Sexual Misconduct Policy Statement
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in college programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of sexual misconduct. Therefore, KCTCS will not tolerate sexual misconduct as defined in this its policies and procedures. Such acts are prohibited by KCTCS policy and procedure, as well as state and federal law. Persons whom KCTCS determines more likely than not have violated this procedure are subject to penalties up to and including expulsion or separation from KCTCS, regardless of whether they are also facing related criminal or civil charges before a government agency or court of law.
The KCTCS Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedure applies to KCTCS students, faculty, and staff, as well as third parties who interact with the KCTCS community, and all KCTCS -sponsored programs, events, and activities, regardless of where the alleged sexual misconduct occurs. KCTCS will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual misconduct, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct and, when appropriate, to discipline behavior that violates this procedure on sexual misconduct. KCTCS also will take steps in the event of sexual misconduct to remedy its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate. Provisions for the investigation and resolution of allegations covered in the procedure and its appendices.
The KCTCS President (or his designee) is responsible for ensuring this procedure is implemented at the KCTCS System Office and delegates to each College President/ CEO (or designees) the responsibility to ensure this procedure is implemented consistently at the college.
The KCTCS Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedure governs KCTCS’ prohibition of sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
These policies and procedures address the legal definition of those terms, the definition of consent, safe and positive options for bystander intervention, information on risk reduction, and policies and procedures should an incident of sexual misconduct occur.
Through enforcement of policy and by education of students, employees and volunteers, KCTCS seeks to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that violates our current and new policies. To ensure a harassment- free workplace, KCTCS mandates the following:
- All employees complete applicable components of the mandatory KCTCS Harassment-Free Workplace Training program when initially hired and annually thereafter; additionally, volunteers must complete the training program when they begin their service.
- All employees, students, volunteers, customers, vendors, visitors, and other individuals shall engage in proper behavior and interactions.
- All supervisors, managers, and administrators shall take appropriate steps to report alleged incidents of harassment.
Upon receiving a complaint or becoming aware of suspect behavior, KCTCS officials shall take appropriate follow-up action for any alleged incidents of harassment. All students, employees and volunteers, particularly supervisors, have a responsibility for keeping our environment free of harassment. Any student, employee or volunteer who becomes aware of an incident of alleged harassment, whether by witnessing the incident or being told of it, shall report it to an immediate super- visor, the Title IX Coordinator, human resources staff, or the designated management representative with whom they feel comfortable.
When supervisors or managers become aware of alleged harassment, it is KCTCS policy that they immediately notify the college Title IX Coordinator, the college Human Resources Office, the KCTCS Human Resources Office, or KCTCS Office of General Counsel in order for the claim to be fully investigated.
Description of Primary and Ongoing Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Training:
In order to raise awareness around the issues of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault KCTCS offers online training to all students and employees through Law Room Vector Solutions.
KCTCS colleges employ the messaging framework of the national ‘It’s On Us’ campaign to raise awareness of the program availability and increase participation rates. Vector Solutions training is available to both employees and students at all times. Employees are required to complete these components as part of their annual mandatory training. Student and employee training address the following topics:
Dating Violence (KRS 158.070): A pattern of behavior in which a person uses or threatens to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to control another person who is in a dating relationship with the person, where one (1) or both persons are thirteen (13) to nineteen (19) years of age; or
Behavior by which a person uses or threatens to use sexual violence against another person who is in a dating relationship with the person, where one (1) or both persons are thirteen (13) to nineteen (19) years of age.
Domestic Violence (KRS 403.715): "Domestic violence and abuse" means physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault between family members or members of an unmarried couple.
Stalking (KRS 508.130): To "stalk" means to engage in an intentional course of conduct: (a) Directed at a specific person or persons; (b) Which seriously alarms, annoys, intimidates, or harasses the person or persons; and (c) Which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct shall be that which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial mental distress
Sexual Assault (KRS 510.110): He or she subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion; or He or she subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent because he or she: Is physically helpless; Is less than twelve (12) years old; or Is mentally incapacitated; or being twenty-one (21) years old or more, he or she: Subjects another person who is less than sixteen (16) years old to sexual contact; Engages in masturbation in the presence of another person who is less than sixteen (16) years old and know or has reason to know the other person is present; or Engages in masturbation while using the Internet, telephone, or other electronic communication device while communicating with a minor who the person knows is less than sixteen (16) years old, and the minor can see or hear the person masterbate; or
Lack of Consent (KRS 510.020): Lack of consent results from:
- Forcible compulsion;
- Incapacity to consent; or
- If the offense charged is sexual abuse, any circumstance in addition to forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor's conduct.
A person is deemed incapable of consent when he or she is:
- Less than sixteen (16) years old;
- An individual with an intellectual disability or an individual that suffers from a mental illness;
- Mentally incapacitated;
- Physically helpless; or
- Under the care or custody of a state or local agency pursuant to court order and the actor is employed by or working on behalf of the state or local agency.
- Safe and Positive Options for Bystander Intervention:
Information on safe and positive options for bystander intervention was presented through the lens of social norms and dispelled the myth that most students wouldn’t act if they saw a situation that was potential leading up to a sexual mis- conduct assault. Options for bystander intervention included direct intervention, dis-traction, and delegation.
Information on Risk Reduction:
Vector Solutions delivers risk reduction information without using language victim-shaming language. It encourages students to look out for one an- other and stand up and speak out when they see an abusive situation occurring. The program also provides a variety of tips to keep students mindful of their surroundings when at social events.
Reporting Procedures for Sexual Misconduct:
Importance of preserving evidence
It is important that a victim of sexual assault not bathe, douche, smoke, change clothing or clean the bed/linen/ area where they were assaulted if the offense occurred within the past 120 hours so that evidence may be pre- served. This evidence may also assist in proving that the alleged criminal offense occurred/or is occurring or may be helpful in obtaining a protection order. In circum- stances of sexual assault, if victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted disease. Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence are encouraged to also preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to college hearing boards/investigators or police.
How and to whom
KCTCS strongly encourages all individuals to report incidents of harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to their college’s Title IX Coordinator and/or local police. Reports can be made to the Title IX Coordinator by phone, email, or in person. Reports can also be made anonymously through Ethics Point.
When an individual files a report of sexual misconduct to a Title IX Coordinator the complainant and respondent will be provided a written explanation outlining the following:
- Existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, financial aid, and other services available both within the institution and in the community,
- Notification to victims about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes in aca- demic, transportation, working situations or protective measures. These accommodations are available to complainants even if they choose not to purse disciplinary actions.
- An explanation of the procedures in the disciplinary action process,
- An explanation of the student or employee’s rights and options.
- Options about the involvement of law enforcement
All individuals who make a report of sexual misconduct to their college’s Title IX Coordinator hold the right to decide whether to file a report with local law enforcement. They may choose to notify local police independently, request assistance from the college to file a police report, or decline to notify such authorities.
While KCTCS ultimately respects the rights of the complainant’s decision to involve local police authorities there may be some circumstances that pose an on- going threat to the health and safety of the campus community that may warrant a police investigation. In these rare cases, a complainant still maintains the right to decide whether or not to cooperate with those authorities.
Rights of Victims – Institutional Responsibilities for EPOs
It is the responsibility of students, faculty and staff with emergency protective orders to bring this to the attention of college administrators. When this occurs, the college will attempt to assist in maintaining this protective order by calling local authorities should an individual violate this order. If an individual is violating an emergency protective order on a KCTCS campus, we encourage the EPO holder to notify police and/or campus security immediately.
KCTCS seeks to respect requests for confidentiality in its response to incidents of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. However, it may be necessary to reveal certain personally identifying information to investigate and address complaints effectively. In such cases, the college takes steps to ensure that information is only shared as necessary, on a need-to-know basis, to resolve the underlying allegations.
College employees, including faculty, administrators, staff, and student employees, must report to the Title IX Coordinator any incidents of possible sexual harass- ment, sex discrimination, or retaliation on campus of which they are aware.
In every report of sexual misconduct, KCTCS will make a prompt assessment of whether the report concerns conduct covered by KCTCS’s sexual misconduct procedure. KCTCS will also assess any risk of harm to individuals or to the campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps may include interim protective measures to provide for the safety of the individual and the campus community.
The initial steps for resolution of a complaint are the same whether the Respondent is a student, employee, or guest. Employee and guest Respondents will be processed in accordance with KCTCS Employment Policies and Procedures. Student Respondents will be processed in accordance with the KCTCS Student Code of Conduct and student policies and the Hearing Procedures for Student Respondents. Formal complaints for violations of the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Procedure may result in a Formal Grievance Hearing.
In every report of sexual harassment or misconduct, KCTCS will make an immediate assessment of any risk of harm to individuals or to the campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps may include interim protective measures to pro- vide for the safety of the individual and the campus community.
When the Initial Title IX Assessment concludes that an investigation is required, KCTCS will designate an investigator(s) with specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. KCTCS may use a team of multiple investigators, which may include the College Human Resources Director with a System Office investigator, or two System Office investigators, or outside investigators working on behalf of KCTCS.
The investigation will be an objective fact-gathering process conducted in a thorough, impartial, and fair manner. The investigation will be respectful of individual privacy but must be performed in a manner that will ensure KCTCS’ compliance with all state and federal laws, including affording due process to the parties.
KCTCS will seek to complete the investigation within 20 (twenty) business days of receiving the complaint. This time frame may be extended depending on the circum- stances of each case. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigators will forward the report to the System Office Title IX Committee for review and evaluation.
When an investigation demonstrates that sufficient evidence exists that a violation of policy and procedure has occurred, KCTCS will initiate a hearing in accordance with the Formal Hearing Process.
Informal resolution is strictly voluntary process that aims to provide a mutually acceptable alternative to a full investigation and adjudication. Informal Resolution is not an option for complaints involving student allegations of prohibited conduct by employees. Where the Title IX assessment concludes that informal resolution may be appropriate, KCTCS will take immediate action to protect the rights of the Complainant and remediate and correct the policy violations leading to the complaint.
KCTCS seeks to resolve all reports within 60 days of the initial report. All time frames expressed in this policy are meant to be guidelines rather than rigid requirements. Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames, including extension beyond 60 days. Extenuating circumstances may include the complexity and scope of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a con- current criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, or other unforeseen circumstances.
Prompt, Fair, and Impartial Process
KCTCS seeks to resolve all cases of sexual misconduct in a manner that is prompt, fair, and impartial by ensuring the following rights and options are reserved for both the complainant and the respondent:
- The complainant and respondent will be provided the same opportunities to have others present during any institutional investigation or disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice. Different requirements apply to advisors during the investigation process versus during the hearing process, please see the procedure for details.
- Both parties will receive notifications for each step of the process in accordance with the procedural requirements.
Sanctions for Policy Violation for Students:
Students found responsible for policy violations can result in the following sanctions:
- Reprimand: Official written or oral statement to the student that he or she is guilty of violating a college regulation. A reprimand warns that any further such actions may result in a more severe sanction.
- Restitution: Compensation to the college for damages to college property.
- Social Probation: Status given to less serious policy violations, and in some cases, a restriction of privileges for a specified time.
- College/Community Service: Service to the college or community of up to 16 hours be served within a specified time frame.
- Educational Sanction: An educational sanction requiring attendance or participation in a pre-arranged class, program, or activity designed to prevent or deal with high-risk behavior.
- Counseling: Student may be referred to counseling evaluation on appointment by Counseling Services.
- Eviction: Forced removal from a classroom or other college property.
- College Probation: Status that carries a severe warning that any further violation of college regulations that may result in the student going before the College Appeals Board for consideration of suspension or expulsion. This may include restrictions of privileges for a specified period of time.
- Suspension: Forced withdrawal from the college for a specified period of time or until stated conditions have been met as determined by the College Appeals Board. College will place the Student Dean Hold service indica- tor for no future enrollments at the Home College or other KCTCS college during the specified period of time or until stated conditions had been met.
- Immediate Suspension: A student may be suspend-ed immediately when:
- In the judgment of the chief executive officer (upon consultation with the chief student affairs officer), the presence of the student poses a serious threat to persons and/or property provided informal opportunity is first given to the student, except in the case of exigent circumstances, to discuss the matter and possible resolution.
- The student refuses to cease disruptive behavior or conduct in violation of this policy after direct orders from the chief executive officer (upon consultation with the chief student affair’s officer).
- When such suspension is involved, the student must leave the campus immediately. Students re-fusing to do so will be removed by law enforcement authorities and charged with trespassing.
- When a student is placed on immediate suspension, a disciplinary hearing will be held at the earliest reasonable time (see Student Code of Conduct Section 3.6.).
- Expulsion: Permanent, forced withdrawal from the college as determined by the College Appeals Board.
Upon receipt of a report of prohibited conduct, KCTCS may offer and enact supportive measures to restore or preserve equal access to education programs or activities, to protect the safety of the educational environment, and/or to deter sexual harassment.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as reasonably appropriate and available without fee or charge. Supportive measures may be provided regardless of whether a Formal Complaint has been filed or formal disciplinary action is sought or pursued against the Respondent. Both Complainant and Respondent are eligible for appropriate supportive measures. Such measures may include, but are not limited to:
- referral to counseling services and other resources,
- extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments,
- modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services,
- mutual restrictions on contact between the parties,
- changes in work or class locations, leaves of absence,
- increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures that can be tailored to the involved individuals to ensure equal access.
Supportive measures will be kept confidential to the extent possible, but some measures may require information to be provided to parties who are not involved with the report of prohibited conduct—for example, in order to receive flexibility on coursework, faculty may be notified that the student is experiencing a Title IX-related issue and requires extended time. As another example, supervisors may be notified that an employee’s Title IX-related issue requires additional approved leave or a flexible work schedule. Details of the issue itself would not be included in such notice. The Title IX Coordinator will coordinate and implement supportive measures.
The Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures, inform the Complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint.