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Title IX Turns 50

The “game changing” Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance," turns 50 years old this June.

The momentous anniversary of this law (which has led to an overall increase in women’s participation in school and sports) has elicited certain acknowledgements from some college basketball teams, such as the Miami Hurricanes and other teams participating in this past weekend’s March Madness games. These teams were shown wearing special “warm-up” shirts that have the law imprinted on the back, as shown on The Spun. On the front of the shirt reads the words, “More is Possible.”

While Title IX is largely discussed in terms of collegiate athletics, it applies to all aspects of federally funded education. If any department or program within a school receives federal financial aid, Title IX must apply to all programs and activities the school provides. In addition to athletics, this legislation ensures equality in protection in matters of admission, housing, course selection, and sexual harassment/misconduct.

Title IX Applied to Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The Obama administration’s enacted 2011 Dear Colleague Letter finally applied Title IX to complaints of sexual misconduct on campuses. This mandated that colleges and other schools investigate these types of claims and undertake steps to curtail gender-based misconduct on campus.

The updated 2018 Dear Colleague Letter was aimed at rectifying the perceived lack of fairness and due process in these matters. In 2020, for the first time, the Department of Education promulgated regulations that went into effect on Aug. 14, 2020. The Trump-era Title IX regulations established by then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos required accusers and other witnesses to undergo cross-examination in a live hearing in post-secondary settings, among other due process protections. These 2020 regulations have since become a hot-button issue, as proponents of the 2020 regulations argue that more due process was needed in sexual misconduct proceedings, while opposers fear that the 2020 regulations discourage victims from coming forward.

Over the past several months, the Biden administration has pledged to roll back the 2020 regulations and implement new regulations as soon as this year. Key changes could likely include implementing protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and reversing some of the 2020 regulations.

At Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C. Attorneys at Law, our lawyers stay abreast of the constant changes affecting Title IX complaints. Our team leverages our knowledge and skills to provide robust representation in these matters.

If you have questions regarding a student’s rights in Title IX proceedings, or you have been subjected to, or accused of, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment, or sex discrimination on campus, please call Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C., in Cleveland, Ohio at (888) 694-4645 to schedule a free consultation or submitting an online contact form.

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