Harassment, Intimidation, And Bullying
Equity Policy / Affirmative Action
It is the policy of the Lower Township School District not to discriminate in its educational programs, employment policies, or admission policies/practices on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, or socioeconomic status. Lack of English language skills will not be a deterrent to admission to any program in the district. A copy of the policy is on file in the Board of Education Office and in each school building.
Patricia Ryan is the district Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator. She can be contacted at 905 Seashore Road, Cape May, NJ 08204 or by phone at 884-9400. The district's Comprehensive Equity Plan including the grievance procedure are on file in the Business Office. In accordance with NJAC 6A:7 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, pertinent information is available upon request.
Debra Keeler is the Officer for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She can be contacted at 905 Seashore Road, Cape May, NJ 08204 or by phone at 884-9400. Section 504 plans for the district and due process for disabled students are on file in the Child Study Team Office. Pertinent information is available upon request.
LTES STAFF Title IX Coursework
Discriminatory Harassment — Identification and Response (35 minutes)
Some student misconduct may qualify as peer discriminatory harassment under one or more of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. With that in mind, course topics include: peer discriminatory harassment, types of harassment, legal requirements for schools, recognizing and responding to peer discriminatory harassment, and important legal considerations. By taking this training, you’ll learn: the definitions of discrimination, peer discriminatory harassment and hostile environment; how to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Opportunities Act of 1974, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, with regard to discriminatory harassment; how discriminatory harassment differs from bullying; how to determine whether harassment is “severe, pervasive or persistent”; how to recognize racial, color and/or national origin harassment; how to recognize disability harassment, as well as the definitions of physical and mental impairments; how to recognize religious harassment; how to recognize sexual-orientation and gender-identity harassment; what harassment policies schools are legally required to adopt, and the ramifications for schools that don’t abide by federal law; how schools are required to respond to allegations of peer discriminatory harassment; how to eliminate a hostile environment within a school; how to prevent future discriminatory harassment within a school; how to maintain confidentiality for victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators of discriminatory harassment; what due-process rights alleged perpetrators of discriminatory harassment are entitled to receive; how freedom of speech comes into play, with regard to discriminatory harassment; and what discriminatory-harassment resources you have at your disposal.
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504
- Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI
- Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) of 1974
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II
The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide students, employees and parents with a process through which they can seek a remedy for alleged violations related to discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, socio-economic status or handicap.
- Step 1 - The grievant must present in written form the complaint to the responsible person designated as the Affirmative Action Officer. (Use Grievance Report – Form A).
- Step 2 - The Affirmative Action Officer has five working days in which to investigate and respond to the grievant. (Affirmative Action Officer is to use the space provided on Grievance Report – Form A).
- Step 3 - If not satisfied, the grievant may appeal within ten working days to the Superintendent or his designee (not Affirmative Action Officer) (Use Appeal – Form B).
- Step 4 - Response by the Superintendent or designee must be given within five working days. (Superintendent to use space provided for on Appeal – Form B).
- Step 5 - If the grievant is not satisfied at this level, an appeal may be made within ten working days to the Lower Township Board of Education which will hear the complaint at the next regular meeting or within thirty calendar days. (Use Appeal – Form C). Local Board hearing shall be conducted so as to accord due process to all parties involved in the complaint such as written notice of hearing dates, rights to counsel, right to present witnesses, right to cross-examine and to present written statements. The decision of the Board shall be by a majority of the members at a meeting which shall be public.
- Step 6 - The Lower Township Board of Education shall respond to the grievant within thirty calendar days. (Use space provided for on Appeal – Form C).
- Step 7 - If the grievant is not satisfied with the Board’s decision, the grievant may file the complaint to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Washington, D.C. The grievant maintains the right to by-pass the grievance procedure and submit the complaint directly to the Office of Civil Rights.
Grievance Forms A, B, and C are available from the Chief Equity Officer who is also the Affirmative Action Officer.
Comprehensive Equity Plan 2016-2019 Community Input/Needs Assessment
The Lower Township School District's Comprehensive Equity Plan (CEP) for 2016 - 2019 was approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. The purpose of the plan was to ensure that the district is compliant with state and federal regulations that ensure equal access to all schools, facilities, programs, activities, and benefits for all students, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability or socioeconomic status. The plan provided for staff development and training to identify and resolve problems associated with the student achievement gap and other inequalities arising from prejudice related to these protected categories. Additionally, the plan guaranteed equality in employment and contract practices for all persons based on the same conditions.
The Board of Education has approved the formation of an Affirmative Action Team comprised of administrators, teachers, other staff members, and parents/community members to assist in the development of this plan. Community input is welcomed. You may contact John Hansen, Affirmative Action Officer at 884-9400. The subject line should be “equity”.
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