Know Your Rights
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination -which includes sexual violence- in educational programs and activities. All public and private schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving federal funds must comply with Title IX.
If you have experienced sexual violence, here is further information on your Title IX rights.
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|Bystander Focused Prevention|
All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints shall be conducted with as much privacy, discretion and confidentiality as possible without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation. All persons involved are expected to treat this situation under investigation with respect. To conduct a thorough investigation, investigators may have to discuss the complaint with witnesses and those persons involved in or affected by the complaint or those involved in assisting the investigation.
After submitting an incident report or a complaint, there are procedures that the Compliance Officer must adhere to in order to effectively investigate the situation for all persons involved.
Contact a Compliance Officer
Once an incident has taken place, it should be reported as soon as possible to a Title IX Compliance Officer at (559) 925-3331.
Difference between a complaint and a grievance:
Complaint: A complaint is when you communicate something you believe is unfair or unjust but isn't unlawful or against college policy. It is a formal expression of your "dissatisfaction" with a certain incident. You may file a formal complaint under the steps lined out on the form.
- You're unhappy with your instructor because he gave you a substandard grade.
- You were not awarded financial aid for the semester and you're not sure why.
- You were locked out of an instructor's classroom because you were 15 minutes late.
Grievance: A grievance is what you file when you are unhappy with a decision given to you on your complaint or an appeal. There is a timeline for filing a grievance and the colleges' response to that formal grievance.
Note: Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues involving the college. You are encouraged to work through the campus complaint process first. Issues that are not resolved at the college or at the West Hills Community College District level may be presented via resources provided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office or the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).
Research has found that people tend to struggle with whether helping out is their responsibility and one of the major obstacles to intervention is that if several people are present, an individual is less likely to step up because he/she believes someone else will. Other major reasons that bystanders fail to intervene are that the bystander is worried about misjudging the situation and thus become embarrassed by intervening, or that the bystander believes the victim is in some way responsible for the situation and getting what they deserve.
West Hills College Lemoore offers a workshop on bystander intervention to teach students to overcome their resistance to checking in and helping out. Have you ever stopped a friend from going home with someone because they were intoxicated? Have you ever taken a friend to Urgent Care because they were too drunk to be left alone? These are examples of your being a bystander and using your power to stop violence and/or potential injury or death from a situation for which you made a judgment call to help your friend.
Protection from Retaliation
Retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination or harassment, or assisting in providing information relevant to a claim is a violation of college policy. If the college concludes that any member of the college or community has attempted to intimidate, threaten or take adverse actions against someone for bringing forward a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment, the person found to have engaged in retaliatory conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Any concern of retaliation should be reported immediately to the college Title IX compliance officer.