New Title IX regulations went into effect yesterday, August 14, 2020. These new regulations address sexual harassment and due process concerns raised by student advocate groups.
The following are some of the key takeaways from the new regulations:
1. School districts are required to change their policies addressing Title IX. TASB Update 115 includes a change to Board Policy FFH and DIA, which incorporates the new Title IX requirements. If you have not already adopted TASB Update 115, we recommend that you do so as soon as possible to ensure your school district is in compliance with Title IX regulations.
2. A school district must respond promptly to sexual harassment complaints when it has actual knowledge of the harassment. The new regulations state that a school district’s duty to respond is now triggered if any employee of a K-12 school district has actual knowledge of the sexual harassment. We highly recommend that school districts provide training to all employees. Staff training should focus on how to recognize potential sexual harassment and how to promptly report sexual harassment. Additionally, Title IX coordinators and other employees who may be involved in the investigation or determination of complaints must also be trained on the formal complaint process. Our attorneys are always available to help our school district clients meet their training requirements – please do not hesitate to reach out.
3. School districts must adopt a formal Title IX complaint process that complies with the legal requirements of Title IX. This formal process is separate from the District’s normal grievance procedures and must be posted on the District’s website. To determine responsibility in a formal Title IX complaint, the District shall use a preponderance of the evidence standard. Our attorneys can help guide our school district clients in developing procedures that meet all of the requirements of Title IX and that are tailored to the unique needs of your school district.
By: Kristi Godden & Audra Welter, Attorneys