What is Considered a Title IX Violation?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Title IX of the Education Amendments is one of the biggest pieces of civil rights legislation protecting students and employees in education across the country.  This legislation protects against sex-based discrimination in education, from funding and availability of programs to admissions and opportunities.  Victims of sex and gender discrimination may be able to file Title IX complaints and lawsuits to seek compensation and corrective measures for their discrimination.  Title IX violation lawyer Andrew Shubin discusses what exactly qualifies as a Title IX violation and how you can fight for justice after experiencing sex discrimination in education.

What Constitutes a Title IX Violation?

To qualify as a Title IX violation, two major elements must be met.  First, the violation must be discrimination “on the basis of sex.”  Second, the discrimination must occur in an educational setting in a program or institution that receives federal funding.  Our civil rights violation attorney will explain each of these elements in detail:

Types of Title IX Discrimination

Sex discrimination typically refers to difference of opportunity or outcome based on the individual’s sex.  Educational programs are required to treat men and women (or boys and girls) equally, to the best of their ability.

Discrimination can qualify as a Title IX violation in many areas of education.  One of the most visible and discussed ways that Title IX violations occur is in the realm of sports.  Student-athletes need to be given equal treatment, equal promotion of their events, equal funding, and equal opportunities in education.  Even outside of school sports, Title IX covers many types of discrimination:

  • Grading discrimination
  • Discriminatory funding for gendered programs
  • Discriminatory dress codes
  • Discriminatory enforcement of school rules
  • Violence targeted at certain genders
  • Discrimination in crime and violence prevention or investigation
  • Sexual violence and institutional sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Gendered slurs or bullying

In addition to these direct examples of discrimination, it is also a Title IX violation to retaliate against someone for making a Title IX complaint.  For instance, a student who complains that her women’s sports team receives unequal funding cannot be dropped from the team to punish her for the complaint.

Employment discrimination in education is also covered under Title IX, and teachers and professors can often file Title IX employment discrimination complaints.

Federally Funded Programs

Title IX is legislation passed by the federal government.  The federal government has a limited scope in what it has the power to police and enforce, and there typically must be some connection to interstate travel, interstate trade, or federal funding to give the U.S. government the power to write laws on a certain topic.  Because of this, Title IX only applies to federally funded educational institutions.  This is usually a good thing for victims of discrimination because it increases the reach of these rules.

Nearly every elementary school, high school, and college receives federal grants and funding of some kind.  Even many private schools – both K-12 and college – receive federal funding to help pay for programs and admissions.  Because of this, any of the violations listed above could be a Title IX violation at nearly any school.

In addition to schools, educational institutions like museums and libraries are often covered by Title IX and must avoid discrimination.

Title IX Discrimination for Sex and Gender Issues

Title IX is typically said to cover sex and gender discrimination.  Technically, the law only explicitly protects discrimination “on the basis of sex” and does not use the term “gender.”  Under the Obama administration, Title IX was typically interpreted to cover discrimination based on gender or gender presentation, since both of these are tied to expectations about sex.  Under the Trump administration, many of these rules have been rolled back, but victims of gender discrimination can still seek justice in many cases by filing a Title IX complaint.

LGBTQ students often face serious discrimination that should be interpreted as a Title IX violation.  This can include discrimination based on preferred name or pronoun usage, bathroom or changing room usage, and participation in gendered sports, as well as violence, sexual assault, and bullying based on their gender or gender presentation.  Our attorneys work to advocate for victims of gender discrimination as well as sex discrimination.

What Happens After a Title IX Violation?

As mentioned, retaliation for a Title IX violation is illegal.  This means that if you bring a Title IX complaint or a lawsuit for Title IX discrimination, you should not face harassment or retribution for reporting the violation and advocating for your own civil rights.

The actual process of what happens next is often complex.  You may make a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights, a branch of the Department of Education that oversees Title IX violations.  You may also file a lawsuit in court to seek compensation for the violation you suffered.  Your attorney can guide you through this process and fight to advocate for your rights and help you and other students or employees like you avoid facing future discrimination.  In addition, our lawyers will fight for fair compensation for the violation you faced.

Call Our Title IX Sex and Gender Discrimination Attorney for a Free Legal Consult

If you or your child faced discrimination based on their sex or gender in high school, college, or any other federally funded program or institution, they may be entitled to file a discrimination lawsuit under Title IX.  Our Title IX discrimination attorney at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin may be able to take your case and fight for justice in your education discrimination or educational employment discrimination lawsuit.  For a free legal consultation on your case, call our attorney today at (814) 826-3586.


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