Is the Department of Education about to get really, truly serious about enforcing Title IX training for employees on campus? All the signs point to “Yes.” In the past few years, we’ve seen a flurry of activity. On April 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued an unprecedented press release announcing that, because Tufts University had “revoked” its agreement to remedy Title IX violations, “OCR may move to initiate proceedings to terminate federal funding of Tufts or to enforce the agreement.”
A day later, the First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault and the OCR’s “significant guidance document” were both released. Two days after that, the OCR released a list of 55 colleges and universities that are currently under investigation for Title IX violations.
On May 9th, the OCR issued another press release that Tufts, faced with the possibility of becoming the first school to actually lose federal funding over Title IX violation, had taken “swift action to cure its breach.”
The resolution agreement between Tufts and the OCR requires the university to: “Provide regular and mandatory training on issues related to sexual assault and harassment and on the requirements of Title IX to all members of the university community – including students, faculty, administrators and other staff.”
In light of these dramatic recent developments, it makes sense now more than ever to ensure your institution is in compliance with Title IX. The summary below provides a checklist we put together from the OCR’s latest guidance document on Title IX training required for employees and students:
All employees who are likely to receive information about sexual harassment or sexual violence (we’ll refer to both as sexual misconduct) should be trained on a regular basis and the school should verify that the training is effective.
While there is no minimum time requirement for title IX training, the course needs to cover practical information on how to:
“Responsible employees” are those individuals who have actual or perceived authority to redress sexual misconduct.
They are required to receive additional training on:
When responsible employees receive information about incidents of sexual misconduct they are required to report all relevant details (including names of the alleged perpetrator, complainant, and witnesses) about the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or other designated persons.
To protect a complainant’s confidentiality and encourage them to seek help, OCR does not require the following employees to report incidents of sexual misconduct: campus mental health counselors, pastoral counselors, social workers, psychologists, health center employees, or any other person with a professional license requiring confidentiality, and the people they supervise.
Title IX training for Employees who are involved in implementing the school’s grievance procedures (Title IX Coordinators, others who receive complaints, investigators, and adjudicators) are a little more robust. They must have either training or experience in handling complaints involving sexual misconduct and the school’s grievance procedures. The training these employees receive should cover:
In addition, employees involved in the investigative and hearing process should receive regular training to keep current on the school’s grievance procedures.
While this list may seem daunting, the good news is that Vector Solutions offers Title IX and Clery Act Training to help you get your staff up to speed.