TITLE IX V. FERPA: WHICH LAW TRUMPS FOLLOWING A SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION – BY: BETSEY HELFRICH

Source: http://www.mickesotoole.com/articles/title-ix-v-ferpa-which-law-trumps-following-a-sexual-harassment-investigation-by-betsey-helfrich/

Excerpt:

 

Sexual harassment of a student is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.   Title IX protects students from sexual harassment at school and at school activities, including off-campus school sponsored trips.  Schools have an obligation to respond promptly and effectively to claims of sexual harassment.  Title IX regulations require schools to adopt grievance procedures which provide for the equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints.  34 CFR 106.8(b).  As part of these procedures, schools generally conduct investigations to determine whether or not sexual harassment has occurred.  If after such investigation, a school determines that a student has sexually harassed another student, the school is responsible for taking immediate effective action to eliminate the hostile environment and prevent its recurrence.  34 CFR 106.31(b).   Steps should be taken to effectively and immediately end the harassment, which may include ordering the alleged harasser to stay away from the complainant or implementing a long-term suspension or possibly even expulsion for the harassing student.  However, this brings us back to the question – does the complainant have the right to know the outcome of your investigation and the consequence for the alleged harasser? Title IX guidance from the U.S. Department of Education says yes.

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