Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

Appalachian State University Academy at Elkin 
Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

1. Introduction

  1. The purpose of this Policy is to support the Academy at Elkin's commitment to providing an institutional environment free from discrimination and harassment of Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct.

2. Scope

  1. This policy applies to all members of the Academy at Elkin (the “Academy") community, including students, employees, board members, volunteers, visitors, and others who participate in programs, activities, or conduct business on behalf of the Academy. 

  2. This policy applies to behavior that takes place at a location or during an activity substantially controlled by the Academy.

3. Definitions

  1. Advisor – A person chosen by a Party, or appointed by the Academy, to assist the Party throughout a misconduct process.

  2. Complainant – Any person who has alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct or Retaliation, including a parent on behalf of their child. 

  3. Formal Complaint – A document filed and signed by a Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator alleging misconduct and requesting an investigation. 

  4. Decision-Maker – The Principal or designee will be the Decision-Maker for all formal grievances under this Policy, unless a conflict of interest and/or bias is determined in which case the Title IX Coordinator will appoint a Decision-Maker. 

  5. Education Program or Activity – Locations, events, or circumstances where the Academy exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct occurred. 

  6. Investigator – A neutral fact-finder charged by the Title IX Coordinator with gathering testimonial and documentary evidence about the allegation(s) and compiling the information into an investigative report. 

  7. Respondent – Any individual reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct or Retaliation.

  8. Sex – Sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation, as defined by federal and state law, and UNC system policies. 

  9. Title IX Coordinator – Appalachian's Director of Title IX Compliance.

4. Policy Statements

4.1 Prohibited Conduct

The following is Prohibited Conduct: 

  1. Title IX Prohibited Conduct:

    1. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: Conduct where an employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the Academy on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

    2. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal educational access to the Academy's Education Program or Activity.

    3. Sexual Assault: Any sexual act directed against another person, without their consent, or instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.

    4. Dating Violence1: Violence on the basis of sex committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    5. Domestic Violence: Violence on the basis of sex committed: (i) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, (ii) by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, (iii) by a person who is cohabitating with or who has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, (iv) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of North Carolina, or (v) by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of North Carolina.

    6. Sex-Based Stalking2: Engaging in a course of conduct on the basis of sex, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety or the safety of others or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.

      1The Title IX regulation at 34 C:.F.R. 6 106.30(a) defines "Dating and Domestic Violence" as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8) and 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10).
      2The Title IX regulation at 34 C.F.R. 6 106.30(a) defines Stalking as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

  2. Sex/Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct: Conduct which is not regulated by Title IX due to the location or nature of the incident but is also prohibited. 

    1. Sex/Gender-Based Discrimination: Conduct based on an individual's sex that is an unlawful or otherwise prohibited preference for, or detrimental treatment of, one individual compared to other individuals.

    2. Sex/Gender-Based Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Conduct which conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

    3. Sex/Gender-Based Hostile Environment Harassment: Unwelcome conduct on the basis of an individual's perceived or actual sex/gender, which is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it effectively denies a person equal educational access.

    4. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, performed by a person upon another such person, without consent.

    5. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any penetration, however slight, with any object or body part, performed by a person upon another person, without consent.

    6. Sexual Exploitation: Non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for a person's own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and when that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other forms of Prohibited Conduct offenses.

    7. Intimate Partner Violence: Any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, or other intimate relationship.

    8. Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety or the safety of others or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.

  3. Retaliation: Any adverse action against an individual, or an individual's spouse, partner, or other person with a close personal relation, for: (a) making or supporting a claim of Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct, (b) opposing any Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct, (c) participating in the reporting, investigation, or resolution of alleged violation(s) under this Policy, or (d) otherwise engaging in a protected activity under the Academy's associated policies.

    Acts of alleged Retaliation must be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. The Academy will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be or have been subjected to Retaliation. 

4.2 Reporting

  1. Individual Reporter

    1. Any person who believes they have been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this Policy, or retaliated against for activities protected under this Policy, by an individual that falls under the scope of this Policy should inform the Title IX Coordinator, the Academy's designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any other school official designated to receive such complaints.

    2. Reports of Prohibited Conduct, by all individuals, may be made by contacting the Title IX Coordinator by email of phone referenced below. Reports may also be made online through the Title IX - Referral Form.

  2. Mandatory Reporter

    1. All employees who have knowledge or notice of Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct or Retaliation involving a student are considered "Mandatory Reporters." Upon receiving any information that may indicate the occurrence of Prohibited Conduct based on sex involving a student, Mandatory Reporters are required to report the information to the Office of Title IX Compliance as promptly as possible, but in no event after seventy-two (72) hours.

    2. Employees who observe an incident of Prohibited Conduct are expected to intervene and stop the conduct in situations they have supervisory control over the Respondent, and it is safe to do so. 

    3. If an employee knows of an incident involving Prohibited Conduct and the employee fails to report the conduct, take proper action, or knowingly provides false information in regard to the incident, then the employee's actions may result in grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

4.3 Enforcement

  1. The Academy will enforce violations of this policy in accordance with applicable federal and state law, and UNG System policies. Violations of this policy may result in grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

4.4 Title IX Procedures

  1. Federal Requirement of Title IX Procedures 

    1. Pursuant to the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972; the Appalachian State University Office of Title IX Compliance shall develop and maintain Title IX and Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct Procedures which shall further define and establish Title IX and Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct requirements. Such procedures shall operate in conjunction with this Policy.


Additional References

Appalachian State University Title IX Procedures (PDF, 742 KB)

Referral Form 

Administrative Unit Contact

Office of Title IX Compliance 
828-262-2144