Title IX: Sexual Harassment and Sex-Based Discrimination at Your School
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs, events, and activities. California law also protects students and employees from unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex. Title IX applies to SCUSD students and employees - male, female, nonbinary, and transgender - and provides protections for students and employees who are sexually harassed, discriminated against and/or bullied based on their gender.
- How to File a Complaint
- Timeline and Procedure
- Supportive Measures
- Title IX Trainings and Certifications
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your sex, gender orientation, or gender expression, you may:
- Report an incident to a staff member or school administrator*, or District administrator, or
- Send an email to email@example.com or call the Title IX Coordinator at 408/423-3509, or
- File a complaint by completing a Title IX complaint form / Forma de Informe de Incidentes del Titulo IX. You may complete this form anonymously, but if you would like to make your complaint formal, you will need to provide your name and contact information, as indicated at the bottom of the form.
*If an employee receives a report of an incident or witnesses an incident, he/she/they must report this information to their school principal or the Title IX Coordinator within one (1) school day.
If a school principal receives a report of an incident, he/she/they shall, within two (2) school days, forward the report to the Title IX Coordinator to initiate investigation of the complaint.
Complaints must be filed within six (6) months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination occurred, or from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged sex discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
The time for filing may be extended up to ninety (90) days by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee, for good cause, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the request for an extension of time to file a written complaint.
Mediation may be offered as a means to resolution no earlier than three (3) business days after a complaint has been filed, but is not available for any incident where an SCUSD employee is accused of harassing a student, any incident involving alleged sexual assault, or if a party feels at reasonable risk.
All complaints shall be appropriately investigated in a timely manner. Written notice of the allegations shall be provided to both parties, and their representatives (if any) upon receipt by the Title IX / Uniform Complaint Procedure Coordinator of a formal Title IX complaint. Within ten (10) business days after the Title IX / Uniform Complaint Procedure Coordinator receives the complaint, the Title IX / Uniform Complaint Procedure Coordinator, or designee, shall begin an investigation into the complaint.
Within one (1) business day of initiating the investigation, the investigation shall include an opportunity for the complainant, or the complainant’s representative, or both, to present the Title IX / Uniform Complaint Procedure Coordinator, or designee, with any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. SCUSD must send written notice of any investigative interviews, meetings, or hearings to the party being interviewed (or with whom the meeting is held), and their representatives. In addition, all evidence gathered must be made available for inspection and review by both parties, and their representatives, along with the opportunity to respond to the evidence. At the conclusion of the investigation, SCUSD must send both parties and their representatives the preliminary Investigative Report for a 10-day review and response period, during which time a written response may be submitted to the Title IX / Uniform Complaint Procedure Coordinator.
The Investigative Report is then finalized and submitted to the Decision Maker, who will make a final Decision of Responsibility. The Decision Maker will be a neutral third party, such as legal counsel or a third party consultant. Each party, and their representatives, may submit questions to the Decision Maker, who, in its professional judgment, will determine which questions should be excluded and which should be answered. Finally, the Decision Maker will issue a final written Decision of Responsibility, along with a summary of findings.
The final Decision of Responsibility will be provided to both parties and their representatives within sixty (60) calendar days from receipt of the written complaint by SCUSD. Either party may appeal the Decision of Responsibility within ten (10) days of receipt of the Decision of Responsibility to the appropriate Appeals Officer (either the Director of Student Services, for students, or the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, for employees). The Appeals Officer will issue a final Decision on Appeal.
Any party who is dissatisfied with the final Decision on Appeal may file an appeal in writing with the California Department of Education within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the final Decision on Appeal.
Complaints made by or on behalf of students may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within one hundred eighty (180) calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the Office of Civil Rights for good cause shown under certain circumstances.
After reporting to the school and/or the Title IX Coordinator, the District will offer you supportive measures. The Title IX regulations define supportive measures as non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services that the District can offer as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the person targeted by the alleged harassment and to the person accused of the alleged harassment. The supportive measures are provided to restore or preserve equal access to your education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party.
Supportive measures may include, as appropriate:
- Referrals to health, mental health, and/or wellness services,
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments,
- Modifications of class or school-related activity schedules,
- Campus escort services,
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties,
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus,
- Other similar measures.
All complaints and allegations of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential except as necessary to carry out the investigation or take other subsequent necessary action.
However, when a complainant or victim of sexual harassment notifies the district of the harassment but requests confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform him/her that the request may limit the district's ability to investigate the harassment or take other necessary action. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the district will nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request.
When a complainant or victim of sexual harassment notifies the district of the harassment but requests that the district not pursue an investigation, the district will determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students.
September 30, 2020: Title IX: 2020 Regulation Updates with Dora Dome.
January 28, 2021: Designing a Compliant Website with Megan Farrell, JD MBA.
July 28, 2021: The New Title IX Team and Process for K-12 School Districts with Eve P. Fichtner, JD, partner at AALRR.
August 2, 2021 and August 4, 2021: Title IX Decision-Maker Training for K-12 School Districts and COEs with Eve P. Fichtner, JD, partner at AALRR.
August 25, 2021: Title IX Compliance and Investigations with Lauren A. Lyman and Lindsey F. Zwicker, attorneys at Lozano Smith.
September 16, 2021: Title IX Team Training with Jacqueline Litra, attorney at Fagen Friendman & Fullfrost LLP.
October 7, 14, and 21, 2021: K12 Investigator Training with Joseph Vincent, MLS at ATIXA.
December 15 and 16, 2021: K12 Coordinator and Administrator Advanced Training with Tanyka M. Barber and Kim Pacelli, at ATIXA.
May 5, 2022: Consent Workshop with Brett Sokolow and Kim Pacelli, at ATIXA.
June 16, 2022: Gender Identity on Campus Workshop with Brett Sokolow and Saunie Schuster, at ATIXA.
June 28, 2022: New Title IX Regulations: An Overview and Primer on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with ATIXA Lawyers.
May 19, 2023: Braving the New World of Inclusive Athletics: Title IX, FPM, and Other Compliance Issues (CCSA) with Jennifer Carbuccia, Sweetwater Union HSD, and Lise K. Strom, Santa Clara USD.
June 12-14, 2023: NPRiMer: Preparing Your K-12 School or District for the 2023 Title IX Regulations: Training and Certification Course, K-12 Title IX Coordinator & Administrator Level One Certification, and K-12 Title IX Administrator Advanced Certification with ATIXA Lawyers.
Our Decision Maker, who is a neutral third party not associated with SCUSD, engaged in the following trainings:
July 2020: Title IX Decision-Maker Training with Christine Galdston, Title IX Consultant at T9NOW.
August 11, 2020: Title IX Overhaul: Keeping up with Federal Regulatory Changes with Jennifer Choi and Chelsea Tibbs, attorneys at DWK.
Santa Clara Unified School District offers supportive services for students involved in Title IX incidents, both on and off campus. For additional information, please visit our Wellness Resources webpage.
The Take It Down website is created and maintained by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and is a free service for parents and students to use to remove revealing photos / videos from social media.
- Student Rights Pursuant to Title IX
- California Education Code Definitions of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
Consistent with federal and State law requirements, students have the following list of rights under Title IX:
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education for information on how to file such a complaint.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
Cal. Educ. Code §§221.6 and 221.8
Harassment and other discrimination on the basis of sex include, but are not limited to, the following practices:
- On the basis of sex, exclusion of a person or persons from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or subjection to harassment or other discrimination in, any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity.
- On the basis of sex, provision of different amounts or types of student financial aid, limitation of eligibility for student financial aid, or the application of different criteria to applicants for student financial aid or for participation in the provision of student financial aid by others. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit an educational institution from administering, or assisting in the administration of, scholarships, fellowships, or other forms of student financial aid, established pursuant to domestic or foreign wills, bequests, trusts, or similar legal instruments or by acts of a foreign government, which require that awards be made to members of a particular sex; provided, that the overall effect of the award of these sex-restricted scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of student financial aid does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
- On the basis of sex, exclusion from participation in, or denial of equivalent opportunity in, athletic programs. For purposes of this subdivision, “equivalent” means equal or equal in effect.
- An educational institution may be found to have effectively accommodated the interests and abilities in athletics of both sexes within the meaning of Section 4922 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations as that section exists on January 1, 2003, using any one of the following tests:
- Whether interscholastic level participation opportunities for male and female pupils are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.
- Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, whether the school district can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of the members of that sex.
- Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, and the institution cannot show a history and continuing practice of program expansion as required in paragraph (2), whether the school district can demonstrate that the interest and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.
- If an educational institution must cut its athletic budget, the educational institution shall do so consistently with its legal obligation to comply with both state and federal gender equity laws.
- It is the intent of the Legislature that the three-part test articulated in subdivision (d) be interpreted as it has been in the policies and regulations of the Office of Civil Rights in effect on January 1, 2003.
- On the basis of sex, harassment or other discrimination among persons, including, but not limited to, students and nonstudents, or academic and nonacademic personnel, in employment and the conditions thereof, except as it relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.
- On the basis of sex, the application of any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a person, or the exclusion of any person from any program or activity or employment because of pregnancy or related conditions.
Cal. Education Code §230