Code of Maine Rules

Current through 2023-52, December 27, 2023

A. Conference, Conciliation and Persuasion

In conciliating a matter in which a determination of reasonable grounds has been made pursuant to the non-emergency procedures of section 4-A.08 of this rule, the Commission shall attempt to achieve a just resolution and to obtain assurances that the respondent will eliminate the unlawful educational discrimination. Disposition of a matter pursuant to this section shall be in the form of a written agreement and approved by a majority of the Commission, and notice thereof shall be sent to the parties. Upon ascertainment by the Commission's Executive Director or her/his designee that the terms of the signed agreement have been met, the proceeding shall be dismissed.

B. Participation of Commissioner of Education

The Commission shall inform the Commissioner of Education when it concludes that there exist reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful educational discrimination has occurred in any public school or program or private school or program approved for tuition purposes. The Commissioner may participate in informal conciliation efforts of the Commission. Upon request, the Commissioner shall have access to all information concerning conciliation efforts.

The Commissioner of Education shall be notified, in her/his capacity as the chief administrative officer of the educational institution, of any allegations of unlawful educational discrimination in the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, the schools of the unorganized territory, and the State vocational-technical institutes.

C. Refusal of Respondent to Cooperate

If a respondent fails or refuses to confer with the Commission's representative, or fails or refuses to make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute, the Commission may terminate efforts to conciliate the dispute. In such event, the respondent shall be notified promptly, in writing, that conciliation efforts have been terminated.

D. Refusal of Complainant to Agree

If a complainant fails or refuses to agree to the terms of a conciliation agreement or settlement that the Commission believes represents a just resolution of the complaint, the Commission may execute a conciliation agreement with the respondent limited to assurances that the respondent will eliminate such unlawful discrimination and take any appropriate corrective action. The proceeding shall be dismissed upon ascertainment by the Commission's Executive Director or her/his designee that the terms of the signed agreement have been met. Where the complainant is not a party to such a conciliation agreement, the execution of the agreement by the Commission and the respondent shall not limit the complainant's right to pursue other individual remedies.

E. Confidentiality of Conciliation Efforts.

Everything said or done as part of the Commission's informal endeavors to eliminate unlawful educational discrimination by conference, conciliation or persuasion is confidential and may not be disclosed without the written consent of the parties or used as evidence in a subsequent civil or criminal proceeding, except in a civil action alleging a breach of agreement filed by the Commission or a party. Notwithstanding this provision, the Commission and its employees have discretion to disclose such information to a party as is reasonably necessary to facilitate conciliation.

F. Confidentiality of Third Party Names

Any Commission records that are public records pursuant to the Freedom of Access Act shall be kept in such a manner that they do not reveal the identity of any person who is not a party to a complaint as complainant or a person accused of unlawful educational discrimination.

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