What You Need to Know About Title IX
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender in education programs and activities. Discrimination refers to treating someone adversely based on a protected class, such as sex, gender, gender expression, disability, age or religion. If you are a student in California, it is important to know how Title IX protects you from discrimination and what to do if your Title IX rights are violated.
When Was Title IX Enacted?
Title IX was enacted on June 23, 1972, as part of the Education Amendments. It states that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Title IX is a federal law that covers gender and gender identity discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence. It has been paramount in promoting gender equity in education, including admissions, sports, financial aid, academic programs and extracurricular activities. It has also helped prevent incidents of sexual assault and abuse in schools.
What Are a School’s Responsibilities Under Title IX?
Title IX requires public schools, private schools, colleges and universities to take certain steps to prevent, detect and address sex-based discrimination and harassment. Schools must have policies and procedures in place to help students report sexual discrimination, harassment or assault. School administrators must take prompt and effective action to respond to reports of Title IX violations brought forth by students. These actions should be fair and provide due process for all parties involved.
All schools must designate a Title IX coordinator who is in charge of overseeing the educational facility’s compliance with federal requirements. It is the coordinator’s responsibility to receive complaints and ensure that the proper response is issued by the school. The school should conduct regular assessments of its policies to ensure compliance. If a school is found to be non-compliant with the requirements of Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights can penalize the institution, such as by withdrawing federal funding.
How Do I Report a Title IX Violation?
If you are a victim of a Title IX violation, your school should have clear steps outlined that you can take to report the incident. Start by finding the contact information for your school’s Title IX coordinator. Typically, this is posted on the school’s website or official school documents related to Title IX policies. You may need to contact your school’s administrator for assistance.
Reach out to the coordinator and provide relevant information about what happened, including the individuals involved and whether there were any witnesses. The school should conduct an investigation into your complaint and take prompt action to protect you from further sexual harassment or assault. Be prepared to cooperate with the investigation as much as possible.
The school should have a process in place for deciding if the accused person is guilty of a Title IX violation and how to proceed if so, such as suspending or expelling the student. In the meantime, seek mental health support from a guidance counselor.
If you or a loved one has been sexually harassed at school in California, contact the Los Angeles sexual abuse attorneys at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a free and confidential Title IX case evaluation. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses.