Gender Based Discrimination

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any federal funded educational institution. Educational institutions include public school districts, charter schools, public universities, and any private school or university that accepts any federal funding. Title IX protects both students and employees.

Title IX provides protections for individuals who have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment. Educational institutions must appropriately respond to allegations of sexual violence and sexual harassment, including conducting an investigation of the harassment. If the investigation reveals the sexual violence created a hostile environment, the educational institution must take steps to eliminate the hostile environment and ensure the sexual violence does not reoccur.

Title IX may intersect with Section 504 and the IDEA if a student experiences sexual violence, then develops a mental health disability, the student may require special education and/or related services.

Common issues that we see arise under Title IX include:

  • Failure of the school to properly investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
  • Failure of the school to ensure the individual who has experienced sexual harassment or assault is not subject to a hostile environment.
  • Inequitable treatment of students based on gender.