Title IX Regulations Regarding Sexual Harassment
Title IX states simply: “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.” Regulations first promulgated after the passage of the law addressed the prohibition of sex discrimination in hiring, admissions, and athletics, among other things. Although the rules did not address sexual harassment as a form of sex-based discrimination, court decisions and guidance documents from the U.S. Department of Education have held that sexual harassment is also covered under the law. On August 14, 2020, new regulations implementing Title IX went into effect, defining sexual harassment and setting forth requirements for preventing and responding to sexual harassment. The regulations diverge significantly from previous guidance on the topic issued by the Department of Education, necessitating a response by public institutions and schools.
CSI’s Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, national origin, religion, ancestry or need for special education services, and requires compliance with all applicable nondiscrimination laws. CSI schools should work with their legal counsel to understand the Title IX regulations regarding sexual harassment, ensure school policies and procedures are compliant, and train key personnel. To support schools in this work, key resources and training opportunities are provided below.
Because federal interpretation of the law is changing, schools should consult the U.S. Department of Education Title IX webpage for updated guidance on the application of Title IX.
- Title IX Regulations Addressing Sexual Harassment – Final Rule (U.S. Department of Education)
- Summary of Major Provisions of the Department of Education’s Title IX Final Rule (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)
- Questions and Answers on the Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)
- Sex-Based Harassment (Colorado Department of Education)
- Ethical Obligations for Transgender and Gender Queer Students [docx]
In addition to annual trainings for the school board, staff and students, the law requires that individuals charged with Title IX compliance be trained in their role. Training is available via the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) and from Institutional Compliance Solutions (ICS). Schools may also have access to training via their legal counsel. Recorded trainings are provided below.
- Title IX: An Introduction to the New Regulations (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)
- New Title IX Protections Against Sexual Assault (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)
- Due Process Protections Under the New Title IX Regulations (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)
- Addressing the New Title IX Changes in K-12 Schools (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
- An Overview of the New Title IX Regulations, Sexual Harassment: What K-12 Educators Need to Know (Western Educational Equity Assistance Center)
- First Biennial Summit on Sexual Misconduct (Colorado Department of Higher Education)
The following policy development tools have been provided by the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC) at Metropolitan State University. WEEAC “offers training and technical assistance on educational issues related to race, sex, national origin and religion” and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.