Title IX & Mandatory Reporting

By:  Sally Roller

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.[1]  Title IX applies to schools, local and state education agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.  There is an intersection between Title IX and mandatory reporting because K-12 and higher education institutions employees receive information about child abuse and neglect through their positions.  As a result, Title IX and university policies requires responsible employees to report incidents of sexual misconduct by students and employees to the Title IX Coordinator.  Colorado law also requires professionals, such ass private or public school officials or employees, to report child abuse and/or neglect.[2]

Employees might receive a report of sexual assault, make the report, but struggle to handle the aftermath.  For example, an employee might not know how to manage the everyday interactions with the complainant or potential respondent or handle questions about an ongoing Title IX investigation.  As we embark on a new year, it is a wonderful opportunity to re-train staff about their responsibilities related to mandatory reporting.  Employees may not have had to submit a report, so they might feel unsure about the process.  Additionally, employes need guidance from school administrators about how to positively interact with those individuals involved.

Title IX Coordinators can assist staff to understand their obligations regarding reporting through conducting yearly training, maintaining an up-to-date website describing requirements and resources, posting signs around the school as well as providing other educational opportunities.  Additionally, Title IX Coordinators can update policies to ensure staff know their obligations under the law as well as how to handle everyday interactions in the classroom, hallways, or on an athletic team.  See how you can enhance your team’s knowledge about mandatory reporting!

[1] U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Title IX and Sex Discrimination, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html.

[2] § 19-3-304, C.R.S.