Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities in any school receiving federal funds. All educational programs and activities must operate free from discrimination and key areas addressed by Title IX include athletics; sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual violence; pregnant and parenting students; off-campus activities; recruitment and admission; and employment. Education institutions must protect against discrimination in these areas and prevent retaliation against any person for participating in any complaint action under Title IX. All students have equal opportunity to participate in any program or activity offered by their school, and cannot be discriminated against based on their race, nationality, gender, religion, or immigration status, among other characteristics.
Learn more about Title IX and Sex Discrimination enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at U.S. Department of Education and Gender Equity/Title IX and Equal Opportunity & Access enforced by the California Department of Education.
- Definition of Discrimination and Harassment based on Sex
- Filing a Title IX Complaint
- Student Rights under Title IX
- Related Policies
- Title IX Training Materials
For purposes of this chapter, harassment and other discrimination on the basis of sex include, but are not limited to, the following practices:
- On the basis of sex, exclusion of a person or persons from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or subjection to harassment or other discrimination in, any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity.
- On the basis of sex, provision of different amounts or types of student financial aid, limitation of eligibility for student financial aid, or the application of different criteria to applicants for student financial aid or for participation in the provision of student financial aid by others. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit an educational institution from administering, or assisting in the administration of, scholarships, fellowships, or other forms of student financial aid, established pursuant to domestic or foreign wills, bequests, trusts, or similar legal instruments or by acts of a foreign government, which require that awards be made to members of a particular sex; provided, that the overall effect of the award of these sex-restricted scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of student financial aid does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
- On the basis of sex, exclusion from participation in, or denial of equivalent opportunity in, athletic programs. For purposes of this subdivision, “equivalent” means equal or equal in effect.
- An educational institution may be found to have effectively accommodated the interests and abilities in athletics of both sexes within the meaning of Section 4922 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations as that section exists on January 1, 2003, using any one of the following tests:
- Whether interscholastic level participation opportunities for male and female pupils are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.
- Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, whether the school district can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of the members of that sex.
- Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, and the institution cannot show a history and continuing practice of program expansion as required in paragraph (2), whether the school district can demonstrate that the interest and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.
- If an educational institution must cut its athletic budget, the educational institution shall do so consistently with its legal obligation to comply with both state and federal gender equity laws.
- It is the intent of the Legislature that the three-part test articulated in subdivision (d) be interpreted as it has been in the policies and regulations of the Office of Civil Rights in effect on January 1, 2003.
- On the basis of sex, harassment or other discrimination among persons, including, but not limited to, students and nonstudents, or academic and nonacademic personnel, in employment and the conditions thereof, except as it relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.
- On the basis of sex, the application of any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a person, or the exclusion of any person from any program or activity or employment because of pregnancy or related conditions.
Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against in violation of Title IX may file a complaint with San José Unified or the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). If a crime is involved, such as sexual assault or rape, individuals may also file a report with the local police department.
A student who is the alleged victim of sexual harassment or the student's parent/guardian may submit a report of sexual harassment to the district's Title IX coordinator or to any other available school employee, who shall forward the report to the Title IX Coordinator within one day of receiving the report.
Any parent, guardian, individual, or organization has the right to file a written complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying on the basis of a protected characteristic within six months from the date the alleged incident occurred or when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged incident. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. Complaints involving sexual harassment as defined under the Title IX regulations, are not limited to the six-month statute of limitation.
The Uniform Complaint (UCP) process provides any parent, guardian, individual, or organization with the right to file a written complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying on the basis of a protected characteristic within six months from the date that the complainant became aware of the alleged violation. Complaints involving sexual harassment as defined under the Title IX regulations, are not limited to the six month statute of limitations.
Upon receiving such a report, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the complainant of the process for filing a formal complaint and the right to file a formal complaint. Upon receipt of a report of Title IX sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures.
Supportive measures are nondisciplinary, nonpunitive and designed to restore or preserve equal access to the district's education program or activity, and are offered as appropriate, as reasonably available and without charge to the complainant or respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. San José Unified maintains confidentiality of the supportive measures that are provided to the complainant or respondent.
When a formal complaint of sexual harassment is filed, the district may offer an informal resolution process, such as mediation, at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The district shall not require a party to participate in the informal resolution process or to waive the right to an investigation and adjudication of a formal complaint.
If a formal complaint is filed, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide the known parties with written notice of the following:
- The district's complaint process, including any informal resolution process
- The allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment with sufficient details known at the time, including the identity of parties involved in the incident if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident if known. Such notice shall be provided with sufficient time for the parties to prepare a response before any initial interview. If, during the course of the investigation, new Title IX allegations arise about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial notice, the Title IX Coordinator shall provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties.
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the complaint process
- The opportunity for the parties to have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and the ability to inspect and review evidence
- The prohibition against knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the complaint process
The notice will include the name of the investigator, the facilitator of an informal process, and the decision-maker. Either party will have no less than three calendar days to raise concerns of conflict of interest or bias regarding any of these persons. Any concerns should immediately be raised to the Title IX coordinator. The Superintendent shall designate an employee as the decision-maker to determine responsibility for the alleged conduct, who shall not be the Title IX Coordinator or a person involved in the investigation of the matter.
After the investigative report has been sent to the parties but before reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the decision-maker shall provide each party with the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that the party wants asked of any party or witness, provide each party with the answers, and allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party. The decision-maker shall issue, and simultaneously provide to both parties, a written decision as to whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged conduct.
The written decision shall be issued within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint. The timeline may be temporarily extended for good cause with written notice to the complainant and respondent of the extension and the reasons for the action. In making this determination, the district shall use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for all formal complaints of sexual harassment. The same standard of evidence shall be used for formal complaints against students as for complaints against employees.
The written decision shall include the following:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in 34 CFR 106.30
- A description of the procedural steps taken from receipt of the formal complaint through the written decision, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held if the district includes hearings as part of the grievance process
- Findings of fact supporting the determination
- Conclusions regarding the application of the district’s code of conduct to the facts
- A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a decision regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the district imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the district’s educational program or activity will be provided by the district to the complainant
- The district’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal
During the investigation process, the district's designated investigator shall:
- Provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence
- Not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence
- Provide the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney
- Not limit the choice or presence of an advisor for either the complainant or respondent in any meeting or grievance proceeding, although the district may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the advisor may participate in the proceedings as long as the restrictions apply equally to both parties
- Provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate
- Send in an electronic format or hard copy to both parties and their advisors, if any, the evidence that is directly related to the allegations raised in the complaint, and provide the parties at least 10 days to submit a written response for the investigator to consider prior to the completion of the investigative report
- Objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and determine credibility in a manner that is not based on a person's status as a complainant, respondent, or witness
- Create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and, at least 10 days prior to the determination of responsibility, send to the parties and their advisors, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and written response
Questions and evidence about the complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant's prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Privacy rights of all parties to the complaint shall be maintained in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. If the complaint is against an employee, rights conferred under an applicable collective bargaining agreement shall be applied to the extent they do not conflict with the Title IX requirements.
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaint
A complainant may file a Title IX complaint with the OCR by following these guidelines. The OCR requires that the complaint be filed within 180 calendar days after the alleged violation. Please contact OCR or visit their website if you have any questions or concerns about this time requirement.
The list of rights are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.).
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following: Equipment and supplies; Scheduling of games and practices; Transportation and daily allowances; Access to tutoring; Coaching; Locker rooms; Practice and competitive facilities; Medical and training facilities and services; Publicity.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
|Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities
|Nondiscrimination in Employment
|Sexual Harassment - Personnel
|Sexual Harassment - Employees
|Sexual Harassment - Employees
|Conduct - Students
|Suicide Prevention - Students
|Nondiscrimination/Harassment - Students
|Sexual Harassment - Students
|Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures
|Extracurricular And Cocurricular Activities