The Impact of Title IX
Almost every public school, college and university in the country receives some federal funding. Title IX is a federal law that applies to bias and discrimination on the basis of one’s sex. Thanks to Title IX in most schools across the nation there is a mechanism for addressing issues about sexual harassment and misconduct. The protection offered by Title IX extends to both the perpetrator and the victim for conduct that occurs on and off campus. This includes students, faculty, administrators, employees, and any other person doing business with or for the school.
This law prohibits gender discrimination in academic programs and activities in institutions or facilities receiving federal funds. This can include:
- Public and private elementary schools
- Middle and high schools
- School districts
- Colleges and universities
The list of violations is extensive and ever-changing.
- Sexual Assault.
- Sexual misconduct.
- Relationship violence.
- Sexual coercion.
- Sexually motivated verbal and non-verbal conduct – bullying by the perpetrator or friends of the perpetrator.
- Discrimination against pregnant or parenting students.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Sexual Assault on Campus?
Sexual assault on campus is violent, terrifying, humiliating, confusing, and a Title IX violation. Statistics reported by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) reveal only 20 percent of female student victims (age 18-24) will report the incident to the police.
Some of the reasons these students have for remaining silent include:
- Fear of retaliation from the perpetrator or other students.
- The act was too personal.
- Believed it was not important or violent enough.
- The victim did not want to be revictimized by making a report.
- Did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble.
- Believed the police could not, or would not, help.
In 2018, a national study on sexual harassment and assault reported 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Failure To Address Federal Guidelines Is A Title IX Violation
In addition to any criminal charges, Title IX requirements are very specific. Schools have a mandated responsibility to recognize instances of sexual assault and harassment, address the issues, eliminate the situation, and develop a plan to prevent further problems.
To be in compliance, every federally-funded institution must develop, keep current, and distribute a written policy concerning sex discrimination. The institution must have a designated Title IX coordinator. This document must state that all questions concerning Title IX be directed to a designated Title IX coordinator.
Every school or institution must assign one or more persons as a Title IX compliance officer or coordinator, and every student and employee must be given the name of the coordinator and told how to reach them. This person is to be held responsible for overseeing all complaints of discrimination and be aware of any emerging patterns of violations.
Every school must develop, publish, and distribute procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence. Schools may use established disciplinary procedures to address the complaints and these procedures must provide a prompt resolution.
Know Your Rights
Under Title IX every victim has a right:
- To present his or her case
- To expect a full and impartial investigation of the complaint
- To present witnesses and evidence of the abuse or harassment
- To know how long it will take the school district to investigate the charges
- For the complaint to be decided by a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence by an impartial decision maker
- To be notified in writing as to the outcome of the investigation
Sanctions against the perpetrator may include:
- An order to stay away from the victim.
- Transfer to a different class
- Being prohibited from attending classes for a specified period of time
- Probation for a designated time.
- Suspension from school for a designated time
The Title IX Legal Manual from The U.S. Department Of Justice is a comprehensive and complex document (see full text here) detailing all of the nuances and case laws pertaining to the statute.
Call Edwards Law Office, P.C. if Someone Violated Your Rights Under Title IX
If you believe you are a victim of a Title IX violation contact Edwards Law Office, P.C. at (307) 883-2222