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PDFWAC 495B-305-040

Confidentiality and right to privacy.

Bellingham Technical College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the fullest extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Bellingham Technical College policies and procedures. Although Bellingham Technical College will attempt to honor complainants' request for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX/EEO coordinator.
Confidentiality requests and sexual violence complaints. The Title IX coordinator or EEO/AA officer will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that his or her name not be revealed to the respondent or that the college not investigate the allegation, the Title IX coordinator or EEO/AA officer will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the college's ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the college not investigate, the Title IX coordinator or EEO/AA officer will determine whether the college can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the college community, including the complainant. Factors weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
• The seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
• The age of the complainant;
• Whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
• Whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
• Whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
If the college is unable to honor a complainant's request for confidentiality, the Title IX coordinator or EEO/AA officer will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that the complainant's identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
If the college decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX coordinator or EEO/AA officer will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.50.130. WSR 16-08-029, § 495B-305-040, filed 3/30/16, effective 4/30/16.]
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