This week we’re learning more about Title IX. Title IX is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an educational program or activity that receives federal funding. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual battery, sexual assault, and rape that are “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.” Even a single instance of rape or sexual assault by another student, faculty, or staff member could meet this standard. (EROC) Understand that Title IX does not only protect female students, it also protects male and gender non-conforming students, faculty, and staff.
No matter what college you attend, your school must ensure that every student is in a safe environment. The administration must eliminate any kind of discrimination or possible assault. Survivors have to be encouraged to report their attacks and not fear retaliation for speaking out against their attacker. The administration should also discourage the student from leaving campus. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO REMAIN ON CAMPUS. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. So if any administrator tells you to “take some time off” you do not have accept it. You have the right to remain on campus and have every educational program and opportunity available to you. (Bogler, Dan)
What is your school’s procedure in case of sexual harassment and violence? Who is your school’s Title IX Coordinator? Your coordinator’s information is public knowledge. If a complaint is made, the school has to immediately investigate even if you make a police report. The school should use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard to determine the outcome of a complaint, meaning discipline should result if it is more likely than not that discrimination, harassment and/or violence occurred. The final decision should be provided to you and the accused in writing. Both of you have the right to appeal the decision. (Bogler, Dan) While a complaint is being investigate, the school must make sure the victim is safe while on campus. Which brings you back to the retaliation. The school cannot retaliate against the student who has filed a complaint. We see a lot of that when the accuser is an athlete. The school can issue a no contact directive to the accused, to keep them from having any contact with accuser.
Lastly, Title IX states that the school cannot make you pay costs that are accumulated after an assault. Meaning, if you need counseling, have to change dorm rooms or getting a tutor to help with studies. These are things the school has to pay for.
I hope this inside look helped you understand Title IX a little more. Below are two links that will give you a more in depth look at the law.