This blog was written by Founder, Megan Farrell.
School is back in session and with it, campuses have faced new Title IX challenges. After nearly a year of online instruction, students have returned to the classroom. The scope of Title IX was decisively expanded through federal action this summer. While the start of school is often busy for Title IX Coordinators, it has been particularly busy this year. Here are some of our observations:
- Reporting of Title IX incidents has increased
- Administrators are still unclear about how to implement the Final Rule on Title IX
- Campuses continue to be challenged with proper response to Respondent behavior
Reporting of incidents has increased.
While it should be no surprise that Title IX offices are receiving more reports of student bad behavior, it goes beyond the fact that the students are mingling together. What we have confirmed over the past month is that students in both the K12 and college environment elect to report to a trusted staff member or not at all. It is rare for the students to utilize all the processes that an institution might have online, and even rarer for them to use anonymous complaint systems.
As a Title IX officer, the implications for this are important. At the college level, institutions need to be clear about who is obligated to report to the Title IX office and who is not, and ensure that employees understand these obligations. It is more complicated at K12s, where ALL employees have an obligation to report unless they are licensed mental health professionals. If a K12 school does not have these professionals on campus, they need to identify external confidential resources for students. In addition, staff members need to understand their obligations to report and their inability to keep student reports confidential.
Administrators are still unclear about how to implement the Final Rule on Title IX.
Despite the sweeping changes campuses made to policies and procedures to comply with the Final Rule on Title IX, campus administrators remain confused. Even if you have put in place extensive training, you still may have staff who are inexperienced in this process, leading to procedural missteps and running the risk of costly litigation from respondents. As complicated and perhaps illogical the process may seem to administrators, the Final Rule has the force and effect of law and, thus, Title IX Coordinators must ensure it is followed.
Campuses continue to be challenged with proper response to Respondent behavior.
Regardless of the changes made to the Title IX process, one key challenge remains – how to address improper behavior by respondents. If a formal or informal process is followed, Title IX coordinators are frequently left with few choices about how to address bad student behavior beyond the suspension or expulsion process. Many of the matters investigated under the Title IX process do not give rise to such serious discipline but do require some action.
If you want to learn more about a results-oriented Respondent program, join us for “Title IX Thursdays” this week on October 7 from 12:30-1:00PM PDT, when Chelsea Jacoby reviews the program that she developed with mental health professionals to address and alter respondent behavior.
Sign up here: Title IX Thursdays – http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=e4pj6dbbb&oeidk=a07eigqwyb17a0d698d
Also, be sure to check out our, K12 Investigator Training – http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=e4pj6dbbb&oeidk=a07eigupvvg25368a5d