SB 1375: Requirement that a School District, Charter School, or Private School Publicize Their Responsibilities and Students' Rights under Title IX

Passed in September 2016, SB 1375 requires any public or private school, charter school, school district, or county office of education that is subject to federal Title IX requirements to publicly post to the school’s website by July 1, 2017:

  1. The school’s responsibilities under Title IX,
  2. Students’ rights under Title IX,
  3. Contact information for the entity’s Title IX Coordinator, and
  4. A description of how to file a complaint under Title IX.

Background                                                          

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 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.”

Title IX applies all educational institutions that receive federal funds. Although Title IX is often thought of in terms of athletic opportunities, Title IX also impacts recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; and discipline.

Each school (or school district) must designate at least one employee to coordinate their efforts to comply with and carry out their responsibilities under Title IX.  This designated employee is referred to as the “Title IX Coordinator” and is responsible for coordinating the school’s or district’s responses to all complaints involving possible sex discrimination. This responsibility includes monitoring outcomes, identifying and addressing any patterns, and assessing effects on the campus climate.

In passing SB 1375, the State found that school districts were often unaware of their responsibilities and requirements under Title IX.  As such, the law requires schools to publicly and prominently post their Title IX obligations to the school’s website by July 1, 2017.

SB 1375 Requirements:

As of July 1 2017, a school must post:

1. The name and contact information (including phone and email address) of their Title IX Coordinator;

2. Students’ rights and the School’s responsibilities under Title IX, including links to:

3. A description of how to file a complaint under Title IX, including:

  •  An explanation of the statute of limitations within which a complaint must be filed after an alleged incident of discrimination (ordinarily, within 180 days);
  •  An explanation of how a complaint will be investigated by the school/school district/county office of education, and how the individual may further pursue a complaint if unsatisfied with the outcome, including a link to The U.S. Dept. of Ed. Office of Civil Rights’ webpage on how to file a complaint; and
  •  Contact information to the U.S. Dept. of Ed Office of Civil Rights (phone and email address), and a link to OCR’s complaints form.

If a school does not maintain a website, it may comply with SB 1375 by posting the above information on the website of its school district or county office of education.

If you would like further assistance with complying with SB 1375, understanding your school’s obligations under Title IX, or creating the policies and procedures under which your Title IX Coordinator will operate, please contact us here at Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker LLP.

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