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Overview and Contacts

Harassment Is ILLEGAL


Title IX is a federal law that was passed in 1972 to ensure that male and female students and employees in educational settings are treated equally and fairly. It protects against discrimination based on gender. The preamble states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

FOR STUDENTS: Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature which interferes with a student’s right to learn, study, work, achieve, or participate in school activities in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere. You have a right to participate in all school and classroom activities in an atmosphere free from sexual harassment. You have a responsibility not to engage in sexual behaviors that are unwelcome or offensive to others.

Examples of Sexual Harassment
include: unwelcome sexual advances, suggestive or lewd remarks, unwanted hugs, touches, kisses; requests for sexual favors; retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment, derogatory or pornographic posters, cartoons or drawings.

If you have questions or believe that you or others are being harassed, contact:

District Title IX Coordinator
(for concerns involving adults) Kara Mehler

Office Address: 3 Brush Hill Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812

Telephone number: 203-312-5660

Email Address: kmehler@newfairfield.org

District Title IX Coordinator (for concerns among students) Dr. Jason McKinnon

Office Address: 12 Gillotti Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812

Telephone number: 203-312-5755

Email Address: mckinnon.jason@newfairfieldschools.org

You may also contact: The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), 21 Grand Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (Tel: 860-541-3400 or 800-477-5737) Connecticut law requires that a formal complaint be filed with the Commission within 180 days of the date under which the alleged harassment occurred.

You may also contact: Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921, Telephone: 617-289-0111, FAX: 617-289-0150; TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov, Filing complaints electronically: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

Sexual harassment is not limited to prohibited behavior by a male toward a female, or by a supervisory employee toward a non-supervisory employee, or a teacher to a student. The victim does not have to be the opposite sex of the harasser. Harassment may be student to student, teacher to student, student to teacher or teacher to teacher. The gender of the complainant and/or the alleged harasser is irrelevant, even if they are of the same gender. Sexual harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity is also prohibited under State Law.

What should I do if I believe I am being sexually harassed?

Find out about your school or school district’s policy and procedures for handling sexual harassment issues. Follow those procedures.
Take action and get help when needed. Ignoring sexual harassment is not an effective way to stop it.
Whenever possible, tell the harasser verbally or in writing what the specific behaviors are that you find offensive. Ask him or her to stop.
Report the offensive behaviors to a teacher, counselor, Title IX coordinator, or school administrator.
Keep a detailed record of the harassing behavior to share with school officials who investigate your complaint.
If not satisfied with the resolution of your concerns, contact one of the appropriate organizations listed.

The victim does not have to be the person at whom the unwelcome sexual conduct is directed; the victim may be someone who is a witness to and personally offended by such conduct although directed toward another. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct that is personally offensive, lowers morale, and interferes with educational performance. This unwelcome sexual behavior is defined from the perspective of the victim, not the harasser.

Where to Get Help

  • State Title IX Coordinator: Dr. William A. Howe, Connecticut State Department of Education, 165 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06106 (860-713-6752) email: william.howe@ct.gov
  • Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), 8-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (860-240-8300) http://ctpcsw.com/
  • Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 1-300, Hartford, CT 06106, http://www.cwealf.org/


It is the policy of the Board of Education that any form of sex discrimination or sexual harassment is forbidden, whether by students, Board employees, or third parties subject to the control of the Board. Students, Board employees, and third parties are expected to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful of the rights of students. Any student or employee who engages in conduct prohibited by the Board’s sex discrimination and sexual harassment policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.