What Are Examples of Title IX Violations?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Title IX protects students across the country from sex-based discrimination in education.  These rules apply to any educational institution that receives federal funding, working to stop discrimination and other related issues that affect students.  Understanding what exactly Title IX prevents is often easier when you look at its protections in context.  The Title IX violation attorney at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin explains some examples of Title IX violations that students in high school and college might face.

Common Instances of Title IX Violations

Title IX applies to any school or educational institution that receives federal funding. This means that these examples come not only from public schools, but also from private schools – and not just from sex discrimination in college, but also from sex discrimination in high school. Even some libraries and museums are considered educational institutions for the purpose of Title IX protections, and those workers and patrons might also be protected by Title IX.

Some of these examples come from issues and debates that have been common in the news over the past few years, so they may look familiar. Others may be quite rare, but they would still violate Title IX.

Sex Discrimination in Sports

One of the areas that people immediately think of when it comes to Title IX is athletics. High school and college athletics are required to remain free from sex discrimination under Title IX. The most common issue people might face from discrimination in sports is the unavailability of a team for them. For “non-gendered” sports like track or swimming, schools are usually required to have teams for boys/men and girls/women. This means that if your school only has a boy’s swim team or only has a women’s track team, it is likely a Title IX violation.

For “gendered” sports, there must typically be an alternative sport for the other students to play. This is why schools usually opt to have a baseball team for male students and a softball team for female students. If there is no alternative team for the other gender, students typically must be permitted to join the team even if they are not the “right sex” for the sport. For example, many high schools have female kickers on their football teams, as there is no girl’s football team or alternative sport.

Sex Discrimination in Education

When it comes to classes and educational opportunities, examples of sex discrimination would typically include programs or opportunities that are unavailable to some students because of sex. For instance, if a school had a male health class and a female health class, this would not violate Title IX as long as both classes offer similar education. However, the school may still be required to offer a co-ed version of these classes to ensure equality.

Another clear example of sex discrimination in education deals with discrimination based on a student’s pregnancy. This is often found to violate Title IX because pregnancy is inherent to female biology, so discrimination based on pregnancy would inherently discriminate against women.

LGBTQ Discrimination

One of the biggest issues of sex discrimination in the news in recent years has been how schools handle LGBTQ students. Specifically, these issues often come down to locker rooms use, bathroom use, and participation in gendered sports for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students. Under the Obama administration, Title IX was used to instruct schools to allow students to use the bathroom or locker room they are most comfortable with. In recent years, there has been pushback by many across the country and reversal of many of these policies by the Trump Administration.

Gender discrimination is inherently done “on the basis of sex” because it deals with expectations and assumptions about another person’s sex, so many of these cases are still filed as sex discrimination claims, even with these new Title IX rules. Questions of which team trans athletes should participate on are still being decided throughout the country, but these issues likely qualify as Title IX gender discrimination violations as well.

Sexual Harassment

One of the strongest examples of Title IX issues is sexual harassment. Although this does not immediately seem like “discrimination,” any examples of rude comments or mistreatment of a sexual nature are inherently done “on the basis of sex.” Sexual harassment can violate Title IX whether it includes bullying, sexist comments, or mistreatment of someone because of their sex. Sexual harassment can also include quid pro quo harassment where opportunities or benefits are exchanged for or offered in exchange for sexual favors.

Sexual harassment in violation of Title IX can also involve workplace sexual harassment. Teachers, principals, and other educators are also protected from sex discrimination in their employment at federally funded schools.

On-Campus Sexual Assault

On college campuses, one of the number one Title IX issues is sexual assault on campus. Title IX creates rules and procedures that colleges need to follow for reporting and enforcement of policies and statistical research on safety from sexual assault. Because sexual assault is inherently linked to sex, and because female students face sexual assault at a disproportionate rate, sexual assault on college campuses is one of the biggest Title IX issues today. Institutional sexual assault (e.g., sexual assault by teachers or administrators) is also squarely within the issues governed by Title IX.


Lastly, students who face negative consequences, increased harassment, or disciplinary measures because they filed a Title IX complaint or lawsuit are protected from this kind of retaliation. This can allow them to seek further damages and protections for the retaliation.

Call Our Title IX Violation Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

If you or your child faced discrimination “on the basis of sex” while attending high school or college, call our civil rights attorney today. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s sex discrimination lawyer fights to get compensation and justice for victims of sex discrimination in high school and college. For a free legal consultation on your case, call us today at (814) 826-3586.


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