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Title IX: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

About Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, often referred to as Title IX, is a Federal civil rights law. Title IX, which began with a focus on discrimination and ensuring equity in sports, includes a major focus on prevention of and response to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Definition of Sexual Harassment for Title IX Purposes

  • Regulations define sexual harassment broadly to include three types of misconduct on the “basis of sex,” all of which jeopardize the equal access to education. These include the following:
    • Any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a school employee;
    • Any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, AND objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access, OR
    • Any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Title IX statute refers to persons in the United States and in the institution’s education program or activity (including on-campus or off-campus events and activities where the school district exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurs).
  • One of the main penalties for violating Title IX is potential loss of federal funding.

Definition of Actual Knowledge of Sexual Harassment

A school district is not required to respond if it merely “should have known” about sexual harassment; rather, its obligation to respond is triggered only after the school districts has “actual knowledge” of the alleged conduct.

“Actual Knowledge” means notice to the Title IX Coordinator, or to an official with authority to institute corrective measures on the recipient’s behalf, or to any school employee.

Any person may report sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, by any means necessary to get the information to the Title IX Coordinator. The person who reports does not need to be the complainant. Verbal or written reports can be made at any time, including non-business hours.

A witness may make a report.

Other Definitions:

Complainant is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment.

Any third party as well as the complainant may report sexual harassment

Parents/Guardians do not become complainants; guidelines recognize parents/guardians to act on behalf of the parties (including filing a formal complaint).

Respondent is the individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Formal Complaint is a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the school investigate the allegation of sexual harassment and states the following:

At the time of filing the formal complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the school

Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or electronic mail, and by any additional method designated by the school.

Supportive Measures Supportive measures are individualized services reasonably available that are

Non-punitive,

Non-disciplinary, and

Not unreasonably burdensome to the other part

Designed to

Ensure equal educational access

Protect safety, or

Deter sexual harassment

Examples of supportive measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

Counseling

Extension of deadlines or other course related adjustments

Modification of class schedules

Mutual contact restrictions

Know Your Rights

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.

All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. For a statement describing the rights and responsibilities of victims of sexual harassment or those who are the subject of complaints, contact your school office or visit the district's Title IX tab on the district webpage.

How to Get Help or File a Complaint

If you are not sure whether you should make a formal complaint, you can consult the Title IX coordinator 724.656.8866 ext. 6504 or at odonovan@wasd.school. The Title IX coordinator can help you decide if any action needs to be taken and how best to address your situation.

If you believe that you or a WASD student or staff member has been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, you can report the incident(s) to any school staff member, building principal, or the district's Title IX coordinator.

Place link tabs to the following Board Policies

Policies

103 Nondiscrimination in School and Classroom Practices

103.1 Nondiscrimination – Qualified students with Disabilities

104 Nondiscrimination in Employment and Contract Practices

247 Hazing

248 Unlawful Harassment

249 Bullying/Cyberbullying

304 Employment of District Staff

305 Employment of Substitutes

306 Employment of Summer School Staff

326 Complaint Process

348 Unlawful Harassment