“Title IX” refers to federal law Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It is a civil rights law that prohibits any educational institution that receives federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. Because schools receive “federal funds” in many different ways, this law applies to virtually every college and university campus, public or private, in the U.S.—including community-colleges, four-year undergraduate, and graduate institutions.1
The purpose of Title IX is to ensure that sex discrimination does not impact students’ ability to take advantage of educational opportunities. Title IX and its implementing regulations require schools to treat male and female students equitably in all educational opportunities, including extra-curricular activities sponsored by the school, sports opportunities, course offerings, etc. It is well-settled law that sexual assault constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex. Thus, Title IX requires schools to promote an environment that is equitable and safe from sexual assault, and to respond promptly and equitably when sexual assault has been perpetrated. Title IX requires that a student’s educational opportunities not be impacted as a result of sexual assault victimization.
1. Title IX applies to K-12 schools as well. This online training focuses on advocacy for adult victims of sexual assault and therefore, limits this discussion to colleges and universities. If you have questions about Title IX processes in K-12 schools, please contact Legal Momentum, www.legalmomentum.org.