Know Your IX: Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student who has experienced violence or harassment, you may have the right to seek support and justice through your school under Title IX. Title IX protects all students, faculty, and staff in federally funded education programs and activities. If you attend a public elementary or secondary school, your school is subject to Title IX. Title IX also applies to private, parochial, or other schools if they receive federal funding through various programs.

[For more detailed answer to each question, see the full FAQs.]

Is what I report under Title IX confidential? If you are under age 18 some people may be required by mandatory reporting laws to disclose certain kinds of abuse to a government agency.

Who does Title IX protect? Title IX protects all students at your school, including male and genderqueer students, from sexual violence and all types of sex discrimination.

Does Title IX protect me if I was harassed, abused, or assaulted by a school employee? Yes

Does Title IX protect me if I wasn’t harassed, bullied, abused, or assaulted at school? Title IX requires schools to address a hostile educational environment even when the abuse occurs off campus, such as the school bus, extracurricular activity, or online.

What if my assailant doesn’t go to my school? The appropriate response for your school to take will differ depending on the level of control your school has over the alleged perpetrator.

What if I was assaulted by a non-student, such as a family member? Title IX recognizes that students often experience the continuing effects of off-campus sexual violence while at school. Therefore, your school should consider the impacts of off-campus violence on your education.

What are my rights to accommodations under Title IX? Title IX requires schools to provide student survivors reasonable accommodations (like free counseling services or class changes) needed to stay in school and enjoy equal access to educational opportunities. Your school should provide you these accommodations and services free of charge.

What accommodations do I have a right to without a school investigation? You have a right to reasonable remedies and accommodations even if you choose not to participate in an investigation, including:

  • support services like counseling or academic tutoring
  • changed course schedules, assignments, or exams
  • increased supervision or security at locations or activities where the violence occurred

For which accommodations do I need to go through a school investigation first? If you want your school to take disciplinary action (like suspension or long-term class changes) against your perpetrator, you’ll likely need to consent to your school initiating a disciplinary investigation of the violence. Your perpetrator will be confronted by a school official during this process. It is unlikely that you will be able to remain anonymous from your perpetrator as a result.

To what accommodations do I have a right while an investigation is under way? Interim accommodations are provided while an investigation is still under way. If you decline these remedies before an investigation, and then later decide you would like to access them, your school should provide them to you.

What if I become pregnant? If you become pregnant as the result of rape, you may have many medical, legal, and academic concerns. Title IX also protects students who have become pregnant as a result of consensual sex.

What if I just don’t feel safe at school? Your school’s Title IX coordinator should take every reasonable step to make you safe and comfortable at school. This could include providing you an escort or other added security, disciplining your perpetrator, and/or providing anti-violence education to the student body.

How will this affect my grades? What if I am applying to college as well? Many young survivors go on to apply to and thrive in college. Schools should provide reasonable accommodations to students in order to ensure they don’t suffer academic penalties for surviving violence.

What prevention education and programming should the school implement? Schools should provide age-appropriate training to students regarding Title IX and sexual violence.

What can I do if I am suffering or have suffered retaliation? Title IX makes it unlawful for your school to retaliate against you. If you report violence to your school, assist in a classmate’s complaint, or make a civil rights complaint to any state or federal agency, it is unlawful for your school to punish you.

What if my school does not find my perpetrator responsible? Schools should not punish students for bringing concerns about possible civil rights problems to a school’s attention.

Do the accommodations I’m entitled to change if the perpetrator is not found responsible? It depends. If your report was made in good faith but ultimately unsubstantiated by a school investigation — and it is clear you are suffering a hostile environment — your school should probably still provide you reasonable accommodations.

Can my school force me to leave school? Thanks to Title IX, your school can’t force you to leave campus due to being assaulted/abused, or for becoming pregnant or a parent.

What if my school violates my Title IX rights? If your school doesn’t provide you the accommodations you believe you’re due, know that you’re not alone, and that you can push back against any school decisions.

What if my school isn’t subject to Title IX? Federal complaints or lawsuits are not the only ways to make change at your school. Students can take legal action under more comprehensive state laws. Some students have successfully pushed their schools to do better through grassroots activism and advocacy.

Source: Know Your IX: Frequently Asked Questions
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