Notice to Individuals Regarding Title IX Sexual Harassment/Discrimination
Marion County Public Schools (the “District”) is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. The District does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its education or employment programs or activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), its regulations, and certain other federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in such a manner. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment.
Title IX’s requirement not to discriminate in any of the District’s education programs or activities applies to both students and employees and extends to both admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations to the District may be referred to a District Title IX Coordinator, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, or both:
The District is committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex. To the extent that any District policy or procedure regarding discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex (as defined by Title IX) conflicts with the Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020, Title IX and its regulations will control.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX.
Although Title IX is best known for breaking down barriers in sports for women and girls, Title IX and its regulations also require that schools adopt specific grievance procedures to address formal complaints of sexual harassment (as that term is defined by Title IX.)
The District’s policies and procedures for addressing reports and complaints of sex-based discrimination (including sexual harassment) are intended to comply with Title IX and its regulations. To the extent that they conflict with Title IX or its regulations, Title IX and its regulations will control.
Title IX Coordinators
Who are the Title IX Coordinators?
The District has appointed two Title IX Coordinators to coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with its responsibilities under Title IX and its regulations.
Who can contact a Title IX Coordinator?
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, to the Title IX Coordinator, regardless of whether the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment.
How can I contact a Title IX Coordinator?
Any person can contact the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, telephone, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed above, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. A report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone numbers or electronic mail addresses, or by mail to the office address listed for the Title IX Coordinator.
Sexual Harassment Under Title IX
What is sexual harassment?
Title IX defines sexual harassment as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
A District employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the District on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the District’s education program or activity; or
Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
How does the District respond to reports of sexual harassment?
All students and employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator. Upon receiving a report of sexual harassment in an education program or activity, a Title IX Coordinator will contact the complainant (the individual alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment) to discuss the availability of supportive measures and explain the process for filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment.
The District also reserves the right to remove a respondent (the alleged perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment) from its education program or activity on an emergency basis, subject to the requirements of Title IX and its regulations.
What is a formal complaint of sexual harassment?
Either a complainant or a Title IX Coordinator can file a formal complaint alleging sexual harassment against a respondent.
To qualify as a formal complaint, the document must be filed by a complainant (a document or electronic submission that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint) or signed by a Title IX Coordinator. The document must allege sexual harassment against a respondent and request that the District investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the District’s education program or activity.
How does the District respond to formal complaints of sexual harassment?
Formal complaints of sexual harassment trigger the grievance procedures prescribed by Title IX and its regulations. The District’s grievance procedures for formal complaints of sexual harassment and complaints including allegations of sexual harassment are set forth in District Procedure 09.428111 AP.11 referenced below.
Title IX Policies and Procedures
Copies of these policies and procedures can be accessed online here or be requested from a Title IX Coordinator.