All employees are expected to treat colleagues, students, and all others with whom they have contact with dignity and respect. Harassment occurring in the school or at school-sponsored events or programs is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Harassment includes verbal or physical conduct which would offend a reasonable person or which denigrates or belittles any individual for any reason, including race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, pictures, jokes, comments, innuendoes, or any other behavior which creates an environment which is offensive or demeaning.
Harassment is a serious charge and should not be made lightly. All members of the community are urged to remember that anyone may be guilty of a single, thoughtless comment. A single occurrence may often be addressed with a direct word to the offender who may very well apologize and mend his or her behavior. An act does not have to be repeated, though, to qualify as harassment.
The School takes allegations of harassment seriously, and will respond promptly to complaints. If inappropriate conduct has occurred, the school will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and require corrective action as is necessary.
Anyone believing that he or she has been subjected to harassment should immediately notify his or her supervisor in writing. To file a complaint follow Grievance and Appeal Process.
An investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible. The investigation will include, at a minimum, a private interview with the person filing the complaint and an interview with the person alleged to have committed the harassment. The matter may be investigated further by contacting witnesses or other individuals whom are believed to have additional information regarding the issues raised in the complaint. When the investigation is completed, the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct will be informed of the results.
If it is determined that inappropriate conduct was committed by an SSIS employee appropriate action will be taken. Such action may include a warning, suspension, or termination from employment.
It must be noted that all investigations of charges of harassment will be based upon a test of reasonableness (asking: Would an reasonable individual, in the same circumstances, feel harassed and would a reasonable individual consider the act harassment?). For example, criticism of another individual, while hurtful, is not necessarily harassment, unless done in a manner that is demeaning, degrading, or belittling.
Any retaliation against an individual who has complained about harassment or reported harassment in good faith, or against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a harassment complaint, is similarly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Hazing refers to any activity expected of an individual to join or to continue membership or participation in any group where the activity produces, or could be expected to produce, mental, emotional or physical discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule to the individual, regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate.
The Saigon South International School prohibits all forms of hazing. If unsure whether something constitutes hazing, then the employee or faculty member should contact the Head of School.
All School employees are required to immediately report any actual or suspected hazing or planned hazing activity to their direct supervisor. The failure to make such a report could result in disciplinary action in accordance with the School’s disciplinary procedures. When the School administration becomes aware of any actual or planned hazing activity, the situation will be promptly investigated. No adverse action will be taken against any person who makes a good faith report of hazing or suspected hazing activity.
Activities which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
It is not the intent here to prohibit any and all romantic relationships between SSIS employees, although these may be complicated for many reasons and may affect continued employment by one or both individuals even when the relationship is welcomed and consensual.
While unwelcome sexual advances or other such activity are prohibited between employees of SSIS, any and all sexual advances, whether welcome or unwelcome, are strictly prohibited between SSIS employees and students.
Any employee of the School who believes he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment or discrimination should immediately inform one of the following individuals: the Head of School, the Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations, or the Human Resource Manager. As soon as possible thereafter, the reporting individual should submit a written report detailing the alleged inappropriate conduct.
Upon learning of such allegations, the person to whom the conduct was reported shall immediately, or as soon as practical thereafter, inform the Head of School or his designee of the allegations made by the accuser. The Head of School or his designee shall implement an investigative process that may include conducting interviews, review of documents, etc.
If a student should make a harassment report involving an adult or another student to any employee, the following guidelines should be followed:
All alleged violations of the Sexual Harassment Policy shall be promptly investigated in a timely and appropriate manner. The School will maintain confidentiality over the information, to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation. Upon the conclusion of the initial investigation, an appropriate administrator will communicate the preliminary results to the accuser and the accused. Such persons will be given an opportunity to provide additional information for consideration.
After any additional information has been reviewed and investigated, a decision will be made regarding the necessity of taking disciplinary action and the nature of that action. The accuser and the accused will be advised of the final outcome.
All levels of management and supervision are responsible for assuring employees that sexual harassment is prohibited by School policy and that confidential investigation of all alleged incidents of harassment will be undertaken. Prompt and corrective remedial action will be implemented as appropriate. The decision to terminate an employee, or to expel a student, for violation of this policy will not be undertaken without a thorough review of the facts and documentation surrounding the allegations of harassment.
At the conclusion of any investigation where termination or expulsion is not the recommended disciplinary action, the accuser and the accused shall be given an opportunity to resolve the allegations informally between themselves. Parties to such informal resolution shall be required to sign a written agreement detailing the agreed resolution between the parties. A copy of such written agreement shall be given to each party and a copy maintained in their respective personnel or student files. Failure to abide by the terms of such an agreement may result in immediate termination or expulsion.
At the conclusion of the investigation, including consideration of any new information, the final outcome shall be communicated to the accused and to the accuser. Thereafter, the accuser and accused shall have a maximum of seventy-two (72) hours in which to file a formal appeal of the outcome and any disciplinary action. Any such appeal shall be made in writing to the Head of School.
Within seven (7) days of receipt of such appeal, the Head of School shall appoint an independent body of three (3) individuals, who shall thereafter review the written basis for the appeal and factors considered by the original investigative body before rendering a final recommendation to the Head of School. The independent appellate review body shall recommend to uphold the original decision, to reverse the original finds, or to prescribe additional or alternative disciplinary action consistent with School policy.