Title IX » FAQ


What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits any educational institution that receives federal financial assistance (such as grants or student loans) from discriminating on the basis of sex.

Does Title IX protect only students?

No. Title IX protects all persons from discrimination, including parents and guardians, students, and employees.  A school's obligation to respond appropriately to Title IX complaints is the same irrespective of sex of the parties involved.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sex-based harassment can take multiple forms. Harassers can be students, school staff, or even someone visiting the school, such as a student or employee from another school. Sexual harassment (including sexual violence) and gender-based harassment are forms of sex-based harassment addressed on this page.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence, as OCR uses the term, refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.

What is Gender-Based Harassment?

Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived sex. It includes slurs, taunts, stereotypes, or name-calling, as well as gender-motivated physical threats, attacks, or other hateful conduct.


What about online conduct?

"Education program or activity" encompasses all of a recipient's operations, which may include internet networks, digital platforms, and computer equipment owned or controlled by the recipient.  Sexually harassing conduct is not contingent on the method by which the conduct is perpetrated.


Retaliation is Prohibited

Individuals, schools, and districts may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with their Title IX rights; or because the individual filed a complaint, testified, participated, or refused to participate in a Title IX proceeding.  The exercise of First Amendment rights does no constitute retaliation.