Policy on Sexual Misconduct
Issuance Date: July 31, 2017
Effective Date: August 1, 2017
This document sets forth Dallas Nursing Institute’s policy on sexual misconduct and outlines the School’s prohibitions against sexual misconduct, definitions of relevant terms, reporting and response procedures, and the rights and responsibilities of members of the DNI Community who are impacted by sexual misconduct in relation to our academic and work environment.
Questions about Title IX, the Campus SaVE Act, and this policy may be directed to:
DNI Title IX Coordinator:
Student Services Coordinator
Main: (469) 941-8300
Office: Student Affairs
Students may also direct questions about Title IX and the Campus SaVE Act to:
United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
- POLICY SUMMARY
- POLICY SCOPE
- III. DEFINITIONS
- REPORTING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
- THE SCHOOL’S RESPONSE PROCEDURES
Dallas Nursing Institute (“the School” or “DNI”) is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. As such, the School prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms, including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual violence. The School will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual misconduct, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior in violation of this Policy.
The School also bars retaliation against any employee, student, or applicant who files a good faith report of sexual misconduct or otherwise participates in an investigation relating to the same.
This Policy applies to all employees, students, and other DNI Community Members, regardless of gender/gender identity and sexual orientation, for conduct occurring the School’s campuses, in connection with its educational programs, activities and services, or that puts DNI Community Members at risk of serious harm or otherwise creates a hostile learning and/or working environment.
This Policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic relationships between members of the DNI Community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to sexual misconduct in violation of this Policy.
Consensual personal relationships between DNI Community Members are subject to other policies and ethical considerations, including but not limited to those contained in the Employee Handbook (where applicable).
Reporting Party – For purposes of this policy, the Reporting Party is an individual who reportedly experienced conduct in violation of this policy, regardless of whether that individual participates in the disclosure or review of such a report by the School at any point.
In the event that a third-party makes a report of conduct in violation of this policy on behalf of another individual, the third-party complainant will be identified as the “Reporter.”
Consent – At The School, consent is informed. Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.
Consent is voluntary. It must be given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act pursuant to an exercise of free will.
Consent is revocable. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. A person cannot consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. A person cannot consent if s/he is under the threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion. A person cannot consent if his/her understanding of the act is affected by a physical or mental impairment.
Dating Violence is defined as abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
Domestic Violence is defined as abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, or someone with whom the abuser has a child, has an existing dating or engagement relationship, or has had a former dating or engagement relationship.
Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, unconsciousness, sleep, and blackouts. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or other drugs consumed affects a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent. The factors to be considered when determining whether consent was given include whether the accused knew, or whether a reasonable person should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
DNI Community Member(s) / DNI Community include all students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, community partners, and visitors.
Respondent is the student, employee or other DNI Community Member who is reported to have engaged in conduct in violation of this policy.
Responsible Employee(s) is a The School employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
Sexual Assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. The activity or conduct may include physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication).
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is conduct that explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education or interferes with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an environment such that a reasonable person would find the conduct intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence (see definition below). The School will respond to reports of any such conduct in accordance with the Policy.
Sexual harassment may include incidents between any members of the DNI Community, including faculty and other academic appointees, staff, student employees, students, coaches, residents, interns, and non-student or non-employee participants in The School programs (e.g., vendors, contractors, visitors, and patients). Sexual harassment may occur in hierarchical relationships, between peers, or between individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. To determine whether the reported conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record of the conduct as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the conduct occurred.
Sexual Misconduct – includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment and sexual violence, including forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, as defined herein.
Sexual Violence is defined as physical sexual acts engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, battery, and sexual coercion; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking.
Stalking is behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.
DNI Community Members who have experienced sexual misconduct, or are aware of incidents experienced by other DNI Community Members should immediately report the incident to the local police department.
Reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the police does not commit the Reporting Party to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for the police to investigate, if the Reporting Party decides to proceed with criminal charges.
In addition, members of the DNI community, including employees, supervisors, co-workers, vendors, consultants, visitors or other students, are encouraged to report incident(s) of sexual misconduct to The School’s Title IX Coordinator. The School’s Title IX Coordinator is:
Student Services Coordinator
Main: (469) 941-8300
Office: Student Affairs
Reporting Parties are not required to report to area law enforcement in order to receive assistance from or pursue any options within DNI.
The Title IX Coordinator will provide Reporting Parties of sexual misconduct with information about available support services and resources, and also assist the Reporting Party in notifying law enforcement, including the local police, if the Reporting Party elects to do so.
The School encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened –so victims can get the support they need, and so the School can respond appropriately.
This section is intended to make students aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them – so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual violence. The School encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.
a. Privileged and Confidential Communications
Professional, licensed counselors and pastoral counselors who are not employed by the School are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without a victim’s permission.
In addition to the variety of professional, licensed counselors and pastoral counselors located near each DNI educational setting, the School offers as a benefit to its students and employees the following resources that provide professional counseling services:
- Student Solutions: DNI is proud to partner with Student Solutions, a free, confidential, around-the-clock counseling service.
Web identifier: DNI
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): DNI employees also receive counseling services through the EAP, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Your company web ID: COM589
Counselors who provide services to DNI Community Members through the Student Solutions and EAP programs are not required to disclose reports of sexual misconduct to the School’s Title IX Coordinator. While professional and non-professional counselors and advocates may maintain a victim’s confidentiality vis-à-vis the School, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.
While DNI Community Members are encouraged to use their own judgment in terms of whom they chose to report discuss reports of sexual misconduct with, DNI Community Members must also understand that the School can only investigate and respond to incidents of sexual misconduct that it becomes aware of. A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the School or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated.
b. Reporting to “Responsible Employees.”
A “Responsible Employee” is a DNI employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
When a Reporting Party tells a Responsible Employee about an incident of sexual violence, the Reporting Party has the right to expect the School to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.
A Responsible Employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct shared by the Reporting Party and that the School will need in order to determine what happened – including the names of the Reporting Party and alleged Respondent(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.
To the extent possible, information reported to a Responsible Employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the School’s response to the report. A Responsible Employee should not share information with law enforcement without the consent of the Reporting Party, or unless the Reporting Party has also reported the incident to law enforcement.
The following employees (or categories of employees) are the School’s Responsible Employees:
- Title IX Coordinator
- Executive Director
- Director of Administration and Student Affairs
- Senior Director of Admissions
- Director of Library Services
- Dean of Nursing
- Student Services Coordinator
- Education Assistant
- Faculty Member
Before a Reporting Party reveals any information to a Responsible Employee, the employee should ensure that the Reporting Party understands the employee’s reporting obligations – and, if the Reporting Party wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the Reporting Party to confidential resources.
If the Reporting Party wants to tell the Responsible Employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the Reporting Party that the School will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the School will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the Responsible Employee will also inform the Coordinator of the Reporting Party’s request for confidentiality.
Responsible Employees will not pressure a Reporting Party to request confidentiality, but will honor and support the Reporting Party’s wishes, including for the School to fully investigate an incident. By the same token, responsible employees will not pressure a Reporting Party to make a full report if the Reporting Party is not ready to.
If a Reporting Party discloses an incident to a Responsible Employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the School must weigh that request against the School’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the Reporting Party.
If the School honors the request for confidentiality, a Reporting Party must understand that the School’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited. Although rare, there are times when the School may not be able to honor a Reporting Party’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.
The School has designated the Title IX Coordinator to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a responsible employee is on notice of alleged sexual violence.
When weighing a Reporting Party’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
- whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
- whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the Reporting Party or others;
- whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the Reporting Party is a minor;
- whether The School possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
- whether the Reporting Party’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the School to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the School will likely respect the Reporting Party’s request for confidentiality.
If the School determines that it cannot maintain a Reporting Party’s confidentiality, the School will inform the Reporting Party prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the School’s response.
The School will remain ever mindful of the Reporting Party’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the Reporting Party from retaliation or harm and work with the Reporting Party to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the Reporting Party, whether by students, employees or other DNI Community Members, will not be tolerated. The School will also:
- assist the Reporting Party in accessing other available Reporting Party advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus (see portion of policy identifying these);
- provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- inform the Reporting Party of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide the Reporting Party with assistance if the Reporting Party wishes to do so.
The School may not require a Reporting Party to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
Because the School is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the School to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
If the School determines that the alleged perpetrator(s) pose a serious and immediate threat to the DNI Community, Campus Security Authorities may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the community. Any such warning should not include any information that identifies the Complainant.
If the School determines that it can respect a Reporting Party’s request for confidentiality, the School will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the Reporting Party.
Upon receiving a report of sexual misconduct, the School will respond by providing the Reporting Party with supportive resources and interim interventions (where appropriate) and conducting a prompt, fair and impartial investigation by a trained official. The response and investigation procedures are designed to provide a supportive process for those who report sexual misconduct as well as fairness and due process for the individual being accused.
Upon notice of possible sexual misconduct within the scope of this policy, the School will provide the Reporting Party with information about local resources and other supports relevant to sexual misconduct.
If requested, other participants in the process (such as Reporters or Witnesses) may also be offered appropriate support services and information.
Please visit the following page for specific information about local resources and supports that may be available to assist DNI Community Members: Link to resources information contained in Annual Security Report.
During an investigation, interim protections for both parties may be put in place, regardless of whether the Reporting Party chooses to report the incident to local law enforcement. If requested by the Reporting Party and reasonably available, interim protections may include changes to academic and/or working situations. Such interventions may be kept in place until the conclusion of the Title IX investigation, sanctioning and appeal processes.
The School recognizes that in certain circumstances, informal resolution of a report of sexual misconduct may be beneficial to the Reporting Party, the Respondent, other involved parties (the Reporting Party, Witnesses), and/or the DNI Community at large. Whether a report of sexual misconduct is appropriate for informal resolution is within the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. However, reports of sexual assault are never appropriate for informal resolution.
In circumstances where informal resolution is appropriate, and with the consent of both the Reporting Party and the Respondent, the School may utilize informal methods to resolve a report of sexual misconduct. In order to pursue informal resolution, the Title IX Coordinator must obtain the consent of both the Reporting Party and the Respondent, which may be withdrawn at any time during the investigation and/or sanctions process.
When the Title IX Coordinator determines that informal resolution is not appropriate or formal resolution is requested by either the Reporting Party or Respondent, the School will proceed in launching an investigation.
In circumstances where a Reporting Party requests confidentiality or asks that the School not pursue investigation into a report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the Reporting Party’s request can be honored. In making such a determination, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the following:
- The seriousness of the sexual misconduct as reported;
- the Reporting Party’s age;
- Whether there have been other reports about the same Respondent;
- The Respondent’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.1
While the School will always seek to obtain the consent of the Reporting Party prior to pursuing a formal investigation, the final decision on whether to investigate a report of sexual misconduct lies with the Title IX Coordinator.
Once the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal investigation is appropriate, the School will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation by an individual who has been trained to investigate reports of sexual misconduct (this may include the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or other designee approved by the National President).
Typically, investigation into reports of sexual misconduct will include a period of fact-finding led by the Title IX Coordinator, during which time the Reporting Party, Respondent, and other relevant parties will be given the opportunity to participate in the investigation by sharing information with the Title IX Coordinator. Parties participating in an investigation will have the opportunity to submit a written statement, provide supporting materials, and identify witnesses.
The School investigates reports of sexual misconduct independently of local law enforcement.
Absent delay to allow police to gather evidence or agreement by the parties, the School will make every reasonable effort to investigate and reach a resolution on all reports of sexual misconduct within sixty (60) calendar days after the Title IX Coordinator’s receipt of a report.
In investigating and determining whether a violation of this policy has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will utilize the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof. This means that Title IX Coordinator will determine whether it is “more likely than not” that sexual misconduct occurred.
Prior to concluding an investigation into sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will provide both the Reporting Party and Respondent an opportunity to review his/her own statement. Both the Reporting Party and the Respondent will be permitted five (5) calendar days to submit any inaccuracies or further evidence to the Title IX Coordinator. After five (5) calendar days have passed, the Title IX Coordinator will address any inaccuracies and/or further evidence submitted by the parties, and make a determination as to whether a violation of this policy occurred.
Both parties to complaint of sexual misconduct will be updated as to the status of the investigation and related proceedings as necessary, or upon request.
Once the Title IX Coordinator has concluded the investigation, the School will simultaneously issue the written findings to both the Reporting Party and the Respondent.
Upon finding that sexual misconduct occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will commence the sanctioning process for review and determination of appropriate sanctions.
In addition to sanctions, the Title IX Coordinator may also recommend that the School or particular DNI Community Members take on additional measures to remediate and/or prevent further conduct in violation of this policy.
DNI Community Members who are found to have violated the School’s prohibitions against sexual misconduct will be subject to sanctions.
Sanctions may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Formal written warning;
- Student Success Plan or Professional Improvement Plan, as applicable;
- No contact order pertaining to certain DNI Community Members or physical locations;
- Removal from specific courses or institutional activities; and/or
In addition, further protections for the Reporting Party may be available.
Dallas Nursing Institute’s sanctions process is intended to provide an equitable process to both the complainant and the respondent, demonstrating promptness, fairness, and impartiality.
Absent informal resolution, upon a finding that a student or other non-employee DNI Community Member has engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of this policy, both the Reporting Party and the respondent will be permitted five (5) calendar days to submit to the Title IX Coordinator a Statement of Impact. The Statement of Impact shall be limited to how the conduct underlying the findings has affected the individual and whether the individual believes there are any mitigating or extenuating circumstances that should be considered in issuing sanctions.
Simultaneously, the Title IX Coordinator will convene a Sanctions Panel. The Sanctions Panel will be composed of at least one faculty member from a pool of faculty trained in the processes under this Policy, and at least two employees from either the Library Services and/or Education departments.
After convening a Sanctions Panel, the Title IX Coordinator will submit the investigative findings, the Title IX Coordinator’s recommended sanctions, and the party’s Statements of Impact to the Sanctions Panel.
Within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the Title IX Coordinator’s findings and any submitted Statements of Impact, the Sanctions Panel shall meet to determine what, if any, sanctions will be issued. In making such a determination, the Sanctions Panel will not reconsider the Title IX Coordinator’s findings, but will determine what sanctions are appropriate to remedy the violation and maintain or enhance safety from sexual misconduct in Dallas Nursing Institute’s learning and working environment.
All members of a Sanctions Panel must be trained annually on matters related to this policy.
Absent informal resolution, upon a finding that a DNI employee or non-student DNI Community Member has engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of this policy, both the Reporting Party and the respondent will be permitted five (5) calendar days to submit to the Title IX Coordinator a Statement of Impact. The Statement of Impact shall be limited to how the conduct underlying the findings has affected the individual and whether the individual believes there are any mitigating or extenuating circumstances that should be considered in issuing sanctions.
The Title IX Coordinator will submit the investigative findings, the Title IX Coordinator’s recommendations, and the party’s Statements of Impact to the Executive Director.
The Executive Director, in consultation with Human Resources and/or the Director of Administration and Student Affairs (where appropriate), shall determine what, if any, sanctions will be issued against the employee or non-student DNI Community Member. Simultaneously, the Title IX Coordinator will determine what, if any, additional sanctions (other than those specifically related to the employee-respondent) are appropriate to remedy the violation and maintain or enhance safety from sexual misconduct in Dallas Nursing Institute’s learning and working environment.
When sanctioning results from an investigation into sexual misconduct, the School will simultaneously inform both the Reporting Party and the Respondent, in writing, of:
- The outcome of any sanctioning proceedings;
- The School’s procedures for appeal;
- Any changes in the outcome of sanctioning proceedings that occur; and
- When the outcome of sanctioning proceedings becomes final.
The outcome of sanctioning decisions shall become final on the following date:
- If neither the Reporting Party nor the Respondent appeal the sanctioning decision, the first business day after the opportunity to appeal has passed;
- If either the Reporting Party or the Respondent appeals the sanctioning decision, the date of issuance of the appeal decision.
Both the Reporting Party and the Respondent may appeal the outcome of investigative findings and any sanctions decision by submitting a written letter of appeal to the Executive Director within five (5) business days of issuance of the investigative findings and sanctions decision. The Executive Director may designate her authority to resolve appeals to another DNI employee trained in the procedures under this policy. The written request must include:
- A specific statement of the decision that the student wishes to appeal;
- The student’s desired outcome;
- All information that the student wishes the Executive Director or her designee to take into account in consideration of the appeal; and
- A statement of the student’s views as to how this information justifies the appeal.
The appeals process is not an opportunity for either party to have his or her case reconsidered merely because of dissatisfaction on the part of the student with the sanctions decision. Rather, all appeals must be based on one or more of the following:
- New information that could not be presented at the time of the investigation or sanctions decision; or
- Evidence of improper procedure that may impact the outcome.
If in the opinion of the Executive Director or her designee the request for an appeal is without merit or does not meet the requirements set forth above, the Executive Director or her designee will reject the appeal.
If in the judgment of the Executive Director or her designee the appeal is properly constituted, the Executive Director or her designee will determine what next steps are appropriate, which may include but is not limited to remanding the matter to the Title IX Coordinator for further investigation or remanding to the Sanctions Panel for consideration. The Executive DIrector or her designee will issue his/her decision within five (5) business days of receipt of the letter of appeal.
Employees and other non-student DNI Community Members do not have a right to appeal.