D202 Board adopts resolution on sexual harassment

Under a state mandate, the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board Monday adopted a resolution on sexual harassment that restates what has already been part of its policy.

The resolution, which passed by a unanimous vote, notes that  the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act requires governmental entities, such as school boards, to adopt such a resolution establishing a policy to prohibit sexual  harassment.

Because the board already had established such a policy, it tacked its Policy 5:20 onto the resolution so as to satisfy the mandate.

Board member Jonathan Baum, however, said he felt the policy does not go far enough and asked the board to reconsider the policy by September. Unofficially, the board took his suggestion under advisement, although there was some concern expressed about the timing.

Baum took issue with the statement that prohibits district employees from making unwelcome sexual advances or requesting sexual favors or engaging in any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in a number of situations.

Instead, he said, the board’s policy ought to state “that district employees shall not make unwelcome sexual advances or request sexual favors or engage in any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature…period.”

While other board members expressed agreement in principle, they felt the issue needed more study before they voted on the exact wording and felt that the issue needed to be thrashed out in the Policy Committee, aided by the opinion of attorneys, before putting it to a vote.

Then they voted unanimously to pass the resolution as presented.