Know Your Title IX Rights

Title IX is more than just sports. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual violence, in educational programs and activities. All public and private schools receiving federal funding must comply with Title IX.

Title IX applies to all people, not just women. It protects any student, faculty, or staff from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity, or gender expression.

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. ”

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

What are your rights under Title IX?

Your school must be proactive in ensuring that your campus is free of sex discrimination.

  • If a school knows or reasonably should know about an incident of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence that creates a “hostile environment” for any student, it must act immediately to eliminate it, remedy its harms, and prevent its recurrence.
  • You have the right to remain on campus and have all educational programs and opportunities available to you. Schools may not discourage students who report from continuing their education.
  • Your school must inform you of your Title IX rights and any resources that are available to you such as counseling, advocacy, health services, disability services, or academic support.

Your school must have a process in place for handling complaints of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence.

  • Every school must have a Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for managing reports. Their contact information should be readily available to the campus community.
  • Every school must have a written procedure for how complaints will be handled.
  • You have the right to report an incident of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence to your school and have them investigate promptly and effectively. You may also choose to report the incident to the police, although your school has an obligation to respond to your complaint regardless of whether you report to the police.

Your school must take immediate action to ensure you can continue your education free of ongoing sex discrimination, harassment, or violence, or retaliation.

  • You have the right to receive interim measures as necessary, even before it completes an investigation. These measures can protect you from further harm and help you continue to participate in the educational environment. Such measures could be changing classes, residence halls, or transportation. These measures should be implemented with minimal burden on you.
  • You have the right to an order of no contact that can be issued by your school to prevent the accused from interacting with you further. This is not a court issued protective order, but a school’s administration and/or police can and should enforce this directive. You also have the right to pursue a court-issued protective order through your local court system. Your school can provide information on how to obtain such an order.
  • You have the right to report without fear of retaliation from the school or from anyone else. Your school should take strong action if you experience retaliation from any school employee, student, the accused, or anyone on their behalf.

Your school must inform you of where you may seek confidential support services.

  • You have the right to report an incident of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence to someone at your school confidentially. Every school must designate and clearly identify who can serve as a source for confidential reporting. In most cases this is counseling staff, clergy, advocates, or possibly health center staff. Reporting to these individuals would not trigger an investigation by your school.
  • Even if you report to a confidential source, you still have the right to receive interim measures from your school.
  • Even if you do not specifically ask for confidentiality, your school should only share information about your incident to those who are responsible for handling the school’s response to sexual violence. Your school should discuss with you how best to protect your safety and privacy.

Your school must conduct a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation.

  • Your school should investigate your complaint within a reasonable time frame. Your school should not wait for a criminal investigation to be completed prior to conducting its investigation.
  • You have the right to be notified of the time frames for all major stages of the investigation.
  • You have the right to provide witnesses and information pertaining to the incident reported.
  • You have the right to have the same level of representation/support through the investigation or hearing process as the accused. Your school should outline who or how you can be supported or represented through their process.
  • You have the right to be present and participate in any formal hearing proceedings. If you choose not to participate, the school may choose to continue without you.
  • Your school should resolve the complaint by determining what was more likely than not to have happened. This is known as the preponderance of the evidence standard.
  • You have the right to be notified of the outcome of your complaint and of any appeal, including any sanctions or disciplinary action taken that may directly relate to you.
  • You have the same right to appeal the outcome as the accused.
  • You have the right to review any documentation related to the investigation or proceedings.
  • You have the right to have your case resolved without using mediation. Mediation is prohibited by Title IX as a resolution method for cases of sexual violence.

Your school must provide remedies as necessary.

  • If it is revealed through an investigation that a hostile environment was created by an incident of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence, you school must take immediate action to end the violence, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
  • Remedies could include sanctions or disciplinary action against the perpetrator, but may also include support to help you get your education back on track. This may be academic help, counseling, or other arrangements.
  • These remedies are in addition to any interim measures that were offered.
  • It may also be appropriate for your school to provide education or programming to the broader university community or to change its policies or services to prevent such incidents from recurring.