Code of Conduct
Rules and Policies

Sexual Behavior, Misconduct, Harassment and Abuse

Sexual Behavior

Sexual interactions of any kind are prohibited on campus.

Student Sexual Harassment

Punahou is committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment that is safe and healthy for all students. Sexual misconduct or other actions that interfere with learning and create an environment, perceived by the victim to be hostile, offensive, intimidating and/or unsafe, will not be tolerated at Punahou.
Harassment requires unwelcome conduct. Unwelcome means the recipient did not solicit it, did not engage in the same kind of conduct and found the conduct to be offensive and unwanted when it occurred. In our school context, harassment is determined by the perception of the victim. Given this, the key question is the impact of the conduct on the victim. If the recipient perceives the conduct to be hostile, offensive or intimidating, it is harassment regardless of whether the perpetrator intended it to be harassment or not.
At Punahou, we educate students about their need to be aware of how their conduct affects others. Students will be held responsible for the impact of their conduct, regardless of whether they are or were in a romantic relationship or friends with the student impacted.
Any act of unwelcome sexual contact, sexual misconduct or sexual blackmail will lead to serious consequences, including possible expulsion and reporting to legal authorities. Repeated unwelcome verbal communications, especially those of a sexual nature, can also create a hostile sexual harassment environment and warrant disciplinary action or possible expulsion.
Examples of student sexual harassment include:

  • Unwelcome sexual contact, conduct, advances or requests for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome verbal comments of a sexual nature, sexual jokes or innuendos, demeaning labels based on gender or sexual orientation, verbal abuse and sexually oriented banter
  • Unwelcome contact or communications, including phone calls, recorded messages, emails, text messages, instant messages, social media messaging or postings and communications through third parties
  • Sexual blackmail or the explicit or implicit submission to sexual conduct as a term or condition of anything impacting a victim’s learning environment

Reporting Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Students are encouraged to report and consult with adults, including deans, administrative deans, counselors or principals, any time they feel harassed or if they feel their peers are being harassed. The school has procedures in place to respond to and investigate such complaints and will take necessary action to stop any harassment, including appropriate and serious disciplinary action.
Any parent or legal guardian who has a concern, suspicion or knowledge of actual or potential sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior against any Punahou student is required to report such information to any dean, principal, director of human resources, any member of Punahou’s Community Care Response Team, Punahou’s Community Care Liaison, the Hawaii Department of Child Welfare or the Punahou Community Hotline. Students and former students or their parents or caregivers may, of course, report to local child welfare and law enforcement agencies, or call 911 if they believe that a child is in danger.
Punahou has an ethical and legal obligation to conduct an internal investigation into any incident involving school employees and students, sexual assaults, child abuse and neglect and incidents of violence. The school will work to protect the privacy of any individuals involved during any investigation. We will also work to keep confidential the identity of the person who reports the complaint, but we cannot guarantee that.
Although Punahou encourages complaints made in good faith, if an investigation reveals that a student, parent or other individual knowingly, falsely or maliciously accused another person of sexual misconduct, the school may seek appropriate remedies as permitted by law, including disciplinary or legal actions.

How Punahou Works to Prevent Sexual Misconduct

Punahou has a responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for each and every student. Our ongoing commitment to student safety and well-being includes the development of the following policies and procedures that seek to prevent sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination at our school:

  • Criminal background checks for all employees and certain volunteers
  • Disciplinary and/or corrective action for persons who violate school policies
  • Age-appropriate abuse awareness training for students
  • Expectations of student behavior outlined in this Code of Conduct
  • Annual, mandatory abuse awareness and policy compliance training for faculty, staff, coaches and other employees, and initial abuse awareness training for volunteers, facilitated by Punahou’s Office of Human
  • Resources in conjunction with the school’s Community Care Response Team
  • Mandated reporting to appropriate public agencies through the school’s Community Care Response Team