The Texas School Public Relations Association – TSPRA is committed to promoting inclusive environments where persons feel valued, respected, and welcome. TSPRA will not tolerate anyone intimidating, humiliating, harassing, bullying or sabotaging others in our workplace and at events. TSPRA will not discriminate based on age, race, color, gender, religion, physical disability, mental handicap, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any similar status.

Anti-Harassment Policy
This policy pertains to all members, including officers, persons appointed to positions, staff, persons attending TSPRA activities, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, contractors, and anyone else who come into contact with with persons in the TSPRA workplace and at meetings and events. TSPRA is firmly committed to an environment free from all forms of harassment. Harassment violates TSPRA policy and, in certain instances, may violate state and federal laws. It is neither permitted nor condoned.

For the purposes of this policy, workplace includes any location in which employees and/or members are engaged in association business activities necessary to perform their assignments. This includes, but is not limited to, association offices, parking lots, association event sites, workshops, conferences and meetings, and during business related travel.

Prohibited Conduct 
All types of harassment are prohibited, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. Harassment in the workplace or at any TSPRA function is prohibited. Some examples of unacceptable behavior include the following:

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form, whether actual or implied, that results in a hostile environment.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service or event provider, or other guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion or national origin, or threatening, stalking or harassing person.
  • Engaging in unwanted advances of any nature.
  • Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.
  • Ridiculing someone in front of others or singling them out for unrelated work duties against their will.
  • Unwelcome questions or sharing of information regarding a person’s sexuality, sexual activity or sexual orientation.
  • Conduct or comments intended to create, or having the effect of, creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment
  • Bullying

Punishment for harassment depends on the severity of the offense and may include counseling, reprimands, suspensions or terminations of employment, removal from positions of leadership and/or membership. Sanctions against an Executive Committee member, any member serving in leadership and other appointed positions, may include, but are not limited to, oral warnings, written warnings, removal from the TSPRA commitment, and/or legal action. In addition, TSPRA may remove an offender from any meeting without warning.

Complaint Procedure
Any member, staff person or person who believes he or she has been or is being subjected to any form of harassment is encouraged to directly inform the offending person that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. If the person who believes he or she is being harassed is uncomfortable approaching the offending person, or the meeting is unsuccessful, or the conduct continues, he or she will report the matter to the TSPRA parliamentarian, or if the parliamentarian is the alleged offender, to the TSPRA president. Any third party who knows of or suspects the occurrence of harassment is encouraged to report the matter as set out above. Nothing in this policy will require the person alleging harassment to present the matter to the person who is the subject of the complaint if they do not wish to do so.

The TSPRA parliamentarian is responsible for investigating and resolving all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations of harassment and, at his/her discretion, shall advise the TSPRA Executive Director and/or President.  The parliamentarian may confer with others and/or with legal counsel to initiate an investigation. If an investigation occurs the affected individual will be notified of the outcome at the conclusion of the investigation. The Executive Committee will be notified of the outcome at the discretion of the parliamentarian and president.

Protection from Retaliation
Retaliation for any good faith report of harassment is prohibited. Any person who believes he or she was subjected to such retaliation or further harassment should immediately follow the same reporting procedure as that set forth above for reporting harassment. Confirmed acts of retaliation will be treated in the same manner as confirmed harassment.

To the fullest extent practical, all reports and any associated information relating to the investigation of harassment will be kept confidential. All Executive Committee members, the parliamentarian and the Executive Director who receive information concerning alleged or actual harassment will keep such information strictly confidential and only discuss such information when appropriate.

Approved September 27, 2018