ARTICLE 21: ACADEMIC FREEDOM
1. It is the policy of the District that all instruction be fair, accurate, objective, and appropriate to the age and maturity of the student(s). Accordingly:
a. Topics selected for instruction must be within the emotional and intellectual capacity of the students in the class, and shall be within the content of the District-approved course outline of the subject and state framework.
b. A unit member shall present all sides of the subject in an impartial and unprejudicial manner, without teacher use of classroom privileges and prestige to promote a partisan point of view.
c. In performing teaching functions, unit members shall have reasonable freedom, within the bounds of the law, to express their opinions on all matters relevant to the course content, in an objective manner. A unit member, however, shall not utilize his/her position to indoctrinate students with his/her own personal, political and/or religious views.
2. When unsure of the appropriateness of certain material or a proposed method of presentation, teachers should request guidance and assistance from the administrative staff.
3. The District has no power or authority to add to or take away from any unit member’s personal rights or freedoms guaranteed by law.
Complaints about a unit member (except for complaints with regard to the teacher’s grading of a student or complaints alleging child abuse/neglect, retaliation, harassment, and/or discrimination, which are subject to a separate statutory procedure) shall be subject to the following procedures:
1. If a written complaint is made against a bargaining unit member, the complaint, including the complainant’s name, if known and/or unless otherwise prohibited by applicable law, shall be given to the unit member as soon as possible, but no later than within ten (10) days of the receipt of the complaint. For purposes of this Section, “day” is defined as a day when a unit member is required to be in attendance.
2. Should a complaint be lodged against a bargaining unit member, the Principal or designee shall work with the unit member and the complainant to resolve the concern. Any meeting appropriate to the resolution of the complaint shall be arranged through the Principal or designee.
3. Should the unit member or the Principal or designee desire a meeting concerning the complaint, a meeting shall be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time with or without the complainant within ten (10) days after the unit member is provided with a copy of the complaint. Nothing in this Section precludes the parties from agreeing to meet. If the parties desire to have such a meeting and the Principal or designee is unable to find a mutually agreeable time for the complainant to meet with the Principal or designee and the unit member after providing 3 separate dates and times for such a meeting, the Principal or designee may proceed with meeting with the unit member and complainant separately.
4. The unit member may respond either orally or in writing to the Principal or designee, addressing the substance of the complaint, either before or after any scheduled meeting to discuss the complaint. If the unit member responds after the meeting, the response must be provided within six (6) school days after the meeting. If there is no meeting held, the unit member must provide his/her response, if any, within sixteen (16) days of being provided with a copy of the complaint.
5. The Principal or designee will investigate any complaint as soon as possible, but no later than within seventeen (17) days of the meeting in Article 21.B.3 or, if no meeting occurs, then the investigation will be completed within twenty-seven (27) days of the unit member’s receipt of the complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the Principal or designee will prepare a written investigative report concerning any written complaint and give a copy of that report to the unit member at the conclusion of the investigation.
6. No written complaint can be put in the unit member’s personnel file until the above process has been completed. If the investigation reveals there is no substance, the written complaint shall be discarded. If witnesses are not available during the investigative timeline, the timeline shall be extended by an additional ten (10) days, except in extenuating circumstances as determined by the District in which case the District may further extend the timeline in order to interview such witnesses. If the District extends the timeline, the District will provide written notice to the bargaining unit member that it has extended the deadline and the reason(s) for that extension.
7. If the unit member believes that the decision by the Principal or designee is in error, he/she may appeal that determination to the Superintendent by sending a written request within ten (10) days after receipt of the written investigation report. The Superintendent will immediately inform both the Principal or designee and the unit member that the matter has been taken to the District Office. The Superintendent will review the matter, including talking with the unit member, and provide the unit member with a written determination as soon as possible, but no later than within ten (10) days after receipt of the unit member’s appeal.
8. No information concerning the complaint will be placed in the unit member’s personnel file until the complaint has been investigated and found to have substance and the unit member has been given an opportunity to respond consistent with the below language:
a. If the unit member does not appeal the decision, he/she may within ten (10) days of receipt of the investigative report attach a written response to report.
b. The unit member may within ten (10) days of receipt of the Superintendent’s decision attach a written response to that determination.
Any response from the unit member will be attached to the complaint and included with it in the personnel file, along with any written report that is the product of the investigation.
In the event that the District conducts an investigation of a bargaining unit member that is not covered by Article 21(B), and the investigation takes longer than five days to complete, the District agrees to provide notice, unless otherwise required by applicable policy/law, to the bargaining unit member that it is conducting the investigation by the sixth day of investigation or 15 consecutive days from the receipt of the complaint, whichever comes first. The outcome of the investigation shall be communicated to the unit member at the conclusion of the investigation. For purposes of this Section, a day is defined as a day when a unit member is required to be in attendance.
If the complaint is found to be without merit, the complaint will not be included in a unit member’s personnel file.
If the District does not provide the unit member with written notice of the outcome of the investigation, the complaint will not be used in an evaluation of a unit member and shall not be included in the unit member’s personnel file.
ARTICLE 22: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
1. Any individual contract between the Board and an individual unit member heretofore executed shall be subject to and consistent with the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
2. A unit member’s notification to the Board that he/she intends to resign shall remain revocable until such time as the Board officially takes action on such notification or the Superintendent accepts the resignation consistent with Board policy.
ARTICLE 23: NO STRIKE, NO LOCKOUT
The Association and the Board agree that differences between the parties hereto shall be settled by peaceful means as provided in this Agreement. During the term of this Agreement, the Association, in consideration of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, will not engage in, instigate, or condone any strike, work stoppage or any concerted refusal to perform work duties as required by this Agreement, and will undertake to exert its best efforts to discourage any such acts by any employees in the bargaining unit. During the term of this Agreement, the Board, in consideration of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, will not authorize or permit any lockout of the Association members or other persons covered by this Agreement.
ARTICLE 24: SAVINGS
If any article, section or provision of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to law, then such provision will be deemed invalid, to the extent required by such court decision, but all other provisions of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect up to and including August 31, 2016. Should a provision of this Agreement be deemed by a court of competent jurisdiction as contrary to law, or if a provision of the Agreement is affected by a change in legislation, the parties agree to meet as soon as possible at mutually agreeable times to renegotiate the provision or provisions affected.