Non-Discrimination Notice (EOE)/Civil Rights Information
The policy of the school district is to provide equal educational opportunity for all students. The school district does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, parental status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation, including gender identity and expression, or age. The District will ensure physical and program access for disabled persons in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Section 363A.13.
The District does not, on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, disability, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or age, (1) refuse to hire or to maintain a system of employment which unreasonably excludes a person seeking employment, (2) discharge an employee, or (3) discriminate against a person with respect to hiring, tenure, compensation, terms, upgrading, conditions, facilities, or privileges of employment, in violation of Minnesota Statutes Section 363A.08.
The District does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the educational program or activity which it operates, in admission to such programs, or in employment. The District is required by Title IX and 34 C.F.R. Part 106 not to discriminate in such a manner.
The District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in violation of Section 504 and 34 C.F.R. Part 104. The District does not discriminate in admission to or access to, or treatment or employment in, its program or activity on the basis of disability.
The following person has been designated to coordinate and handle inquiries regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policies including Title IX, Section 504/ADAAA and human rights: Dr. Emily Rustman, (952) 491-8031, 5901 Sunnyfield Road E., Minnetrista, MN 55364.
Westonka policies specifically pertaining to Civil Rights include 4220 Employee Sex Nondiscrimination, 4108 Employee Disability Nondiscrimination, 5220 Student Sex Nondiscrimination, and 5108 Student Disability Nondiscrimination. Copies of these policies are also available at the school offices. Further information on this discrimination statement can be obtained from the Office of Civil Rights or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
Bullying (Policy 5140)
The Westonka Public School District is committed to providing all students and staff with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, the District has in place policies, procedures and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment as well as processes and procedures to deal with incidents of bullying and harassment when they occur.
The District prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization based on a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation including gender identity and expression, academic status related to student performance, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined in the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). This policy is in effect while students are on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school-owned and/or school-operated vehicles; while attending or engaged in school sponsored activities; and while away from school grounds if the misconduct directly affects the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district.
Bullying is defined by law as “intimidating, threatening, abusive or harming conduct that is objectively offensive”, involves “an actual or perceived imbalance of power” between the alleged perpetrator and the target, is “repeated or forms a pattern” and “materially and substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or performance or ability to participate in school functions or activities” and “specifically includes cyberbullying, malicious and sadistic conduct, and sexual exploitation.”
Bullying may include, but is not limited to: Verbal (teasing, name calling, gossiping, rumor starting, rumor spreading, verbal cruelty, threats, intimidation, humiliating, embarrassing, racial/ethnic slurs, cyberbullying; Physical (humiliating, embarrassing, pushing, shoving, pinching, kicking, tripping, fighting, destruction of property, extortion, obscene gestures): or Social (purposeful exclusion, laughing at a student who is being bullied, rumor spreading).
The "Minnesota Safe and Supportive Schools Act"
The Westonka School Board has updated Policy 5140 to conform with the provisions of law enacted by the Minnesota Legislature in April 2014, commonly known as the “Minnesota Safe and Supportive Schools Act.” However, the district has had a bullying prevention policy in place since 2005 and has utilized anti-bullying and character education programs with students at all age levels for a number of years.
Some additional key provisions of the “Safe and Supportive Schools Act” are:
- The Act emphasizes “remedial” or “positive” consequences for students who are found to have committed prohibited acts of bullying.
- Schools must:
- Designate a staff person as “report taker” in each building.
- Investigate all reported complaints of bullying or other prohibited conduct beginning within three days of receiving the report.
- Discuss its anti-bullying policy with school personnel and volunteers and provide appropriate training to school personnel.
- Require employees to make reasonable efforts to address bullying when they see it or become aware of it.
- Contact parents as appropriate.
- Annually provide education and information to students regarding bullying.
- Implement programs and other initiatives to prevent bullying and establish a positive school climate.
- Give annual notice to students, parents or guardians and staff of the district’s anti-bullying policy.
- Post a copy or a summary of the anti-bullying policy in each district building.
- Reference the anti-bullying policy in the district’s Discipline Policy and,
- Make the anti-bullying policy available to parents and other community members in an electronic format on the district’s website.