What is Title IX? a breif overview of the law behind sex equality

Title IX is a statute of the Education Amendments of 1972, enforced by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The main purpose of it is to prohibit discriminatory practices on the basis of sex in federally funded educational agencies. Nearly all private colleges must follow Title IX because they are federally funded.

These programs have certain obligations for operating in abidance to Title IX. Every applicant for federal funding agencies are required to submit an assurance ensuring that they will take necessary actions to resolve sex discrimination issues in their agency, whether previous or current. The supreme court maintains the power to terminate funding for any institution that fails to meet their obligations with Title IX as outlined in their assurance.

All federally funded programs are required to have a Title IX coordinator to coordinate efforts for compliance with Title IX, including responding to sex discrimination or harassment complaints, organizing and moderating grievance procedures and providing training and consultation to meet Title IX requirements. An institution's Title IX coordinator must have contact information made public. A school may designate any staff member with high knowledge of administrative policies and Title IX regulations and a close connection with the administration as the Title IX coordinator.

Complainants do not need to use the standard grievance procedure as laid out by the Department of Education or organized by the individual institution to report a Title IX violation or sexual harassment, but can also make complaints to the administration through any other means necessary for it to be included as a grievance. The OCR may also be called upon to perform an investigation. Institutions are expected to take immediate action on a complaint and to protect the complainant from retaliation. In the case of an alleged sexual violence victim, institutions must provide any needed assistance to the individual free of charge so they can continue their education after the violence reported.

The OCR developed the Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Interpretation to guide athletics departments in following Title IX requirements. An institution shows compliance with the athletic participation requirements through either providing proportionate opportunities to men and women based on enrollment rate, expanding programs for the underrepresented sex or satisfying the interests and needs of the underrepresented sex. They must also demonstrate equal treatment of male and female athletes, including providing athletic scholarship dollars proportional to their participation.

Frequently Ask Questions about Title XI Answered

1. How do you file a complaint?

A complaint is a oral or written statement outlining the alleged violation of state or federal law. A complaint can be made in a number of ways: 1) It can be made to any school district official or principal. 2) One can email complianceofficer@pausd.org, 3) A complaint can be filed anonymously through the anonymous Title IX Complaint Form

2. What happens after a complaint is filed?

The District Compliance Officer will be assigned to investigate or assign an investigator to look into the filed complaint and designee any conflict of interests, or individuals who are likely to be witnesses. The investigation will be resolved within 60 calendar days of the district's receipt of the complaint. The Superintendent will provide a written notice of the results of the Complaint Produce to the student, employees, parents/guardians, the district advisory committee, school advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties. That notice will identify the person(s), position(s), or unit(s) responsible for receiving complaints, and a detailed description of the legal to prosecute or appeal.

3. Who is responsible for enforcing Title IX?

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education enforces Title IX. OCR has the authority to develop policy on the regulations it enforces. In March of 2017, The OCR reached an agreement with the Palo Alto School District to provide speedy and accurate Title IX Reports.

4. Who is Palo Alto's Title IX Coordinator?

Megan Farrell is the Title IX Coordination for the Palo Alto School District.

To contact Ms. Farrell email mfarrell@pausd.org

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