Title IX is a federal law that prohibits any educational institution that receives federal financial assistance (such as grants or student loans) from discriminating on the basis of sex.
Does Title IX Protect Only Students?
No. Title IX protects everyone who interacts with a school from discrimination, including parents and guardians, students, employees, and applicants.
What is Sex-Based Harassment?
Sex-based harassment can take multiple forms. Harassers can be students, school staff, or even someone visiting the school, such as a student or employee from another school. Sexual harassment (including sexual violence) is a form of sex-based harassment.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment refers to sex-based conduct that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) quid pro quo harassment by an employee of an educational institution—meaning that an employee offers something to a student or other person in exchange for sexual conduct; (2) unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an education program or activity; or (3) sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act (pdf)), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking (as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (pdf)). Each of these categories of misconduct is a serious violation that jeopardizes a victim’s equal access to education.
What are the Responsibilities of School Districts, Colleges, and Universities Under Title IX to Address Sex-Based Harassment?
When a school has actual knowledge of sexual harassment in any of its programs or activities that take place in the United States, it must respond promptly in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent. A school is deliberately indifferent if its response to sexual harassment is clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The Title IX Coordinator must promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed, and to explain the process for filing a formal complaint.
In addition, if a formal complaint is filed, either by the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator, a school must:
- offer supportive measures to the respondent, and
- follow the Title IX grievance process specified by the 2020 amendments.
Belhaven University has a Christian identity and mission, and views itself as protected by the religious school’s exemption provided by Title IX from any government policies or interpretations that interfere or violate its religious beliefs and identity. This includes the University’s standards regarding sexuality and gender, as more fully described in the University’s Statements of Faith and Mission, as well as described in the various behavioral standards for faculty, staff, and students. Those with questions regarding this exemption and its reach should contact the office of the Provost.
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