Fairfax County Public Schools must now wait until a formal grievance process has concluded to impose discipline against students and employees found to have committed sexual harassment or assault.
With three members abstaining and one not present, the Fairfax County School Board voted 7-1 on Sept. 17 to amend the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities book, which contains the district’s student conduct policies, to specify that discipline in Title IX cases cannot be dealt until the completion of the grievance process, including any appeals.
The board also agreed to discuss its new sexual harassment regulations further at a future work session to potentially bolster protections for both people who file complaints and those subject to the discipline process.
Necessitated by new federal rules regarding Title IX cases, which concern sexual and gender-based discrimination, the Student Rights and Responsibilities amendment is an extension of a new district regulation that dictates how Fairfax County schools will handle sexual harassment complaints.
Effective as of Aug. 26, Regulation 2118 establishes a separate process for reporting, responding to, and resolving sexual harassment complaints than the one used for other offenses, such as drug use and even sexual misconduct that does not meet the definition of harassment.
Where other potential student conduct violations are generally addressed by school principals, formal complaints of sexual harassment will be reviewed by Title IX investigators in the FCPS Office of Equity and Employee Relations, and hearing officers under the superintendent are now responsible for determining whether a complaint is founded and what discipline to impose.
All appeals go to the school board’s appeals committee except for an appeal of a complaint’s dismissal, which would be heard by the district’s deputy assistant superintendent. Read More
Someone found a box full of money in Vienna’s Northside Park this week, according to police.
The find was reported to the Vienna Police Department around 5 p.m. Tuesday. There’s no word on how much money was found or what it was doing in the park, which sits along the W&OD Trail.
Also in the latest Vienna police highlights, a pedestrian was reportedly struck by a snow plow Sunday morning.
359 Block Maple Avenue, East 19-000516 January 13 6:50 a.m. Vehicle-1 (a pickup truck with a snow plow) was plowing the parking lot. Pedestrian-1 was walking across the parking lot and was struck by Vehicle-1 as he was backing up. Pedestrian-1 suffered minor injuries
Last Friday, a Vienna woman reported being harassed by a man she met online.
A resident began corresponding with a man over social media. After the two met in person, the man expressed interest in the resident and began continuously harassing her when she declined his advances. On January 11 the woman found an envelope in her mailbox that contained innocent photos of her taken from social media along with sexually explicit photos of an unknown person.
Map via Google Maps
Mom Has Daughter Arrested for Theft — “A woman living in the 600 block of Gibson Circle, S.W., told Vienna police on Sept. 27 at 12:30 a.m. that her juvenile daughter allegedly had stolen her cell phone and punched a hole in a wall. The resident advised police she wished to pursue charges.” [InsideNova]
Uptick in Sexual Harassment Reports at FCPS — “The 2017-2018 Fairfax County Youth Survey found that 14.2 percent of students reported being sexually harassed in the past year, an increase of a full percentage point from the 13.2 percent in the survey issued during the 2016-2017 school year. Female students are three times more likely than male students to report experiencing sexual harassment as 20.8 percent of girls said they had been harassed compared to 7.3 percent of boys.” [Fairfax County Times]
Hurricane Michael Could Soak Region — The remnants of Hurricane Michael, which is on a collision course with the Florida panhandle, could bring an inch or so of rain to Fairfax County between late Wednesday night and Friday. [Capital Weather Gang]
Tysons Firm Announces Merger — Tysons-based Telarix Inc. last week “announced its merger with Starhome Mach, the leading global provider of SaaS wholesale and retail roaming, clearing, settlement and fraud prevention solutions.” The combined company will be headquartered in Tysons. [Starhome Mach]
Domestic Violence Awareness Month in FFX — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Fairfax County held an event to remind residents to “make the call to end domestic violence.” The county’s 24-hour domestic and sexual violence hotline is 703-360-7273. [YouTube]