Catalog 2023-2024

Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination of Students

This procedure aims to ensure that all students at Athens Technical College are provided with an environment free of unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.


All students and employees are prohibited from engaging in any form of unlawful harassing, discriminating, intimidating, or retaliatory behavior or conduct ("prohibited conduct") in all interactions, whether or not the interaction occurs during class or on or off campus. Visitors to campuses also shall not engage in prohibited conduct and may be barred from campus for such prohibited conduct.


Allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation occurring at clinical sites assigned to students shall be investigated under this procedure.


Student complaints regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking will be processed under the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Procedure.


Any student or employee engaged in prohibited conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion or dismissal. Nothing in this procedure shall be interpreted to interfere with any person’s right to free speech as provided by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.


All students are encouraged to report any prohibited conduct. Reports will be treated promptly and confidentially. Athens Technical College will not tolerate retaliation for having filed good faith harassment and/or discrimination complaints or for providing any information in an investigation. Any individual who retaliates against a person making a complaint or witness in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion or dismissal.



Unlawful Harassment (Other Than Sexual Harassment): unlawful verbal or physical conduct that insults or shows hostility or disliking toward an individual because of that person’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, genetic information, or disability and which:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively and unreasonably intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or
  2. Has the purpose or effect of objectively and unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance.

Unlawful harassing conduct or behavior can include, but is not limited to, insults, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, religion, national origin, genetic information, age, or disability. In addition, unlawful harassing conduct can include jokes or pranks that are hostile or demeaning concerning race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.


Unlawful harassing conduct may also include written or graphic material that ridicules or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability, and that is displayed on walls, bulletin boards, computers, or other locations, or otherwise circulated in a college community in any format.


Conduct that threatens, coerces, harasses, or intimidates another person or identifiable group of persons in a manner considered unlawful under state and federal laws about stalking while on college premises or at college-sponsored activities may also be considered unlawful harassment under this procedure.


Unlawful discrimination: the denial of benefits or admission to the college or any of its programs or activities, either academic or nonacademic, curricular or extracurricular, because of race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, genetic information, or disability.


Unlawful retaliation: adverse action taken, an unfavorable condition created, or a student or employee took another action for intimidation directed toward a student because the student initiated an allegation of unlawful harassment/retaliation or participated in an investigation of an allegation.


Technical College System of Georgia: all work units and technical colleges are governed by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia.


Employees: any individual employed in a full or part-time capacity in any TCSG work unit or technical college.


Visitor: any third party (e.g., volunteer, vendor, contractor, member of the general public, etc.) who conducts business or regularly interacts with a work unit or technical college.


Clinical Site: any off-campus location to which students or faculty are assigned for completion of program requirements, including labs, internships, or practicums.


President: the chief executive officer responsible for the management and operation of the technical college where the complainant and/or accused violator are enrolled or employed.


Human Resources Director: the highest-ranking employee responsible for the human resources function at a technical college or TCSG work unit.


Local Investigator: the individual(s) at the technical college who is responsible for investigating unlawful harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation complaint. Local investigators may be assigned based on the subject matter of the complaint or their function within the organization.


Compliance Officer: the individual designated by the Deputy Commissioner to coordinate TCSG compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and other state and federal laws governing unlawful discrimination and harassment and educational access by disabled individuals.


Section 504 Coordinator: an individual designated by the President of the college to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended, and any other state and federal regulations governing disabilities; the responsibilities of the 504 Coordinator will include, but may not be limited to evaluating students requesting accommodations for a disability and ensuring equal access to facilities, services, and programs.


  1. Administration and Implementation

    At Athens Technical College, the individual designated as the coordinator for

    Title VI (non-discrimination based on based on race, color or national origin) and Title IX (non-discrimination based on sex) is Mr. Lenzy Reid, Vice President of Student Affairs.

    Office                   H-774

    Phone                  706/355- 5029


    Address   800 U.S. Highway 29 North, Athens, GA 30601

    The individual designated as the Coordinator for Section 504 (Americans with Disability Act) is Ms. Jessica Felts, Director of Student Support Services

    Office                   K-614A,

    Phone                  706/583- 2893


    Address   800 U.S. Highway 29 North, Athens, GA 30601

  2. Reporting and Management Action
    1. All students are encouraged to report events of unlawful harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation (“prohibited conduct”) against themselves or others.
    2. If a student filing a complaint requests anonymity or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the student should be aware that the college’s ability to respond may be limited, that retaliation for filing a complaint is prohibited, and that steps to prevent harassment and retaliation will be taken. Athens Technical College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request and pursue other steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent a recurrence.
    3. Athens Technical College may weigh a request for anonymity or a request it not pursue a complaint considering the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged conduct, the complainant’s age, whether there have been other harassment complaints about the same individual, and the alleged harasser’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained as an “education record” under FERPA. The college will inform the student if the request cannot be granted.
    4. Reports concerning all prohibited conduct referenced in this procedure will be processed confidentially to the extent permitted by law; communications regarding complaints will be disseminated to others on a need-to-know basis to ensure that necessary steps are taken to protect the community as a whole, and that appropriate disciplinary measures or corrective actions are considered and taken.
    5. Allegations or suspicions of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation may be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs (Coordinator for Title VI and Title IX), Director of Student Support Services (Section 504 Coordinator), or the President. Complaints may also be emailed to the Technical College System of Georgia at
    6. Complaints under this procedure can be expressed in writing, by telephone, or in person; individuals are, however, encouraged to express complaints in writing to ensure all concerns are addressed.
    7. In the case that an allegation of unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is made to an employee not designated to receive such reports, the employee receiving the complaint must report the allegation as provided in section 6 above.
    8. Students or employees may be suspended, transferred, or reassigned employees or students in order to prevent possible further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, to facilitate the investigation, or to implement preventive or corrective actions under this procedure.
  3. Investigation
    1. Local investigators shall investigate all prohibited conduct complaints under these procedures thoroughly and promptly.
    2. A complaining party will be notified if the complaint does not specify facts sufficient to allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. A formal investigation will not be conducted under this procedure.
    3. In writing, the complaining party may appeal the decision to the President within five business days of receiving the notice. After that, the President's decision will be final.
    4. Individuals designated to investigate or recommend corrective actions in response to allegations will be trained to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Individuals assigned as the investigator for a particular incident shall disclose to the President any relationship with the parties that could call into question their ability to be objective prior to taking any action concerning the investigation. The President will reassign alternate individuals if necessary.
    5. Investigations will be conducted by gathering relevant information and interviewing appropriate witnesses. Both the complaining party and the respondent (the parties) will be given equal opportunity to identify witnesses and offer evidence in person or writing. Best efforts will be made to interview all witnesses identified by the parties. Both the complaining party and the respondent may be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choice. However, the advisor may not speak on behalf of the party.
    6. The college will evaluate the information collected during the investigation and determine whether a preponderance of the evidence supports the claim of unlawful discrimination, unlawful harassment, and/or unlawful retaliation.
    7. Investigations and summary findings will be documented appropriately.
  4. Corrective Actions
    1. Athens Technical College will take all reasonable steps to prevent unlawful retaliation against those making a complaint and other individuals participating in investigations under this procedure.
    2. If prohibited conduct is determined to have occurred following the investigation, the college, through the appropriate officials, shall implement steps to prevent a recurrence and to correct the discriminatory effects on the complaining party and others as appropriate. Steps may include but are not limited to mandating training or evaluation, disciplinary sanctions, policy implementation, or reassignment of students or employees.
    3. If recommended disciplinary sanctions involve academic suspension or expulsion, the matter must be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs, as provided by the college’s Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure.
    4. Individuals responsible for conducting investigations or proposing sanctions under this procedure should not also serve as reviewing officials or hearing officers in the appeal of sanctions arising from an investigation.
    5. Even in the absence of sufficient evidence to support a finding that unlawful discrimination, unlawful harassment, or retaliation has occurred, Athens Technical College will address inappropriate conduct and take all reasonable steps to prevent future unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
  1. Reviews and Dispositions
    1. Any parties to a complaint under this procedure may request a review of the investigative findings within five business days of receiving notice of the investigative results by submitting a written request to the President.
    2. The President shall review all investigations conducted under this procedure and ensure that the appropriate corrective actions have been implemented.
    3. Within ten business days of receiving a request for a review of the investigative findings, the President will notify the parties in writing of their final determination, including any change in the result of the findings. In addition, the notice will inform the parties that they have a right to appeal the determination to the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Legal Services by submitting a written request within three business days by regular mail or email to one of the following:
    4.  The Office of Legal Services will convene a panel of at least three individuals not employed by the requestor’s college to review the investigative findings. The panel’s decision is final and will conclude the processing of the complaint. Both parties will be notified in writing simultaneously of the results of the review and any changes in the investigative findings under appeal.