500-517 Disability Nondiscrimination
HIBBING PUBLIC SCHOOLS
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 701
BOARD POLICY 517
SERIES: 500 Students
SUBJECT: 517 Disability Nondiscrimination
REVISED: April 7, 2010
The purpose of this policy is to protect students with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability and to identify and evaluate learners who, within the intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), need special services, accommodations, or programs in order that such learners may receive a free appropriate public education.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
A. Students with disabilities who meet the criteria of Paragraph C. below are protected from discrimination on the basis of a disability.
B. It is the responsibility of the school district to identify and evaluate learners who, within the intent of Section 504, need special services, accommodations, or programs in order that such learners may receive a free appropriate public education.
C. For this policy, a learner who is protected under Section 504 is one who:
1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities; or
2. has a record of such an impairment; or
3. is regarded as having such an impairment.
D. Learners may be protected from disability discrimination and be eligible for services, accommodations, or programs under the provisions of Section 504 even though they are not eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
III. REPORTING GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
A. Any student who believes he or she has been the victim of unlawful discrimination due to a disability by a teacher, administrator or other school district personnel, or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability should report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy. The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available from the school district office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well. Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability directly to the superintendent.
B. In Each School Building. The building principal is the person responsible for receiving oral or written reports of unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability at the building level. Any adult school district personnel who receives a report of unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability shall inform the building principal immediately.
C. Upon receipt of a report, the principal must notify the school district
Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues immediately, without screening or investigating the report. The principal may request, but may not insist upon a written complaint.
A written statement of the facts alleged will be forwarded as soon as practicable by the principal to the Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues. If the report was given verbally, the principal shall personally reduce it to written form within 24 hours and forward it to the Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues. Failure to forward any report or complaint of unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability as provided herein may result in disciplinary action against the principal. If the complaint involves the building principal, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent by the reporting party or complainant.
D. The school board hereby designates its Director of Special Programs as the school district Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues to receive reports or complaints of unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability.
Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues:
Director of Special Programs
800 East 21st Street
Hibbing, MN 55746
E. The school district shall conspicuously post the name of the Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues.
F. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades or work assignments.
G. Use of formal reporting forms is not mandatory.
H. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to conform with any discovery or disclosure obligations.
A. By authority of the school district, the Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues, upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability shall promptly undertake or authorize an investigation. The investigation may be conducted by school district officials or by a third party designated by the school district.
B. The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator.
C. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the school district should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.
D. In addition, the school district may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, pupils, teachers, administrators or other school personnel pending completion of an investigation of alleged unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability.
E. The investigation will be completed as soon as practicable. The school district Section 504 Coordinator for Student Issues shall make a written report upon completion of the investigation to the Superintendent. If the complaint involves the superintendent, the report may be filed directly with the school board. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of this policy.
V. SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION
A. Upon conclusion of the investigation and receipt of a report, the school district will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination or discharge. School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Minnesota and federal law and school district policies.
B. The result of the school district’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant by the school district in accordance with state and federal law regarding data or records privacy.
The school district will discipline or take appropriate action against any pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports alleged unlawful discrimination toward a student due to a disability or any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, or who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such unlawful discrimination. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.
VII. RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, initiating civil action or seeking redress under state criminal statutes and/or federal law, or contacting the Office of Civil Rights for the United States Department of Education.
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
190 E. 5th Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
TDD: 651-296-1283 Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office
U.S. Department of Education
500 W. Madison Street Suite 1475
Chicago, Illinois 60661
VIII. DISSEMINATION OF POLICY AND EVALUATION
A. This policy shall be made available to all students, parents/guardians of students, staff members, employee unions and organizations.
B. The school district shall review this policy and the school district’s operation for compliance with state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination on a continuous basis.
Pub. L. 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553 (ADA Amendments Act of 2008, § 7)
29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)
34 C.F.R. Part 104 (Implementing Regulations)