Title IX exists to protect people’s civil rights. It is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against anyone based on their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation regarding federally funded educational programs and activities. Title IX also covers any type of sexual harassment and sexual violence that could make educational benefits and opportunities inaccessible.
Because Title IX pertains to education, schools must lawfully provide equal access to all people regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. To prevent a person from using an educational facility or participating in an educational program based on any of these forms of discrimination is a direct violation of Title IX.
Schools thus have a responsibility to both address any violations of Title IX experienced by a student or an employee, as well as work proactively to prevent discrimination from occurring. If a violation occurs, the school administration must acknowledge and address its impact on the student body, the staff, and the school culture as a whole. The administration and school board must have processes in place in order to properly and thoroughly investigate reported cases of gender-based violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and discrimination.
Some examples of these types of violations include:
All schools that receive federal funding are required to comply with Title IX. Many people believe its regulations only apply to sports, but Title IX covers all students, faculty, and staff of all genders, sexes, and sexual orientations to prevent them from being discriminated against for these identities.
If you feel you have experienced any kind of discrimination based on these identities, including sexual harassment, sexual violence or retaliation, a skilled, empathetic, and passionate Title IX attorney in West Palm Beach, FL can offer advocacy and justice in the face of victimization. It is important to know that you are not alone in this process and that you have guaranteed rights under Florida and federal law.
Title IX violations are, at the very least, uncomfortable. More often, they are traumatizing mentally and physically for victims. For this reason, the Department of Education and the US government make continual alterations and add specifications so that educational institutions and the employees and students who work and study therein are protected against the types of discrimination described in this law.
A Title IX violation may be perceived differently by the victim and alleged perpetrator, but that does not negate its validity. If your perception of a situation is causing you emotional or physical distress and creating an environment that feels unsafe or unable to fulfill your duties as a student or employee, a Title IX attorney can help you proceed with the next steps to determine the right way to handle a potential case.
New regulations from the Department of Education and the US government are underway and are expected for official release in October 2023. These expanded regulations are expected to offer broader protection against discrimination and to include pregnancy and related conditions, sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, and gender identity. Revisions may also include more specific guidelines regarding off-campus conduct that could contribute to a hostile work or educational environment for students and staff, as well as more precise wording regarding sex-based harassment.
Title IX includes cases such as sexual harassment, which occurs when a person is forced to deal with gender-based comments, discriminatory behavior oriented toward their gender or sex, and/or unwanted sexual advances from another person or multiple people. Repeated subjugation to requests for sexual favors or other derogatory comments that are sexual in nature is also considered to be sexual harassment under Title IX law. Such instances interfere with a person’s right to receive an education, an educator or staff member’s ability to perform their job comfortably and according to their skills, and people’s right to participate in educational activities and programming.
A common example of Title IX violations in an athletic setting is gender discrimination. For instance, if an athletic coach treats female athletes in a sexist manner, the coach discriminates against these students because of their sex. Similarly, a school that offers athletic programs for only one sex, or does not allow a student to participate in a sport because of their sex, is in violation of Title IX regulations.
As with any federal law, unintended consequences can ensue. While originally created to promote equality in education for different genders, in some instances, it has had the opposite effect and has caused schools to eliminate programming instead of expanding it, citing excessive financial burden. There has also been a decrease in women’s collegiate coaching since the 1970s when more men became interested in coaching women’s sports in order to reap the benefits of increased opportunity and higher wages.
If you or a loved one feels they have been wrongly accused of discrimination based on gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation, it is imperative to have an aggressive and knowledgeable legal defense on your side. Nellie L. King has handled thousands of cases in her career and has been repeatedly recognized for excellence in the legal community. King and her partner Anne P. Williamson are dedicated to affording their clients a personalized, compassionate, and hands-on experience throughout the entire process and are passionate about helping those accused of crimes.
Title IX laws exist to protect all students and employees who study or work in federally funded institutions. They extend to all aspects of education and educational programming so that victims of discrimination have recourse if they are kept from accessing these resources or working in a non-hostile environment. If you are a victim of Title IX violation, you deserve respect and the chance to tell your story. Contact our law office to speak to a passionate and dedicated attorney who will devote themselves to shining a light on discrimination. Use our online form to schedule a free consultation.