Title IX Frequently Asked Questions
A: Under Title IX, whether an individual is obligated to report incidents of alleged sexual violence generally depends on whether the individual is a responsible employee of the school. A responsible employee must report incidents of sexual violence to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school designee, subject to the exemption for school counseling employees.
A: Students, or parents of minor students, reporting incidents of sexual violence sometimes ask that the students’ names not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrators or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued to address the alleged sexual violence. OCR strongly supports a student’s interest in confidentiality in cases involving sexual violence. There are situations in which a school must override a student’s request. The school will need to determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including the student, who reported the sexual violence.
A: A criminal investigation is intended to determine whether an individual violated criminal law; and, if at the conclusion of the investigation, the individual is tried and found guilty, the individual may be imprisoned or subject to criminal penalties. By contrast, a Title IX investigation will never result in incarceration of an individual and, therefore, the same procedural protections and legal standards are not required. Further, while a criminal investigation is initiated at the discretion of law enforcement authorities, a Title IX investigation is not discretionary; a school has a duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably and to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, free from sexual harassment and sexual violence.
A: Yes. Under Title IX, a school must process all complaints of sexual violence, regardless of where the conduct occurred, to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of an education program or activity or had continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus education program or activity.
- Title IX and what constitutes sexual violence, including same-sex sexual violence, under the school’s policies;
- the school’s definition of consent applicable to sexual conduct, including examples;
- how the school analyzes whether conduct was unwelcome under Title IX;
- how the school analyzes whether unwelcome sexual conduct creates a hostile environment;
- reporting options, including formal reporting and confidential disclosure options and any timeframes set by the school for reporting;
- the school’s grievance procedures used to process sexual violence complaints;
- disciplinary code provisions relating to sexual violence and the consequences of violating those provisions;
- effects of trauma, including neurobiological changes;
- the role alcohol and drugs often play in sexual violence incidents, including the deliberate use of alcohol and/or other drugs to perpetrate sexual violence;
- strategies and skills for bystanders to intervene to prevent possible sexual violence;
- how to report sexual violence to campus or local law enforcement and the ability to pursue law enforcement proceedings simultaneously with a Title IX grievance; and
- Title IX’s protections against retaliation.
For more information, please contact: Kimberly Carter, Equity & Compliance Director / Title IX Coordinator
at (229) 500-3304 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.