What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities in federally funded schools at all levels. Title IX protects students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. All students (as well as other persons) at recipient institutions are protected by Title IX—regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, part- or full-time status, disability, race, or national origin—in all aspects of a recipient’s educational programs and activities. To enforce Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with headquarters in Washington, DC and 12 offices across the United States. Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2015)
Contact information of the Title IX coordinator:
The following list of rights, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), may be used by the department for purposes of Section 221.6:
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
Title IX requires an educational institution to respond to sex-based harassment that is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s education programs and activities (i.e., creates a hostile environment).
When an educational institution knows or reasonably should know of possible sex-based harassment, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. If an investigation reveals that the harassment created a hostile environment, the educational institution must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.
For a complete explanation of the complaint process under Title IX, please see Administrative Regulation 5145.71. The complaint procedures described in this administrative regulation shall be used to address any complaint governed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 alleging that a student was subjected to one or more of the following forms of sexual harassment: (34 CFR 106.30)
- A district employee conditioning the provision of a district aid, benefit, or service on the student’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a student equal access to the district’s education program or activity
- Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in 20 USC 1092 or 34 USC 12291
All other sexual harassment complaints shall be investigated and responded to pursuant to Uniform Complaint Procedures, Administrative Regulation 1312.3. This regulation also includes the timeline for responding to Title IX qualified sexual harassment complaints as follows:
A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) may be filed only by a person who alleges that they have personally suffered unlawful discrimination or who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to it. The complaint shall be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged discrimination occurred, or six months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. (5 CCR 4630)
A report of sexual harassment shall be submitted directly to or forwarded to the district’s Title IX Coordinator. Upon receiving such a report, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the complainant of the process for filing a formal complaint. A formal complaint, with the complainant’s physical or digital signature, may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by email, or by any other method authorized by the district. During the investigation process, the district shall: (34 CFR 106.45)
- Provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence
- Not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence
- Provide the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney
- Not limit the choice or presence of an advisor for either the complainant or respondent in any meeting or grievance proceeding, although the district may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the advisor may participate in the proceedings as long as the restrictions apply equally to both parties
- Provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate
- Send in an electronic format or hard copy to both parties and their advisors, if any, the evidence that is directly related to the allegations raised in the complaint, and provide the parties at least 10 days to submit a written response for the investigator to consider prior to the completion of the investigative report
- Objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and determine credibility in a manner that is not based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness
- Create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and, at least 10 days prior to the determination of responsibility, send to the parties and their advisors, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and written response
- After sending the investigative report to the parties and before reaching a determination regarding responsibility, afford each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that the party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party
Either party may appeal the district’s decision or dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegation in the complaint, if the party believes that a procedural irregularity affected the outcome, new evidence is available that could affect the outcome, or a conflict of interest or bias by the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) affected the outcome.
Federal and State Contacts:
- California Department of Education, Equal Opportunity & Access
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
- San Francisco Office, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
- Email: OCR.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (415) 486-5555