Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Assault

MacPhail is a community of persons from diverse backgrounds which values, respects, and affirms the dignity of all people. Behavior inconsistent with MacPhail’s values, including discrimination, harassment, and assault, are prohibited at MacPhail. MacPhail staff and faculty are also subject to separate policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination in the workplace.  

MacPhail does not tolerate harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, status regarding public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, disability, genetic information, or other status protected by applicable law (collectively, “protected group status”). This policy sets forth MacPhail’s commitment to students to promote equal opportunities in music education.

Discrimination & Harassment 

Discrimination means treating someone less favorably because of their protected group status. Discrimination is not tolerated at MacPhail. Harassment consists of unwelcome or offensive conduct whether it be physical, verbal, or visual, that is based on a protected group status.

MacPhail will not tolerate conduct that (a) affects academic benefits; (b) interferes unreasonably with a student’s progress or success; or (c) creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for any student. 

Harassment may include but may not be limited to: 

  1. Epithets, slurs or similar stereotyped language, or acts; 
  2. Intimidating or hostile acts including touching or a request for sexual favors based on protected classification; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to persons of a protected classification. 

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical, verbal or visual conduct based on sex constitute sexual harassment when submission to the conduct is explicit or is an explicit term or condition of academic progress; when submission to or a rejection of the conduct is a basis for an academic decision; when the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s performance or progress; or when it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment. 

Considering the power differential inherent in the relationship between MacPhail faculty and MacPhail students and the potential for either intentional or unintentional misuse of that power differential, MacPhail prohibits romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and vulnerable students and students under the age 18. Because concerns about actual or perceived conflicts of interest, favoritism, and power differentials still exist when there are personal relationships between faculty employees and students who they teach over the age of 18 as well, personal (romantic or sexual) relationships are also prohibited between faculty employees and students over the age of 18 when the employee is in a position of authority. For purposes of this policy, being in a “position of authority” means the faculty employee has any type of responsibility for assessing, supervising, tutoring, teaching, or coaching the student (directly or indirectly). In any event, consent will not be a defense, to such an allegation of such behavior. Any member of the MacPhail community who believes that he or she has experienced or witnessed harassment should contact the Student Services Center immediately. MacPhail will take prompt and appropriate action to investigate complaints and make any decisions that are deemed necessary in the judgment of MacPhail up to and including the termination of faculty members as appropriate. 

Complaints of harassment or offensive behavior will be treated with discretion and will be discussed only with those who have a need to know to carry out an investigation and take prompt and appropriate action. No individual who reports harassment will be retaliated against although participation in an investigation by an accused party will not protect that person from discipline as MacPhail deems appropriate. 


Assault is broadly defined to include infliction of bodily harm on another person. Sexual assault is one type of assault and includes any physical conduct of a sexual nature that occurs by force or coercion. Any MacPhail student who believes that he or she has been assaulted by anyone on the MacPhail campus, by a MacPhail employee, or via a connection with MacPhail should immediately get to a safe place and call either 911, a parent or friend, or the Student Services Center immediately. 

A victim of assault may file a complaint with MacPhail. MacPhail will investigate and take prompt and appropriate action. Assault victims may also, of course, contact the appropriate police department. MacPhail will assist victims of assault at the direction of law enforcement authorities in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence in connection with incident consistent with applicable law. MacPhail will respect the confidentiality of victims and the alleged offenders as much as possible consistent with its legal obligations. MacPhail strongly encourages victims of assault to seek professional help and MacPhail will assist in locating resources as appropriate. 

Procedure for Making Complaints Under the Policy

MacPhail is unable to respond to an employee or student’s concern about this policy, or physical boundaries between students and teachers, if the organization is not made aware that such conduct has occurred or is occurring. If any employee, student, or family member believes that this policy has been violated, they should promptly bring the matter to the attention of the organization, which can be done through several avenues:

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