Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in education programs and activities. Whether public or private, all educational institutions are supposed to comply with Title IX anti-discrimination law.
The school is responsible for ensuring the safety of all students and being proactive in dealing with incidences of sexual harassment. This includes responding promptly and effectively to incidences of sexual harassment and taking immediate action that will stop the harassment and prevent its recurrence. A school should also address the effect of sexual harassment on students.
What measures must a school have in place?
A school must have a solid anti-discrimination policy that states it does not discriminate based on sex. It is also required to have a Title IX coordinator, usually an employee, designated to ensure the school’s compliance with Title IX.
Finally, each school must have a well-outlined grievance procedure for filing complaints of sexual harassment. The procedure should explicitly state the right of every complainant to present their case, including the right to have an equal opportunity to provide evidence or appeal against an outcome. The complainant should also be notified of the time frame that the whole process will take, from the point of the investigation, and the final verdict or action taken.
Learning more about your rights
Title IX protects victims of sexual harassment, and under the law, schools have a legal duty to protect you from such forms of harassment. These protections apply to all students, regardless of sexual orientation.
If you believe your case was not well handled or that nothing is being done despite making the school aware of a sexual harassment incident, you need to take further action in protecting your legal rights.