FAQs

Does Title IX only deal with athletics?

No.  Athletic programs are only a small part of Title IX.  The other components Title IX covers are:
•    Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships
•    Course Offerings and Access
•    Counseling
•    Hiring and Retention of Employees
•    Benefits and Leave
Title IX also strictly prohibits any and all sexual harassment.

Does title IX only protect discrimination against women?

No.  It does not only protect women, while it is primarily utilized by women it is also put in place to protect men from any discrimination.

What are the key differences between a school’s Title IX investigation into allegations of sexual violence and a criminal investigation?

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. The U.S. Constitution affords criminal defendants who face the risk of incarceration numerous protections, including, but not limited to, the right to counsel, the right to a speedy trial, the right to a jury trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confrontation. In addition, government officials responsible for criminal investigations (including police and prosecutors) normally have discretion as to which complaints from the public they will investigate.

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. Because the standards for pursuing and completing criminal investigations are different from those used for Title IX investigations, the termination of a criminal investigation without an arrest or conviction does not affect the school’s Title IX obligations.

Of course, criminal investigations conducted by local or campus law enforcement may be useful for fact gathering if the criminal investigation occurs within the recommended timeframe for Title IX investigations; but, even if a criminal investigation is ongoing, a school must still conduct its own Title IX investigation.

A school should notify complainants of the right to file a criminal complaint and should not dissuade a complainant from doing so either during or after the school’s internal Title IX investigation. Title IX does not require a school to report alleged incidents of sexual violence to law enforcement, but a school may have reporting obligations under state, local, or other federal laws.

 

Taken from Department of Education/Office of Civil Rights,”Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.” April,2014.