What is Title IX in College?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Title IX is a set of federal antidiscrimination rules that make it illegal for any educational institution that receives federal funding to discriminate “on the basis of sex.”  These rules apply broadly to high schools and colleges – including public and private institutions.  Generally speaking, these rules prevent sex discrimination in funding, sports, educational opportunities, and other areas.  Our Title IX sex discrimination attorney at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin explains more about what Title IX is and what it does for college students.

What Does Title IX Do for College Students?

Title IX is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and it was first instituted to give girls and women equal access and opportunities in education.  These laws have done a lot to level the playing field and ensure women have access to quality college educations, collegiate athletics opportunities, and freedom from discrimination and harassment while pursuing their degrees.  However, schools do not always follow Title IX’s rules, and many students may be able to seek compensation and file complaints for sex discrimination in college.

Sex discrimination applies broadly, covering many areas of discrimination.  The clearest type of discrimination occurs when a female student is denied an education opportunity or funding that a male opportunity is permitted.  In colleges, this typically ensures that school-sponsored programs and extracurricular activities are treated equally.  This means giving similar funding and access to gendered educational programs, men’s and women’s sports, fraternities and sororities, and other programs.  It also means preventing discrimination against women because of pregnancy.

Another type of sex-based discrimination is sexual harassment.  If students are harassed, bullied, or treated unfairly because of their sex, this can constitute sex discrimination.  This would also include quid pro quo sexual harassment, where increased grades or opportunities might be explicitly or implicitly offered in exchange for sexual favors.  If this kind of harassment is committed by the administration or by school employees, it is obviously the institution’s fault – but the institution can also be held responsible if they turn a blind eye to this kind of harassment from other students or fail to punish serious harassment.

Title IX and Sexual Assault and Rape on Campus

One of Title IX’s biggest issues in colleges is sexual assault and sexual violence.  The college or university is typically responsible for ensuring safety on campus, and part of that means implementing sexual assault policies for preventing assaults, reporting accusations, handling accusations, and punishing responsible parties.  These offenses are committed disproportionately against women, which makes this an issue for Title IX.  Many of the plans and guidelines for how colleges must handle sexual assault on campus come from Title IX, and mishandling of an incident may allow lawsuits against the school.

Title IX for LGBTQ College Students

Under Obama-era Title IX rules, colleges and educational institutions were instructed to treat Title IX as extending to “gender discrimination,” as well as “sex discrimination.”  This gave strong protections to gender non-conforming, trans, and non-binary students.  However, under the Trump Administration, many of these rules are being questioned and policies are being rolled back.  Still, our attorney is willing to fight your case on the basis of sex discrimination and work to advance your claim if you were discriminated against for being trans, if you were denied use of the bathroom you are most comfortable with, or if you faced discrimination in housing, extracurricular activities, athletics, or educational programs because of your gender.

Suing for Title IX Violations in College

Students who were subject to discrimination that violates Title IX may be entitled to sue their college for failing to prevent discrimination.  This means that students who have faced unfair policies, inequality in funding or opportunities, sexual harassment or abuse, or other instances of Title IX violations are often entitled to file a civil lawsuit against their school for compensation.

Our attorneys can help you understand how to progress your claim and what your case might be worth.  In many instances, sex-based discrimination may carry damages that you faced, such as out of pocket expenses that should have been paid through proper funding, or damages for educational opportunities you missed because of your sex or gender.

With cases of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, the damages might be more concrete.  Damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from institutional sexual assault can be claimed if the school was complicit in the incident or if one of their employees was responsible.  Damages for the emotional distress and embarrassment of sexual harassment can also be claimed and may be substantial.

Retaliation Lawsuits for Title IX Claims

One of the other protections contained in Title IX is the protection against retaliation.  This means that if you file a Title IX complaint against your school, they cannot use that complaint or lawsuit as an excuse to punish you or mistreat you in retaliation for the claim.  If you are negatively treated because you stood up for yourself, you may be entitled to file additional claims and complaints against the school, seeking additional damages for the retaliation.  Call a lawyer to help you handle your case and combat potential retaliation so that you can continue your educational career in peace.

Call Our Title IX Lawyers for Sex Discrimination at Colleges and Universities

If you are a college student or have a child who is a college student that faced sex or gender discrimination, contact our civil rights violation attorneys today.  The Law Office of Andrew Shubin represents victims of sex and gender discrimination related to college athletics, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other areas of Title IX protections.  For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (814) 826-3586.


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