What Does Campus Safety Have to Do with Title IX

Title IX And Campus Sexual Assault Prevention

Posted on 4 May 2015 |

students walking by Bart EversonSo did you know that Title IX isn't just about creating equality in funding for campus sports?  Well, if you didn't, you're not alone. Four years after campus violence prevention was added to the requirement for Title IX compliance, most people still think it's all about money for hockey sticks and locker rooms. 

Unfortunately, getting it wrong can hurt your campus in too many ways. Not only do you run the risk of losing federal funding and face expensive lawsuits, the students on your campuses are less likely to go through college without being assaulted, forced into damaging situations or bullied. 

Sexual Assault, Violence and Title IX

In 2011, the Federal Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a clear statement that sexual harassment and assault on the nation's college campus meant that the schools were failing to provide equal access and experience for all students. 

"Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. In order to assist recipients, which include school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter “schools” or “recipients”) in meeting these obligations, this letter1 explains that the requirements of Title IX pertaining to sexual harassment also cover sexual violence, and lays out the specific Title IX requirements applicable to sexual violence."

The clarification and the Department's publications since then have tied a school's continued Federal funding to a schools success in providing a school experience free from sexual harassment and assault, including sexual discrimination based upon sexual identity or expression.

Failure to address sexual harassment violence according to the standards set forth by the DOE in Title IX can also set the stage for successful legal action by students or their families. In brief, campus administration must develop a system for reporting and addressing sexual harassment and violence, alerting students to dangers, tracking and publishing violence statistics, and offering sexual harassment and violence prevention training. They must have a Title IX coordinator, and create visability for violence and discrimination prevention. 

So now you know. Having a women's basketball team and the same access to swim team practice is only the tip of the Title IX compliance iceberg. Is your campus on target? 

Image Credit: Bart Everson

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