How do I file a Title IX Complaint?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et. seq. (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive or benefit from Federal financial assistance. Generally, a school district may not excuse, deny or provide different or lesser services to applicants or beneficiaries on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination includes a hostile environment created by sexual harassment or sexual violence in the educational setting.
Students, staff, community members, and guests of East Side Union High School District have the right to be free from all forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. All members of the district including community members and guests are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. When misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, protective and other remedial measures will be used to reasonable ensure that such conduct ends immediately, is not repeated, and effects on the victim and community are remedied including serious sanctions when a responding party is found to have violated policies.
Title IX complaints may be pursued in several ways:
- Report an incident to a school district employee, site principal, or Title IX Coordinator
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints do not have to be completed on a formal complaint form. You may send a complaint via email or letter to the District office.
Title IX regulations AR 5145.71 require the following initial steps for sexual harassment complaints:
- Upon receiving a report of sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator informs the complainant of the process for filing a formal complaint.
- Title IX Coordinator offers interim supportive measures to the complainant such as counseling, course-related adjustments, modification of class schedules, etc. pending completion of the investigation.
If a formal complaint has been filed, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide the known parties with written notice of the following:
- The District’s complaint process
b. The allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment with sufficient details known at the time, including the identity of parties involved in the incident if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident if known. Such notice shall be provided with sufficient time for the parties to prepare a response before any initial interview. If, during the course of the investigation, the district investigates allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial notice, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties.
c. A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the complaint process.
d. The opportunity for the parties to have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and the ability to inspect and review evidence.
e. The prohibition against knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the complaint process.
These are just the initial steps and there are no timelines for these. Following these steps, the investigator interviews witnesses and creates a report summarizing relevant evidence but does not include a decision. At least 10 days prior to making a determination/decision, the District must send the investigator’s report to both parties and their advisors for their review and response.
After sending the investigative report to the parties and before reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the District must afford each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that the party wants asked of any party or witness. The District must provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party.
The Decision Maker shall issue and simultaneously provide to both parties a written decision. The written decision shall be issued within 45 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint. The timeline may be temporarily extended for good cause with written notice to the complainant and respondent of the extension and the reasons for the action.
Individuals experiencing harassment or discrimination always have the right to file a formal grievance with government authorities.