseling Office. When a report is received, the School will review the complaint in a fair, timely, thorough and objective manner and will respond in a manner that provides all parties appropriate due process and reaches reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected. In the case of anonymous reports, the School will take reasonable steps to address the reported conduct, but the School’s ability to do so may be limited, depending on the nature of the information received.
If the complaint relates to an area where the faculty or staff member has a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect, she or he must immediately file a mandatory report, and the information will be provided to Child Protective Services (CPS) or other outside agencies/parties per state law. The outside agency will then determine the appropriate course of action.
Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children's Services at (408) 299-2071. A child welfare social worker is available 24 hours a day to take reports.
Whether or not a complaint is referred to an outside agency, any complaint alleging a potential violation of this policy will be referred directly to the Director of the Office for the Prevention of Student Bullying, Harassment, and Abuse.
When the allegations, if true, might result in a suspension or expulsion, the School will investigate the allegations. All members of the PHS community are expected to cooperate fully with any investigation under the Harassment and Discrimination policy. In conducting an investigation, PHS will take the following steps:
- Written notice to the accused student, including a basic overview of the allegations, the name of the victim/complainant, the date and location of the incident, and a reminder of PHS’s prohibitions against retaliation;
- The opportunity for both parties to offer relevant evidence and to suggest relevant witnesses;
- An opportunity for the respondent to meaningfully respond to the allegations;
- A thorough and neutral review of the evidence gathered;
- Additional interviews of either party or any witness, if appropriate (i.e., should new facts come to light during the course of an investigation, there might be a second interview with either party);
- In the event there is a finding of responsibility, a determination of sanctions that are reasonably calculated to end the harassment and prevent its recurrence;
- A written communication to each party at the conclusion of the investigation process, with an overview of the process used and the rationale for the conclusion(s); and,
- Either party may appeal. Any appeal should be sent to the Principal within 7 days from the written notification regarding the investigation outcome.
Upon completion of the review, the School will communicate its conclusion, in writing, to both parties. If the School determines that this policy has been violated, remedial action will be taken, commensurate with the severity of the offense, up to and including student expulsion or the termination of an employee contract. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any such conduct in the future.
Bill Wilson SOS Crisis Hotline
Community Solutions SOS Crisis Hotline
Local Hotline for Youth in Crisis
Crisis Text Line
Support for Youth in Crisis
Phone: Text “BAY” to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Youth)
Chat, text, online forum
Text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
Dating Abuse Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Sexual Assault Hotline
In-Home Support/Crisis Response:
Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis
In-Home Crisis Response Team for youth in crisis
Alum Rock Counseling and Mobile Crisis Service
Crisis Response Team to respond in home for youth in crisis
Emergency Response for Youth:
Uplift Family Services Crisis Stabilization Unit
Short term emergency assessment and stabilization for youth in crisis
251 Llewellyn Ave
Crisis Stabilization Unit
Local Resources and Community Services:
Clearinghouse of services available in Santa Clara County
Bill Wilson Center
Multiple Services for Youth in Need
Santa Clara County Mental Health
Information on Mental Health Services in Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Mental and Behavioral Health Resources
Resources for Mental Health in Santa Clara County
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Information and resources about suicide prevention
Broad based information and therapist locator
National Council for Behavioral Health
Clearinghouse for information regarding behavioral and mental health
GLAD Resource List
Resources and information re: LGBTQ
Bullying Help in the US
Resources for bullying support
- Professional Staff
- Professional Responsibilities
- Code of Conduct/Professional Boundaries
- Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Policy
- Meetings in Classrooms
- Overnight Chaperone Responsibilities
- Anti-Harassment Policy
- Anti-Violence Policy
- Internet, Social Media and Electronic Communications Policy
The personnel practices of Presentation High School cannot be understood apart from the understanding of the mission of Catholic Education and the role of the teacher in that mission. Catholic education aims to guide people to true freedom and a fuller humanity in all areas of life-intellectual, physical, moral, psychological, social, aesthetic and spiritual – according to the example of Christ who came that all might live more fully. As a private Catholic High School for girls, Presentation High School has the advancement of that mission for its primary purpose, endeavoring to provide an awareness of Christian reality in the whole secondary learning process.
In reality, the teacher in Catholic School commits herself or himself to the mission of Catholic Education. Specifically, the teacher at Presentation High School accepts a position of cooperation in the educational apostolate of the Sisters of the Presentation; such a position is far more than a “job” in the ordinary sense of the word. It is truly a form of apostolic service; a dedication of a portion of the teacher’s mission to the church and the consequent acceptance of conditions of employment, which reflect that dedication.
- Support the mission and philosophy of PHS and show a commitment to high educational standards within the framework of Catholic principles.
- Read and understand the terms of your contract with PHS and the policies included in this handbook. Contact Human Resources with any questions about the terms of your employment with PHS.
- Undertake contractual assignments during and outside of school hours.
- Be familiar with the rules and regulations of PHS, comply with them personally and enforce them with students. If you cannot support a given rule or policy, and reasonable attempts at effecting change in rule or policy have failed, your only course of action is to comply with the policy or resign if the rule or policy is a requirement for fulfilling your job responsibilities.
- Treat each student as you would like your child to be treated. No matter how angry you become, never punish a student without explaining what the student did that merits punishment. Allow the student some opportunity to explain the behavior.
- The use of physical force as a means of discipline is absolutely forbidden. Should a faculty/staff member need to intervene in a physical altercation between a student and a third party, then only the amount of force necessary to subdue the situation shall be used by the faculty/staff member and the school Administration shall be immediately notified of the situation as soon as it is practically possible.
- Take every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of students. Report any unsafe situation to the principal or other appropriate person.
- Exercise personal maturity and professionalism in all communications with students and parents.
- Professional boundaries must be maintained between faculty/staff and students at all times. It is forbidden for a faculty/staff member to enter into a relationship with a student that is unprofessional.
- Bullying, harassment, and abuse of students is forbidden.
- Students under your supervision are not to be left unattended except in the event of an unavoidable emergency. In that situation, every attempt should be made to secure another adult to supervise the students until the emergency is managed. In the event that another adult is not available to supervise, then the students should be firmly directed as to their expected conduct while the faculty/staff member is managing the emergency.
- When making comments about a student, the focus should be on the problem or issue and the proposed solution to the problem or issue rather than personal statements about the student. The problem or issue should be clearly stated and followed up by the proposed recommendations as to how the problem or issue should be managed.
- Always avoid even the appearance of defamatory speech about a student; it is never appropriate to share student information with anyone other than those who have a particular right to know. Any conversations involving student information should be done in a private space. The faculty room does not provide the required degree of privacy for such conversations.
- If an accident occurs under your supervision, notify the Principal immediately and complete an accident report within 24 hours. Report forms are in the faculty room.
- Attend all assemblies, liturgies and meetings, unless excused for good cause by an Administrator.
Presentation High School is committed to providing a campus environment that is safe and healthy. We encourage supportive relationships between students and employees that promote student achievement and success. To that end, clear boundaries for interactions between students and employees/volunteers in the community are paramount.
We require all adults affiliated in any way with Presentation to maintain appropriate adult-student relationships at all times, both on and off campus. All interactions between members of the Presentation community should be based on mutual respect and trust, and should be consistent with the mission and values of the school. Every member of our community should expect an environment free of abuse, misconduct, and harassment, where appropriate employee-student boundaries are respected and maintained. This code of conduct applies to conduct towards current students, applicants for admission, and any former student under the age of 21.
The following guidelines must be strictly followed by school employees and volunteers when dealing with Presentation students:
- The best interest of students should always be your highest priority.
- Presentation employees should be solid role models.
- Presentation employees may never have sexual or romantic relationships with students, use alcohol or drugs of any kind with or around students, or partake in any illegal conduct with or around students.
- Do not transport a student alone in a vehicle.
- No communicating with a student by any means, electronic or otherwise, on any issue other than one of an educational purpose, or if authorized to contact a student to check on their well-being or their need for resources or support. Electronic communication is only permitted through the School’s phone or email system, except in an emergency situation.
- No interacting with students on any form of social media or networking platform.
- No socializing with students outside of school without a parent or guardian present at all times.
- Employees must not share intimate personal and/or intimate family information with any student. By way of example, while sharing information about a birthday, an upcoming wedding or birth would be acceptable, sharing details about an intimate relationship, financial issues, or troubled family relationships would not be acceptable.
- An employee must not be alone with a student in a space that cannot be observed by others.
- Avoid excessive attention toward a particular student or group of students.
- Avoid inquiring about overly personal details of a student’s private relationships.
- Never hire a student to work in your home.
- No giving to a student or a student’s family, or accepting from a student or a student’s family, gifts of significant value, without the express written consent of the Principal or President.
- Employees may not be hired to perform work outside of school for a family, such as babysitting or private tutoring.
Note: The school has the right and responsibility to investigate employee compliance with this code of conduct even if no report has been made.
Presentation prohibits and will not tolerate child abuse, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or boundary violations. Any reasonable belief of a violation of our policies, including a reasonable belief of inappropriate adult-student boundaries, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and/or child abuse, will be reported to the appropriate authorities and could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Those authorities may include law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS).
The school will not retaliate against anyone who reports conduct that may violate this conduct policy. An employee who retaliates against an individual who makes a report under this policy will be subject to discipline.
The goal of this policy is to provide employees of Presentation High School with the information they need to comply with the State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws for Mandated Reporters outlined in the California Penal Code (P.C. Sections 11164-11174.3.) The intent of this reporting law is to protect children from abuse.
Child abuse or neglect can include: A physical injury inflicted on a child by another person other than by accidental means; the sexual abuse, assault, or exploitation of a child; the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s welfare; the willful harming or endangerment of the person or health of a child, any cruel or inhumane corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition.
All employees of Presentation High School are mandated reporters. A mandated reporter shall make a report to law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS), whenever the mandated reporter, in the mandated reporter’s professional capacity or scope of employment, has knowledge of or observes a child (under 18 years of age) whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. The mandated reporter shall make an initial report by telephone to the agency immediately or as soon as is practicably possible, and shall prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written follow up report (Form-SS8572) within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident. After the report is made, a copy of the written report must be provided to the Vice-Principal of Student Services.
In cases of an immediate emergency, always call 9-1-1 for law enforcement intervention. Where the situation is not an emergency needing the police, reports should be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect hotline:
Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children's Services at (408) 299-2071. A child welfare social worker is available 24 hours a day to take reports.
Employees shall fully cooperate with the child protective agencies responsible for receiving, investigating and prosecuting cases of child abuse. If a student is interviewed by a child protective agency, the student could request an employee to be present or opt to have it done in private. The employee who is present at such an interview may, for good reason, share the information gathered with appropriate PHS administrators, but is otherwise expected to keep the information learned as confidential.
A mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect as required is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months confinement in a county jail or by a fine of ($1,000) or by both. Failure to make a mandatory report shall also result in disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination.
While volunteers are not classified as mandated reporters under the law, they should immediately report concerns of child abuse or neglect either directly to an appropriate outside agency, or to any Presentation employee who will assist you with the report of reasonable suspicions of child abuse or neglect.
Reporting duties of a Mandated Reporter cannot be delegated to another individual. Supervisors or administrators may not impede or inhibit reporting by a Mandated Reporter, nor may they take action against the reporter for making a report. If assistance is needed in filing a child abuse/neglect report, contact Director of the Office for Prevention, any counselor, or Vice-Principal of Student Services.
Per California law, all employees must sign the written Child Abuse Reporting Acknowledgement prior to any contact with students.
- Students may not be in classrooms without adult supervision. Faculty and staff are responsible for enforcing this policy by asking students to exit classrooms that do not have adults in them or by arranging for appropriate supervision.
- If a faculty member is having a lunch-time meeting, she/he is responsible to see that no mess is left behind. Do not leave the remains of lunches in the waste paper baskets. Instead, have a student empty garbage into an outside receptacle.
- There should be no parties during instructional time. Make arrangements to have parties before school, at lunch time, or after classes. All parties must be school-sponsored events and must be approved by an administrator in advance.
- The door to the classroom should be left open at all times when a faculty/staff member is meeting with a student in the classroom.
The following responsibilities and guidelines apply to all chaperones of an overnight student activity and/or trip:
- Supervision of the safety and learning of students is a most serious responsibility. Supervision is both a mental and physical act. Do not allow conversations or work to distract you from what the students are doing.
- When a faculty member is responsible for supervising a student activity, that faculty member shall not ingest any alcohol or drug (including medical or recreational marijuana) within five hours of the event and shall not be under the influence of any medication that might compromise his/her ability to properly supervise and manage the student activity.
- Chaperones serve as the “local parent” and are responsible for the safety and well-being of all students in their charge. A chaperone is required to disclose anything that would preclude him/her from carrying out that responsibility before accepting the responsibility to chaperone.
- Chaperones are responsible for reporting any circumstances that calls into question the safety, well-being, or health of students to the Administration immediately. All chaperones will be provided with the responsible Administrator’s emergency contact information in advance of the trip.
- Once direct supervision of students has ended each night, at least one chaperone must be designated as the point-person to respond to unanticipated events or an emergency. This person must refrain from consuming any alcohol or drug (including medical or recreational marijuana) or engaging in any activity that could distract them from this responsibility.
- When in doubt, all chaperones must consider “what a reasonable person would do” and “who needs to know about an activity or situation in question”.
- Chaperones on overnight trips should not be alone with students in hotel rooms. Two chaperones, including one female chaperone, should conduct student room checks together. In the case of an emergency, chaperones must notify the other trip chaperone(s) if they must enter a student room before doing so.
- In addition to these expectations, chaperones are expected to adhere to all requirements outlined in the Trip Chaperone Handbook and any other directives provided by the administrative team.
Failure to adhere to these requirements may result in a faculty member being restricted from chaperoning future activities/trips and/or disciplinary consequences, which may include termination of the chaperone’s employment contract with Presentation High School.
Each employee is responsible for safeguarding the confidential information obtained during employment.
In the course of your work, you may have access to confidential information regarding Presentation High School, its students, families, donors, and vendors. You have a responsibility to prevent revealing or divulging any such information unless it is necessary for you to do so in the performance of your duties as an employee of Presentation High School. Access to confidential information should be on a “need-to- know” basis and must be authorized by your supervisor. Any breach of this policy will not be tolerated and legal action may be taken by PHS.
“Confidential Information” refers to a piece of information, or a compilation of information, in any form (on paper, in an electronic file, or otherwise), related to the School’s business that the School has not made public or authorized to be made public, and that is not generally known to the public through proper means.
Confidential Information does not include information lawfully acquired by non-management employees about wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment, if used by them for purposes protected by §7 of the National Labor Relations Act such as joining or forming a union, engaging in collective bargaining, or engaging in other concerted activity for their mutual aid or protection. Nothing in this Employee Handbook prohibits an employee from communicating with any governmental authority or making a report in good faith and with a reasonable belief of any violations of law or regulation to a governmental authority, or disclosing Confidential Information which the employee acquired through lawful means in the course of his or her employment to a governmental authority in connection with any communication or report, or from filing, testifying or participating in a legal proceeding relating to any violations, including making other disclosures protected or required by any whistleblower law or regulation to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Labor, or any other appropriate government authority.
Faculty and staff members shall make it clear to students that students have no expectation of privacy when it comes to information provided to faculty and staff, particularly if the information relates to an area where the faculty/staff member must mandatory report (harm to self, others, or property) the information to Child Protective Services, local law enforcement, or other outside agencies/parties. In that case, the faculty/staff member shall so advise the student of the obligation on the part of the faculty/staff member to make the report. Faculty and staff are expected to notify school counselors and administrators of such information, as well.
Faculty and staff must also be aware all academic information should be treated as confidential. Never post information pertaining to a student (whether referring to group or individual) on your social networking site.
Presentation’s confidentiality policy applies to both current and former students, including alum. It also applies to student records. If a request for a student’s record is made without the written consent of the student, you must notify the Principal and discuss that request before disclosing those records. Presentation will disclose information from a student’s education record only with the written consent of the student, except under specifically outlined criteria set forth in state and federal regulations.
Presentation High School is committed to providing an environment that is free of harassment. PHS policy prohibits sexual harassment as well as harassment against students, employees, applicants for employment, individuals providing services in the workplace pursuant to a contract, unpaid interns or volunteers based on any legally-recognized basis, including: sex, sexual orientation or preference, gender, gender identity and/or expression (including but not limited to transgender status or transitioning to transgender status), race, color, religion (including religious dress and/or grooming practices), national origin, creed, citizenship status, ancestry, age, marital status, domestic partner status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), mental or physical disability, military and veteran status, family leave or medical leave status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law, ordinance or regulation is tolerated. (Collectively referred to as "protected characteristics"). It also prohibits harassment based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. All such harassing conduct violates school policy. PHS anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of the school and prohibits harassment of students, faculty and staff, as well as vendors, customers, independent contractors, temporary or seasonal workers, agents, clients and any other third party interacting with PHS. What constitutes harassment is determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with the characteristic on which the harassment is based. What one person may consider acceptable behavior, or an innocent joke, may reasonably be viewed as harassment by another person. Therefore, employees should consider how their words and actions might reasonably be viewed by other individuals. It is important to note that harassment can occur even if there is no intent to harm, or when the conduct is not directed at one individual.
For purposes of this policy, discrimination on the basis of "national origin" also includes discrimination against an individual because that person holds or presents the California driver's license issued to those who cannot document their lawful presence in the United States. An employee's or applicants for employments immigration status will not be considered for any employment purpose except as necessary to comply with federal, state or local law.
PHS also does not retaliate or otherwise discriminate against applicants or employees who request a reasonable accommodation for reasons related to disability.
Sexual Harassment Defined
Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, in the case of a faculty or staff member:
- Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Prohibited harassment conduct includes, but is not limited to the following behavior:
- Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments;
- Visual displays such as derogatory and/or sexually-oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures, text messages, emails, or websites;
- Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, intentionally blocking of normal movement or interfering with work directed at a faculty or staff member, employee or student because of the race or sex or any other protected basis of the faculty or staff member or student;
- Unwanted sexual advances;
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to a sexual advance;
- Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment, or to avoid some other loss and offers of benefits in return for sexual favors; and
- Communication via electronic media of any type that includes any conduct that is prohibited by state and/or federal law, or by School policy.
An employee may be liable for sexual harassment even if the alleged harassing conduct was not motivated by sexual desire.
An employee who engages in unlawful harassment may be personally liable for harassment even if the School had no knowledge of such conduct.
It is the responsibility of each employee at the School, whether directly involved in the incident or not, to assure that discrimination on any of these bases or that prohibited harassment or prohibited retaliation does not occur within the workplace. If an individual believes that any kind of harassment, discrimination or retaliation (whether unlawful, or in violation of these policies) has occurred or is occurring, or observes any such prohibited activity, that individual must immediately report the facts of the incident(s) and the name(s) of the party(ies) involved to the Principal, the President, or the Human Resources Manager. For employees who experience harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, it is preferable that they bring their concerns forward as soon as practicable, so that Presentation High School may better address their concerns; however, employees who have experienced harassment, discrimination, or bullying may report such incidents to any of the above listed persons at any time. Employees do not need to follow any specific “chain of command” and you are not required to report to any of the foregoing individuals if you believe any such individual is the one who is allegedly harassing, discriminating or retaliating against the employee. Supervisors and managers who receive complaints or who observe harassing, discriminatory or retaliatory conduct should immediately inform the President, Principal, or the Human Resources Manager. Any complaint about the President, Principal, or Human Resources Manager may be reported to the Director of the Office of Prevention for Student Harassment, Bullying, and Abuse.
Other Types of Harassment
Harassment on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, as identified above, is prohibited.
Prohibited harassment may include behavior similar to the illustrations above pertaining to sexual harassment. This includes conduct such as:
- Verbal conduct including threats, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs based on an individual’s protected characteristic;
- Visual conduct, including derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures based on protected characteristics; and
- Physical conduct, including assault, unwanted touching or blocking normal movement because of an individual’s protected characteristic.
Protection Against Retaliation
Retaliation is prohibited against any person by another employee, or by the School for using the School’s complaint procedure, reporting prescribed discrimination or harassment or filing, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency. Retaliation means an adverse action taken against a student, employee, volunteer, or other member of the PHS community because the individual engaged in a protected activity. Adverse action means any action that is reasonably likely to deter a person from engaging in a protected activity. Adverse action does not include petty slights or trivial annoyances. Protected activity means: (1) filing a good faith complaint with PHS or with an outside agency; (s) participating as a witness in an investigation; or, (3) participating in the PHS reasonable accommodation processes. Prohibited retaliation includes, but is not limited to, termination, demotion, suspension, failure to hire or consider for hire, failure to give equal consideration in making employment decisions, failure to make employment recommendations impartially, adversely affecting working conditions or otherwise denying any employment benefit.
Abusive Conduct Prevention
It is expected that the school and persons in the workplace perform their jobs productively as assigned, and in a manner that meets all of management's expectations, during working times, and that they refrain from any malicious, patently offensive or abusive conduct, including but not limited to conduct that a reasonable person would find offensive. Examples of abusive conduct include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of malicious, derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the intentional sabotage or undermining of a person's work performance.
Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Abusive Conduct Complaint Procedure
The following procedure applies to faculty and staff of PHS. Students reporting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, should follow the procedure provided in the Student Handbook.
Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed, discriminated against, or subjected to retaliation or abusive conduct by a co-worker, supervisor, agent, client, vendor, customer, or any other third party interacting with the School in violation of the foregoing policies, or who is aware of such behavior against others, should immediately provide a written or verbal report to his or her supervisor, the Principal of PHS, the President, or Human Resources of PHS. Employees are not required to make a complaint directly to their immediate supervisor. Supervisors and managers who receive complaints of misconduct must immediately report such complaints to Human Resources who will attempt to resolve issues internally. When a report is received, the School will conduct a fair, timely, thorough and objective investigation that reaches reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected. The School expects all employees to fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by the School into a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, or regarding the alleged violation of any other School policies. The School will maintain confidentiality surrounding the investigation to the extent possible and to the extent permitted under applicable federal and state law.
Upon notice of a possible violation of Presentation policies relating to harassment, discrimination, or bullying, the School will take the following steps:
- The School will respond to all allegations. When the allegation, if all of the facts as alleged were true, would not result in either suspension or expulsion, Presentation High School reserves the right to take unilateral action the address the misconduct through: mediated discussions between the parties; verbal or written warning to the accused individual; training or education for an individual; changing schedules or job duties; demotion from supervisory responsibilities; or any other measure(s) deemed appropriate, in the sole discretion of PHS.
- When the allegations, if true, might result in a significant discipline, such as suspension without pay or termination, PHS will investigate. All members of the PHS community are expected to cooperate fully with any investigation under the Harassment and Discrimination policy.
- Depending upon the nature of the allegations, PHS reserves the right to place any accused individual on a paid or unpaid leave of absence, pending the outcome of the investigation;
- PHS shall provide written notice to the accused individual, including a basic overview of the allegations, the name of the victim/complainant, the date and location of the incident, and a reminder of PHS’s prohibitions against retaliation;
- As part of the investigation process, PHS will provide an opportunity for both parties to offer relevant evidence and to suggest relevant witnesses, and the investigator will interview relevant witnesses;
- PHS will provide any respondent the opportunity to meaningfully respond to the allegations;
- The investigator will conduct a thorough and neutral review of the evidence gathered;
- The investigator will conduct additional interviews of either party or any witness, if appropriate (i.e., should new facts come to light during the course of an investigation);
- In the event there is a finding of responsibility, the appropriate administrator shall impose discipline, including a determination of sanctions that are reasonably calculated to end the harassment and prevent its recurrence;
- At the conclusion of the investigation process, each party shall be provided with an overview of the process used and the rationale for the conclusion(s); and,
- PHS will allow either party to file an appeal of the findings or the sanction. Any party wishing to appeal must send their request for an appeal, along with the reason(s) for the appeal to the Principal within 10 days of the conclusion of the investigation process
If the School determines that this policy has been violated, remedial action will be taken, commensurate with the severity of the offense, up to and including termination of employment. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any such conduct in the future. In egregious situations, one act of harassment or discrimination may be result in termination.
Presentation High School will not retaliate against any employee for filing a good faith complaint and will not knowingly permit retaliation by superiors or co-workers.
If you believe that any kind of unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is occurring, or you observe any such prohibited activity, you must immediately report the facts to HR or Administration. Affected individuals may also report complaints to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (1-800-669-4000) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) (800-884-1684). The EEOC and the DFEH have the authority to conduct factual investigations and to prosecute complaints of prohibited harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. Information about the agencies can be found at the numbers provided or at: www.eeoc.gov and dfeh.ca.gov.
PHS has adopted the following anti-violence policy to ensure a safe environment for all employees, students, families, and third-parties entering School property. The school is committed to workplace safety. The school is specifically committed to providing a workplace that is free of threats or acts of violence and to protecting its employees from such conduct on its premises. In keeping with this commitment, the school has established a strict policy that prohibits any employee from engaging in behavior that is violent, threatening or intimidating, while on duty or on school business. This policy applies to all employees, including management and non-supervisory staff.
The school has zero tolerance for employees who make threats, engage in threatening behavior, or commit acts of violence against others. Without exception, acts and threats of violence are not permitted. All such acts and threats, even those made in apparent jest, will be taken seriously, and will lead to discipline up to and including termination of employment. In addition, the school is committed to preventing violent or threatening behavior on its premises by non-employees, such as visitors, guests, customers, or family members of its employees. PHS also has a zero tolerance policy for weapon possession on campus. Under no circumstances may an employee, student, or other person entering school property or attending a school event possess any weapon, unless expressly authorized by the President and Board of Directors for student and employee security purposes.
It is every employee’s responsibility to assist in establishing and maintaining a violence-free work environment. Therefore, each employee is expected and encouraged to report any incident which may be threatening to you, your co-workers, any student, or any event which you reasonably believe is threatening or violent. You must report an incident to the Principal or his/her delegate.
A threat includes, but is not limited to, any indication of intent to harm a person or damage school property. Threats may be direct or indirect, and they may be communicated verbally or nonverbally. The following are examples of threats and acts that shall be considered violent – this list is in no way all-inclusive:
Type of Threat
Saying, “Do you want to see your next birthday?”
Writing, “Employees who kill their managers have the right idea.”
Saying, “I’m going to punch your lights out.”
Making a hitting motion or obscene gesture
Stalking or otherwise forcing undue attention on someone, whether romantic or hostile
Taking actions likely to cause bodily harm or property damage
Acts of violence
Important Note: No provision of this policy statement or any other provision in this policy shall alter the at-will nature of employment with the PHS. PHS will make the sole determination of whether and to what extent, threats or acts of violence will be acted upon by PHS. In making this determination PHS may undertake a case-by-case analysis in order to ascertain whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that workplace violence has occurred.
PHS has developed guidelines to help maintain a secure environment for faculty, staff, students, and families. All guests to campus must sign into the Main Office and display a guest pass on their person. Be aware of persons loitering for no apparent reason in parking areas, walkways, entrances and exits, and service areas. Employees must report any suspicious persons or activities to the Main Office and/or Facilities personnel. Secure your desk or office at the end of the day. When called away from your work area for an extended length of time, do not leave valuables and/or personal articles in or around your workstation that may be accessible. The security of facilities as well as the welfare of our employees and students depends upon the alertness and sensitivity of every individual to potential security risks. You should immediately notify your supervisor when unknown persons are acting in a suspicious manner in or around the facilities, or when keys, equipment or guest pass badges are missing.
If you, yourself, are a target of interpersonal violence, you should inform the Administration so that a safety plan for the workplace can be established. This is crucial for your protection as well as those of your coworkers. Examples include: physical description, photo, and identifying information of the assailant/perpetrator; copies of restraining orders; access to weapons; plan for contacting law enforcement as applicable; informing front office staff to not admit the individual; safe arrival and departure from campus. Please see attached Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy.
Health and Safety
All employees are responsible for their own safety, as well as that of others in the School. To help us maintain a safe workplace, everyone must be safety-conscious at all times. Employees must report all work-related injuries or illnesses immediately to your supervisor or to the Human Resources Department. In compliance with California law, and to promote the concept of a safe workplace, PHS maintains an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program is available for review by employees and/or employee representatives in the Office of the Principal.
In compliance with Proposition 65, PHS will inform employees of any known exposure to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
This policy applies to all employees, including all faculty and staff of the School in their use of the internet, social media, and electronic communications, regardless of whether the use is through devices and resources of the School or by any other means. PHS is a private institution committed to the education, betterment, and safety of its pupils, who are minors, and also committed to establishing effective and satisfying working relationships among members of its community. This policy is designed to help the School carry out these commitments.
The School understands that its employees, including its faculty and staff, use social media sites to share events in their lives, to communicate, and to discuss their opinions with others, including family, friends, and co-workers. Through social media, individuals can create web content, can organize, edit or comment on content, as well as combine and share content on their own web site or on someone else’s. Social media uses many technologies and forms, including web feeds, blogs, wikis, photography and video sharing, web logs, journals, diaries, chat rooms, bulletin boards, affinity web sites, podcasts, social networking, fan sites, mashups, and virtual worlds.
PHS respects the legal rights of its employees and understands that employees’ time outside of work is their own. However, employees should be mindful that their social media activity, even if done off premises and while off-duty, could affect the school’s legitimate business interests. Consequently, social media activity is a legitimate and proper focus of school policy. This Policy provides guidance on responsible social media activity by employees. It does not and cannot cover every possible social media activity. If you are unsure of how this policy may apply to your social media activity, please contact the Human Resources Manager or President.
When you engage in social media activity that identifies you as a school employee, or in any way relates to the school, you should bear that in mind and know that your social media activity is subject to all pertinent PHS policies, including, but not limited to the Policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and Prohibition of Unlawful Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation, Policy Against Bullying and Abusive Conduct, and other personal conduct policies. PHS will not apply this policy in a manner that improperly interferes with or limits employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including, for example, communications involving wages, benefits, working conditions or other terms and conditions of employment, nor to prohibit other protected concerted activities. Nevertheless, the school expects employees to exercise good judgment and exercise personal responsibility when participating in media related activities.
Employees who are expressly authorized by management may engage in social media activity on the School’s behalf as long as they are in compliance with the guidelines outlined in this Policy. Unless specifically authorized, employees are prohibited from using the School’s electronic resources to engage in social media activity. Employees may use personal devices, such as a smart phone or tablet, during rest breaks and meal periods to engage in social media activity as long as the employee’s personal device is not connected to the School’s network. In addition, the following particular rules apply to employees:
Adhere to School Policies and Regulations:
To the extent your internet, social media, and electronic communications use affects School employees, students, or School families, or their participation in the School community through work, education, or otherwise, you are required to follow School policies and regulations, including but not limited to those that protect individual privacy rights, anti-discrimination and harassment policies, and the anti-violence in the workplace policy. If your use of the internet, social media, and electronic communications adversely affects your job performance, the performance of your co-workers, or members of the public served by the School, such as students and School families, the School may take disciplinary action against you up to and including termination.
Do Not Engage in Unlawful or Prohibited Harassment or Threats:
You cannot post statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as unlawful harassment or discrimination or otherwise violating the law, such as by constituting unlawful, threatening conduct. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law.
Examples of unlawful threatening conduct include posting material that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family.
Do Not “Friend” Or Interact with Students through Social Media Outside the School: School employees, including faculty members, shall not communicate or interact with School students or their parents via Social Networking Sites, other than as authorized and through the official School sites. This restriction applies to former students and their parents as well, until the former student reaches the age of 18.