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Title IX - Basics

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What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
--Legal Citation: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX)

Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Know your Rights: Title IX Basics

Your school’s obligation to respond to sexual violence

  • Under Title IX federally funded schools must ensure that students of all ages are not denied or limited in their abilities to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities on the basis of sex.
  • Once your school is made aware of sexual violence, it must take prompt and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
  • Your school is required to protect you and ensure your safety as necessary promptly.
  • Your school should provide you with information regarding campus and local resources.  

Students protected by Title IX

  • All students are protected from sex discrimination irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, race, national origin, or enrollment status (part-time/full-time).
  • Male students have the same rights as female students.

Title IX procedural requirements

  • Your school must provide a notice of nondiscrimination.
  • Your school must have a least one designated employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX.
  • Your school must adopt and publish grievance procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee sex discrimination complaints.

Confidentiality and Obligation to Respond

  • Your school should clearly explain the reporting obligations of all school employees because the obligations differ among different employees.
  • Your school should only disclose information to individuals who are responsible for the school’s response to the sexual violence. All efforts should be made on the school’s part to keep you safe and protect your privacy.

Investigations and Hearings

  • Your school must conduct an adequate, reliable, impartial and prompt investigation
  • Both parties have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence.
  • Your school must use a preponderance-of-the-evidence (ie., more likely than not) standard in all Title IX proceedings.
  • If permitted by your school, both parties are able to have advisors, lawyers, expert testimony, etc. at any stage throughout the proceedings.
  • If appeals are permitted by your school, both parties must have the opportunity to do so
  • Both parties must be notified, in writing, of the outcome of both the complaint and any appeal.
  • If a criminal investigation is pending or in progress, your school should not wait for the conclusion of the criminal investigation to begin its own Title IX investigation.

Remedies and Notice of Outcomes

  • If it is determined that sexual violence created a hostile environment, the school must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and as appropriate, remedy its effects.
  • Various remedies will include assisting you and helping you continue your education (such as counseling, retaking courses without penalty, academic support). Even if these remedies are refused during the interim, your school should offer then again at the conclusion of the Title IX proceedings.
  • Your school may also provide remedies for the broader student population such as developing materials on sexual violence to distribute to all students, conducting bystander intervention trainings, issuing new policies, and training employees on the school’s responsibilities to address allegations of sexual violence and how to conduct Title IX investigations.

If you want to learn more about your rights, or if you believe that your school is in violation of the federal law, you may wish to contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights at 1-(800)-421-3481 or on their website at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/coord/titleix.php to fill out an online complaint form.

Lewis University does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any type. Our Catholic, Lasallian tradition sees each and every human as created in the image of God, full of dignity and worth. Sexual misconduct is a serious affront to one’s dignity as a person. Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact and sexual exploitation, as defined below.