What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education. This encompasses a broad scope of functions, and we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief summary Title IX’s laws and regulations, in order for Berea College students, faculty, and staff to be aware of their rights under this amendment.
- Title IX protects ALL people regardless of their sex.
- Schools must have a Title IX Coordinator and their contact information must be publicly accessible on the school’s website. Berea College’s Title IX coordinator, Katie Basham’s contact information can be found here.
- Schools are required to protect pregnant and parenting students against discrimination. For example:
- Schools are required to excuse absences related to pregnancy as long as it is deemed medically necessary by a physician.
- Schools must allow pregnant and parenting students to participate in the programs and activities of their choice, and should not require a doctor’s note to participate unless it is required for other medical conditions or disabilities
- Schools must have an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. If you would like to learn more, Berea College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found here and our procedures can be found here.
- Schools must take immediate action to ensure a victim can continue their education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. There are a number of different ways a college can assist a victim, even BEFORE a formal complaint, investigation, and hearing has taken place. Here are a few examples:
- Issue a “No Contact Order.” This is a directive that forbids the accused to contact the victim in any way including: phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messaging.) This is enforced by Public Safety.
- Make appropriate accommodations to ensure the victim’s safety. Such accommodations might include: housing changes, or schedule adjustments for work, class, and extracurricular activities.
- Schools may not retaliate against anyone filing a complaint and must keep the victim safe from other retaliatory behavior. This means that if a victim comes to the school with a complaint, the school cannot discredit or discriminate against the victim for their complaint. Any retaliation can and should be reported in a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Education.
- In cases of sexual violence, a school is prohibited from resolving the complaint through mediation between the accused and complainant-victim. Schools are also discouraged from allowing the accused to question the complainant during a hearing. If your school allows this, consider getting an attorney or other legal advocate to help you through the process and file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education.
- If you need counseling, campus housing changes, or other remedies in order to continue your education, your school is obligated to provide these at no cost to you.
- Remember if your school fails to comply by these rules you can always file a formal Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education to enforce your rights to education under Title IX.