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Government Reminds K-12 Schools to Comply with Title IX

Government Reminds K-12 Schools to Comply with Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education issued new guidelines to remind K-12 school districts that they must be addressing sexual harassment and equal opportunities for male and female athletes as dictated by Title IX.

Title IX, a component of the Education Amendments of 1972, "protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance," and governs over "recruitment, admissions and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment," according to the Department of Education.

Though colleges often emerge in the spotlight over K-12 schools, especially in the realm of athletics and sexual harassment policies, the Department wants to ensure that K-12 districts understand the importance of compliance.

In California, Sweetwater Union High School District lost a 2007 lawsuit on behalf of its female softball players after it was proven the boys' baseball team had access to fields and equipment of superior condition while the girls' softball team was only given access to worn and rutted equivalents.

As a result of this suit and similar ones, a bill is moving through the California legislature that aims to "improve K-12 training in the Title IX regulations" to address a "critical need for training for school personnel," according to an article on EdSource.org.

The bill represents a need to address the issue that many school districts are unaware of what their responsibilities are to comply with Title IX; "[districts] have been required to have a Title IX coordinator since 1975," and many simply do not, the article said.

Specifically, "Jackson’s bill would require the California Department of Education to designate a county office of education to create an instructional video, paid for by the state, about Title IX compliance. "

The Department hopes that California's efforts will serve as example for the rest of the country should act and aims for its guidance to "prod districts into compliance with Title IX," the article said.

Read more here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/29/2015 

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