Title IX, the federal law that prevents discrimination based on sex by any education program receiving federal funds, turns 50 today — Thursday, June 23, 2022.
“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.”
Celebrate this landmark piece of legislation in the journey toward gender equality by learning more about it!
1. Title IX was passed on June 23, 1972.
2. The law is only 37 words long.
3. Title IX was authored by Sen. Birch Bayh (Indiana), Rep. Edith Green (Oregon), and Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink (Hawaii).
4. Originally, the law was an attempt to equalize the money given to male and female sports.
5. In 1972, only 8% of girls participated in high school sports; by 1983 it was 53%.
6. In 2001, 43% of college varsity athletes were women. This is a 403% increase compared to 1971.
7. In 2006, 2.95 million women athletes played competitive sports, compared to fewer than 300,000 in 1972.
8. The first Title IX lawsuit (1977) argued that sexual harassment was discrimination.
9. Since 1997, schools have been required to have a specific policy to address sexual harassment.
10. Also since 1997, schools are required to designate at least one employee responsible for Title IX compliance.
11. In January of 2001, the Department of Education issued the following guidance: “Preventing and remedying sexual harassment in schools is essential to ensuring a safe environment in which students can learn.”
12. In 2004, the Bush administration required schools to have a specific, named Title IX Coordinator.
13. In 2011, the Obama administration expanded Title IX to specifically cover sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking.
14. The Obama administration also issued specific expectations for how schools should respond to a Title IX complaint, including a hearing for sexual assault complaints.
15. In 2020, the Trump administration repealed most of the previous administration’s guidance and created new regulations for Title IX, including a narrower definition of Title IX, the requirement for advocates for both the complaining party and the accused, and required certain due process rights to apply.
17. There are currently 1,656 open Title IX investigations in the Office of Civil Rights. 18 are in Oklahoma.
What does Title IX do?
18. The law bans gender discrimination in education.
19. Specifically, Title IX bans harassment that denies a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program.
20. Title IX has been applied to balance the number of male to female faculty positions
21. Title IX covers incidents of harassment/discrimination that occur on campus or at a school-sponsored event.
22. The Title IX Office at a school is responsible for prevention, education, and response.
Who is protected under Title IX?
23. Title IX applies to ALL members of an educational institution: male, female, student, staff, faculty, or third party.
24. Title IX provides for accommodations for pregnant or parenting students
25. Many do not realize that Title IX applies to same-sex dating/domestic violence or sexual assault.
Who must comply with Title IX?
26. The law applies to ALL schools receiving federal funding.
What are schools required to do under Title IX?
27. Both parties in a Title IX complaint are entitled to know the outcome.
28. A school must take action, whether or not a criminal complaint is filed.
29. Schools must provide services to remedy the effects of the harassment.
30. Schools are required to make a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into a complaint.
31. Schools are required to publish a notice of non-discrimination.
32. A school may “pause” an investigation if requested by law enforcement.
33. A school and law enforcement may investigate at the same time because one is an administrative procedure (school), and one is legal (police).
34. An investigation by a school is expected to take place “in a reasonable time frame,” which used to be 60 days.
35. If a school fails to follow Title IX, a victim/survivor may (a) file an OCR complaint, (b) file a civil lawsuit, or (c) do both.
36. Potentially, a school out of compliance with Title IX could lose ALL federal funding, but no school has ever faced that penalty (yet).
37. Civil lawsuits against schools for violating Title IX have cost schools millions of dollars ($1.1 billion USC (2021), $ 14 million Dartmouth (2020), $500 million Michigan State (2018), $109 million Penn State (2017), $2.48 million University of Tennessee (2016)).
38. Title IX hearings can be decided either on a “preponderance of the evidence” or a “clear and convincing” standard.
39. Schools may use an informal restorative justice model if both parties agree, regardless of the nature of the complaint.
40. A school may be required to act on a report, without the victim’s consent, if there is an ongoing threat to the campus.
41. Under the Jeanne Clery Act (1990), schools are required to report Title IX crimes in an annual security report.
42. Schools are required to publish their sexual discrimination policies.
43. In most cases, the school’s Title IX response is driven by the wishes of the survivor.
What protections are required under Title IX?
44. A victim/survivor may request a “no contact” directive, which is like a protective order, but only applies to the school campus.
45. A victim/survivor may request educational accommodations such as excused absences or assignments, assignment extensions, or extra time on tests.
46. A victim/survivor may request housing accommodations such as changing dorm rooms or moving on-campus from off-campus (if dorms are available).
47. A victim/survivor may request a schedule change, including class schedule or workplace assignments.
48. On most campuses, a victim/survivor may request security escorts to and from class/work for safety concerns.
49. A Title IX hearing today requires a victim/survivor to be subject to cross-examination by the accused party’s advocate.
50. The most recent guidance repealed the requirement that all statements must be subject to cross-examination in order to be considered.