What is Title IX

A portion of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Title IX says: 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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX has been the news for the last couple of years but the law is often referenced without little to no explanation. The rules about what schools should and should not do are often tedious and long. In the past, Title IX issues usually arose in connection to college athletics and debates about funding of and in women’s and men’s sports. Factually, Title IX is about sex discrimination at our educational institutions such colleges and universities.

Title IX: What does it do?

An obligation is placed on institutions to independently investigate all reports of sex discrimination, including sexual violence and the Department of Education demands that institutions take prompt steps to eliminate the unwanted and unlawful behavior, prevent the behavior from recurring, and address or remedy the impacts of the behavior.

The Harm of Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination can mean disparate opportunities given or denied because of an individual’s gender. But sex and gender discrimination can also include sexual harassment and harassment based on someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Sexual assault and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, such as relationship abuse or dating violence, can also be forms of discrimination based on sex.

What is the goal of Title IX?

Proponents of Title IX work to ensure that all individuals including students, faculty, and staff can enjoy their educational and work experiences in a discrimination and violence-free environment.

Universities and colleges are responding to sexual assaults instead of reporting to law enforcement.

Title IX requires educational institutions to have their own response when a sexual assault is reported to law enforcement who conduct a separate, criminal investigation. For decades, universities and colleges have addressed and regulated the behaviors of their campus members, but often, they are positioned to aid their students, in ways the police are not. If a criminal case or investigation proceeds, criminal conviction, a prison sentence or probation are possibilities for someone convicted of sexual assault. Despite the perpetrator’s removal from the campus, students may need additional accommodations to ensure successful completion of their academic career in a safe environment.