Since the start of our advocacy in BVSD, we have accomplished a lot. The current BVSD policy on the website took a lot of work and effort to establish and is vastly different from the website they had in the beginning of our advocacy. We have come a long way and wanted to share what we have accomplished in this time period. All of this work we accomplished with another student, Sophie Shors, through dozens of meetings with our principal, teachers, the superintendent, and the board. Sophie is another passionate advocate who worked alongside us throughout the school year and she has worked hard to hold BVSD to a higher standard.
Who is the Title IX Coordinator?
In December of 2019, no Title IX Coordinator was listed on the BVSD website. After expressing our concerns to the school, the website was changed to be in compliance by listing Kathleen Sullivan, her phone number, email, and office address. After this listing, we found several conflicting documents stating who the Title IX Coordinator was. In the student handbook and on the notice of non-discrimination, the Superintendent (Dr. Rob Anderson), was listed as the Title IX Coordinator but Kathleen Sullivan was listed on the sexual violence webpage. After showing the district these conflicts, they were changed and clarified that Kathleen Sullivan is the Title IX Coordinator.
Where is The Notice of Non-Discrimination?
The notice of Non-Discrimination was listed on the website, but it was very difficult to find. In the months that we were doing our research, the page was taken down to be revised. Once it was revised, it was posted only on the sexual violence webpage. After presenting to the superintendent and stating that the notice had to be distributed on every published document of BVSD, the notice was put on the bottom of the website in the links of every page. They also updated it to state that Kathleen Sullivan is the Title IX coordinator.
Where is the Grievance Procedure, Complaint Form, and Survivor's Bill of Rights?
Prior to meeting with the superintendent, the website had no grievance procedure, complaint form, complaint procedure, or survivor's bill of rights on the website meaning they were out of compliance. In order to receive any of these forms you had to email the Title IX coordinator because the links to the forms were all broken on the website or just didn't exist. Several months after expressing our concerns with the district about these key factors being missing and continued advocacy, all of these forms were made available on the website during the summer. While they are not perfect documents, they are now at least available on the website. BVSD should separate their grievance forms from their complaint forms because they are currently combined but need their own individual spaces since they are different processes. The survivor's bill of rights is also not easily accessible and needs several additions which is explained on the "What BVSD is Missing" tab.
All in all, we are happy that BVSD has made necessary changes to their Title IX legislation but they still have a lot of work left to do. Now that we have been successful in establishing the bare minimum, it is time to elaborate on and make better editions to the policy so that it fully effective in supporting survivors through a difficult process.