Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination in any education program or activity that is supported by federal monies. On April 24, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) reminded schools receiving federal dollars that they must designate at least one employee to coordinate Title IX compliance and released a guidance package relating to Title IX compliance.
Each school district must have a designated Title IX coordinator at all times. The Title IX coordinator is responsible for coordinating their school district’s compliance with Title IX. Responsibilities of the Title IX coordinator include:
- Drafting and revising Title IX policies and procedures for the district.
- Training and educating staff regarding Title IX obligations and the district’s complaint resolution process.
- Implementing and administering the Title IX complaint resolution process, including working with law enforcement and other investigators when necessary, and ensuring complaints are resolved promptly and appropriately.
- Coordinating all of the district’s Title IX complaints to monitor outcomes, identify patterns, and assess the district climate for compliance.
The following are important to consider when appointing your Title IX coordinator:
- The OCR recommends the Title IX coordinator be independent, and be structured to report to senior leadership, such as the Superintendent.
- To avoid potential conflicts of interest, the OCR recommends the Title IX coordinator should not be the dean of students, superintendent, principal, or athletics director.
- The OCR encourages larger school districts to consider dedicating a full-time employee to serve as Title IX coordinator for the entire district or designating a Title IX coordinator for each school.
The guidance issued by OCR includes a letter to coordinators and a separate letter to education administrators explaining the role of a Title IX coordinator, as well as a Title IX resource guide, which provides information about applying Title IX to various aspects of school programs, including athletics. The guidance can be found at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/75861.