What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that requires all public schools, and all public and private colleges and universities that accept any federal funds, including guaranteed students loans, to provide all students an educational environment free of harassment on the basis of gender, sexuality, and sexual preference, orientation, or identity. Federal laws define such harassment as including sexual violence, stalking, and harassment. The first paragraph of Title IX 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.” (20 USC 1681(a))

When a University, College, or Public School receives a report that a student has been subjected to sexual violence, sexual harassment, or discrimination based on gender or sexuality that creates a hostile educational environment, The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights requires the school to conduct a prompt and neutral investigation of the facts, to whether or not the grievance was substantiated to the preponderance of the evidence, and if so, to impose a sanction on the perpetrator that prevents further discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence. Depending on the severity of the alleged conduct, such sanctions can include suspension or dismissal (expulsion) of students, and demotion, suspension, or dismissal of faculty or other school employees.

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