School Board Policy 498 -
Respectful Workplace

Adopted: may 9, 2011  

I. Purpose

The School District strives to maintain an environment that fosters mutual respect, prevents bullying and promotes harmonious, productive working relationships. Our district believes in going beyond what is required by law and expects school personnel to treat each other and students in a manner in which they would like to be treated and to give to others the respect that is due to every individual whether it is a fellow employee, School Board member, member of administration, agent, volunteer, student or visitor to our premises. As a result, school personnel are prohibited from engaging in behavior that substantially interferes with a professional productive, respectful working environment, including behavior that is disrespectful, obscene, inappropriate, offensive or an act of bullying.

It is the responsibility of the administration of the School District to implement this policy and support it through positive leadership and personal example. Further, it is the responsibility of the administration to contribute to the maintenance of a work environment that is consistent with this policy.

II. Definitions

  1. Retaliation – Includes but is not limited to any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.

  2. School Personnel – School Board members, school employees, agents, volunteers and contractors subject to the supervision and control of the School District.

III. Regulations

  1. The School District expects that everyone will act responsibly to establish a pleasant and friendly work environment. However, if any school personnel or student feels he/she has been subjected to any form of disrespectful or bullying behavior by school personnel other than the School board, the person should report that conduct to his/her immediate supervisor, another member of administration, or Human Resources within three calendar days of the offense. While written reports are encouraged, a complaint may be made orally. All school personnel should notify a member of administration regarding any disrespectful or bullying behavior that they witness or are told another person received. No personnel of the school district shall permit, condone or tolerate disrespectful or bullying behavior. Any school personnel receiving a complaint shall advise the immediate supervisor, the Director of Human Resources or the Superintendent of the complaint.

  2. Depending upon the nature and seriousness of the complaint, the supervisor or other administrator receiving the complaint shall determine the nature and scope of the investigation or follow-up procedures. If the complaint involves serious allegations, the matter shall promptly be referred to the Superintendent who shall determine what type of investigation should be conducted. The Superintendent shall determine the nature and scope of the investigation and designate the person responsible for the investigation or follow-up relating to the complaint. The designated investigator shall ascertain details concerning the complaint and respond promptly to the appropriate administrator concerning the status or outcome of the matter.

  3. Any School District action taken pursuant to this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, contracts, Minnesota Statutes, and School District policies. The School District will take such disciplinary action it deems necessary and appropriate, including warning, suspension or termination to end and prevent any further occurrences of disrespectful or bullying behavior.

  4. A timely resolution of each complaint will be reached and communicated to the complaining party. The Superintendent shall be copied on the correspondence and consulted in advance of the written response when appropriate. The response to the complaining party shall be consistent with the rights of others pursuant to the applicable provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act) or other law.

  5. The School District will take appropriate action with any school personnel who retaliates against any person who makes a good faith report to this policy.

  6. The School District reserves the right to determine whether any type of behavior is disrespectful and injurious to the morale of the organization.

  7. In the case of a concern or complaint against a School Board member, the preceding provisions A through F, of this section do not apply and are replaced by the following:

    1. The concern or complaint should be brought directly to the attention of the School Board Chair. If the complaint is made to a supervisor or administrator, the School Board Chair shall be advised of the complaint as soon as reasonably possible.

    2. The School Board Chair (or Vice Chair if the Board Chair is the subject of the complaint) shall determine the type of investigation to be conducted, the nature and scope of the investigation and the person responsible for the investigation or follow-up relating to the concern or complaint.

    3. Upon completion of the investigation, the School Board Chair shall bring the concern or complaint and the findings of the investigation to the School Board for resolution.

    4. The School Board will timely reach and communicate to the complaining party a resolution to the concern or complaint. The response to the complaining party shall be consistent with the rights of others pursuant to the applicable provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act) or other law.

    5. Any School Board action taken pursuant to this policy will be consistent with requirements of Minnesota Statutes, and School District policies.

    6. The School Board will take appropriate action with any School Board member who retaliates against any person who makes a good faith report pursuant to this policy.

    7. The School Board reserves the right to determine whether any type of behavior by a School Board member is disrespectful and injurious to the morale of the school district.

  8. Complaints which fall under School District Policy No. 413: Harassment and Violence, should be filed pursuant to that policy.

IV. Training and Education

  1. The School District will annually provide education, information and training to school district personnel regarding this policy.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)

Cross References:
Policy 209 (Code of Ethics)
Policy 215 (School Board Member Code of Conduct)
Policy 413, (Harassment & Violence Policy)
Policy 514 (Bullying Prevention Policy)