What is the Title IX Law?

May 12, 2022 College, Criminal Defense

On June 23, 1972, Congress passed the law called Title IX of the Education Amendments. The law is in charge of barring sexual discrimination in both education programs and activities offered by universities.

Before the law passed in the 1970s, there were major inequalities in education faced by women. There were limited programs that women could be a part of, fewer scholarships offered, and they were typically excluded from anything considered a “male” program. As a result of the inequality in schools, there was only an 8 percent graduation rate in women who were 19 or older in 1970, in comparison to the 14 percent of male graduates at that time.

The Department of Justice enforces Title IX along with the following additional laws to prevent discrimination in Florida universities:

  • The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment: A law that makes sure all individuals are required to be treated equally, regardless of their sex.
  • The IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibits discrimination in public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibits the discrimination from employers in educational systems against the employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • Executive Order 13160 from 2000: Prohibits discrimination against employees in the education system on the basis of sex, race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and status as a parent in federally conducted training and educational programs.

Enforcing Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Assault

In addition to ensuring the enforcement of equal opportunities in schools, Title IX also covers sections on sexual assault. The Title IX law is used to make sure that school environments are safe and non-discriminatory for both faculty and students. The following are ways that the Department of Education has worked to enforce the prevention of sexual harassment and assault:

  • Prohibiting sex-based harassment by teachers and students, and how schools have to address any signs of harassment to prevent the recurrence.
  • Clarifying that sexual discrimination can include both biological sex harassment and gender stereotype harassment.
  • Ensuring there is protection for students with disabilities against sexual harassment.
  • Establishing systems across schools to prevent sex and gender-based harassment.

Example Cases

The following is a list of court cases in which the Title IX was enforced in Florida:

  • Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1998) and Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999): Both cases used the Department of Education to help establish principles that schools must provide a safe environment for the faculty and its students. Specifically, in the Davis case, the Title IX interpretation recognized that the school can be challenged by students who feel as if there was a failure in addressing harassment and can seek out court orders to ensure the school provides a safe learning environment.
  • L v. Mohawk Central School District (2010): The case was argued by the Department of Education that the school district had failed to prevent sex-based harassment when a student was harassed for failing to conform to gender stereotypes.
  • Pratt v. Indian River Central School District (2010): The case that helped clarify that Title IX prohibits not only sex-based discrimination based on biology, but also discrimination when a student’s appearance does not conform to stereotypes about how specific genders are presumed to act.
  • Lopez v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville (2010): The case resulted in the school district taking additional measures to prevent the sexual harassment of students with disabilities traveling on public school transportation systems. This case was a result of an alleged sexual assault on a special education bus.
  • AB v. Rhinebeck Central School District (2006): A court case resulting in the school district promising to develop and enforce a comprehensive plan to ensure a discrimination-free environment in school for all students, as well as revising sex-based harassment policies and training employees, board members, and students. The case was the result of alleged sexual harassment involving a high school principal.

Sex-based harassment and sexual assault are unfortunately still prominent issues across schools in the United States. The Title IX law is in place to try and enforce safer environments for both faculty and students. The Department of Justice continues to use Title IX at its disposal to try and combat sex discrimination. In the event that you have been accused of violating a Title IX law at a university in Florida, it is best to seek out the advice of a skilled defense attorney in your area.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

To find more information about Title IX or false sexual assault allegations in Florida, you can find our blog post here. Getting accused of sexual assault or a violation of Title IX is a serious offense in Florida. Students at Florida universities can face serious consequences such as losing their scholarships, getting expelled, and even facing criminal charges.

Don’t let an accusation prevent you from succeeding in your education career. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in violation of Title IX, make sure you prioritize reaching out to an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney. Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing young students across the state of Florida. We understand the importance of securing your future and your freedom. For a free consultation call us at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.

Written by Karissa Key

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