Bias Reporting

Oregon City School District is committed to providing equal educational opportunities and a safe learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff.  Our policy against all forms of discrimination is clear and can be found on our policy database.

Any form of discrimination based on race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability or any other category protected by state or federal law is not tolerated. OCSD will promptly report, investigate and respond to all allegations of discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, to the fullest extent possible and take appropriate disciplinary, corrective, and remedial measures necessary to ensure a safe and equitable learning and workplace environment for all school community members.  OCSD will also report such incidents to the appropriate authorities when applicable and share major incidents and patterns with the community affected.

What is an incident of discrimination or bias?

A bias incident is a person’s hostile expression toward another person, relating to the other person’s perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Bias incidents may include derogatory language or behavior.

Any time a member of our community is treated differently or disadvantaged because an aspect of their identity puts them in a protected class, it may be an incident of discrimination or bias.  Discrimination might take the form of subtle bias, hateful speech in the form of insults or epithets, or ongoing harassment or retaliation for a past event or report. Some incidents of bullying, or repeated targeting of another person in an unwanted manner, may also be acts of discrimination. Criminal acts motivated by bias may be considered hate crimes and may involve additional legal consequences. 

Words and expression are essential to the educational goals and processes of our schools, and students are expected to build their ability to express their opinions, persuade others, and learn from others through debate and discussion. But we also understand that words can demonstrate bias, embody hatred, and cause harm. 

When incidents of possible discrimination or bias do occur, we are committed to conducting a full investigation to determine what harm has been done, how it can be fully addressed, and ways in which it can be prevented from occurring again.

What is a Symbol of Hate?

Specifically prohibited symbols of hate are nooses, symbols of neo-Nazi ideology, or the battle flag of the Confederacy. A symbol of hate can also be a symbol, image, or object that expresses hostility on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

Why is it Important to Report Bias?

Reporting bias incidents that target students, administrators, faculty, or staff will inform OCSD authority and provide support, intervention, and education to those involved. The Bias Incident Report form is designed to collect testimonies and data to provide relevant professional development opportunities to improve GAPS district culture and school communities. This form is a place where affected students and families can document issues they encounter in district learning spaces, properties, programs and events.

Reporting a Biased Incident (ACB-AR)

Step 1:

When a staff member learns of a potential bias incident or display of a symbol of hate, the staff member will prioritize the safety and well-being of all persons impacted and promptly report the incident to the building or program administrator.

Step 2:

The administrator shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and investigate any complaint of a bias incident. The administrator will recognize the experience of all persons impacted, acknowledge the impact, commit to taking immediate action, and commit to preventing further harm against those persons impacted from taking place. Educational components and redirection procedures, if any, will:

  • Address the history and impact of bias and hate;

  • Advance the safety and healing of those impacted by bias and hate;

  • Promote accountability and transformation for people who cause harm; and

  • Promote transformation of the conditions that perpetuated the harm.

    The administrator must consider whether the behavior implicates other district policies or civil rights laws, and if so, respond accordingly2.

    The administrator will make a decision within 10 days of receiving the complaint.

    All persons impacted by the act will be provided with information3 relating to the investigation and outcome of the investigation, including:

  • Notice that an investigation has been initiated;

  • Notice when an investigation has been completed;

  • Findings of the investigation and the final determination based on those findings;

  • Actions taken to remedy a person’s behavior and prevent reoccurrence; and

Step 3:

When applicable, the legal citation of any law prohibiting disclosure of any information described above, and an explanation of how that law applies to the current situation.

If complainant or a respondent wishes to appeal the decision of the administrator, the complainant or respondent may submit a written appeal to the superintendent within five school days after receipt of the administrator’s response to the complaint.

The superintendent shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and may meet with all parties involved. The superintendent will review the merits of the complaint and the administrator’s decision. The superintendent will respond in writing to the complainant within 10 school days.

The superintendent will ensure that the requirements in Steps 1 and 2 (redirection procedures, notice, etc.) are continued to be met through Step 3, as appropriate.

If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the decision of the superintendent, a written appeal may be filed with the Board within five school days of receipt of the superintendent’s response to Step 3. The Board may decide to hear or deny the request for appeal at a Board meeting. The Board may use an executive session if the subject matter qualifies under Oregon law. If the Board decides to hear the appeal, the Board may meet with the concerned parties and their representative at a Board meeting. The Board’s decision will be final and will address each allegation in the complaint and contain reasons for the Board’s decision. A copy of the Board’s final decision shall be sent to the complainant in writing within 10 days of this meeting.

The Board will ensure that the requirements in Steps 1 and 2 (redirection procedures, notice, etc.) are continued to be met through Step 4, as appropriate.

Step 4:

Complaints can be filed with or communicated directly to the administrator, in which case Step 1 will be skipped. Complaints against the administrator can be directed to the superintendent and will begin at Step 3. Complaints against the superintendent or a Board member(s) can be directed to the Board and will begin at Step 4. If complaints begin later than Step 1, the individuals reviewing the complaint will ensure that all requirements are met.

The complainant, if a person who resides in the district, a parent or guardian of a student who attends school in the district, or a student, is not satisfied after exhausting local complaint procedures, the district fails to render a written decision within 30 days of submission of the complaint at any step or fails to resolve the complaint within 90 days of the initial filing of the complaint, may appeal4 the district’s final decision to the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction under Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 581-002-0001 – 581-002-0023.

Complaints may also be filed directly with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.5

District administration will develop and implement instructional materials to ensure that all school employees, staff and students are made aware of the policy, this administrative regulation and related practices. The materials will include reporting procedures, educational processes, and possible consequences.

When necessary, timelines may be adjusted by the district by communicating to all parties in writing. This communication must include a new timeline and an explanation of why the timeline must be adjusted.