- ECU Creed
- Report A Person of Concern
- Grievances & Inquiries
- Excused Absences
- Rules / Policies
- Medical Withdrawals
- Don't Cancel Class
- Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. It is one of several federal and state antidiscrimination laws that define and ensure equality in education. The regulations implementing Title IX, published in 1975, prohibit discrimination, exclusion, denial, limitation, or separation based on gender. Title IX states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title IX covers men and women, boys and girls, staff and students in any educational institution receiving federal funding. These include local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums. Vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and possessions are also included. Title IX does not generally cover private educational institutions unless they receive federal financial assistance. In addition, music classes or choruses based on vocal range or quality, sex education classes, and sports involving bodily contact are exempt from Title IX requirements, as are religious institutions if implementation of this law would violate their religious tenets. Title IX also does not apply to admission to private undergraduate institutions.
Although it is the application of Title IX to athletics that has gained the greatest public visibility, the law applies to every single aspect of education, including admissions and recruitment, comparable facilities, access to course offerings, access to schools of vocational education, counseling and counseling materials, financial assistance, student health and insurance benefits and/or services, housing, marital and parental status of students, physical education and athletics, education programs and activities, and employment. Before Title IX was enacted, most colleges and universities emphasized sports only for male students. The educational opportunities of athletic programs were generally limited for women. Title IX has helped focus attention on the legal requirements of federally funded institutions to provide equal athletic opportunities for women. The result has been increased involvement of girls and women in sports at all levels.
Title IX regulations explicitly prohibit sex discrimination which includes harassment, and a number of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have clarified how the law should be applied in this area. In particular, the unanimous Franklin v. Gwinnett decision (1992) held that Title IX prohibits sexual harassment and allows victims to recover damages from institutions that violate the statute. Gebser v. Lago Vista (1997) limited the availability of money damages by requiring plaintiffs to prove "deliberate indifference" and prior knowledge by the school administration in cases where teachers or other educational staff sexually harassed students. In the most recent decision, Davis v. Monroe (1999), the Court held that schools may be liable for peer (student-to-student) sexual harassment.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has produced guidelines outlining schools’ responsibilities for preventing sexual harassment and resolving allegations once they arise. The OCR Sexual Harassment Guidance, available on the department’s website, http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/ocregion.html,will help educators design effective and appropriate antiharassment policies. OCR staff can also provide technical assistance.
Title IX benefits everyone—girls and boys, women and men. The law requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices, and programs that do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender. Elimination of discrimination against women and girls has received more attention because females have historically faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. However, Title IX has also benefited men and boys. Continued efforts to achieve educational equity have benefited all students by moving toward the creation of school environments where all students can learn and achieve the highest standards. "As research continues to show, gender-equitable education supports the teaching and learning of both girls and boys. It is as important for both girls and boys to learn about the contributions of women--from all groups and cultures--as it is to develop cooperative learning skills, or to learn about parenting. . . . Gender equity in education is more than putting girls on equal footing with boys--it’s eliminating the barriers and stereotypes that limit the opportunities and choices of both sexes."
Title IX requires equal educational opportunities to participate in the full range of extracurricular activities, equal opportunity to access all courses and programs, and equal opportunity to participate in athletics.
Specifically in the area of athletics, there are three ways in which Title IX compliance is assessed. Schools can demonstrate compliance with Title IX if they can fulfill any one of the following requirements, commonly known as the "three-part test":
- Athletic participation or opportunities for males and females substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.
- A history and continuing practice of expanding athletic participation or opportunities for the underrepresented sex.
- Full and effective accommodation of the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.
"Title IX is an antidiscrimination statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. . . . Both in academics and athletics, Title IX guarantees that all students, regardless of gender, have equitable opportunities to participate in the education program. This guarantee does not impose quotas based on gender, either in classrooms or in athletic programs. Indeed, the imposition of any such strict numerical requirement concerning students would be inconsistent with Title IX itself, which is designed to protect the rights of all students and to provide equitable opportunities for all students."
Title IX mandates that school systems or other recipients of federal funds designate at least one employee as a Title IX coordinator. In accordance with Title IX regulations, East Carolina University has designated Dr. Lathan E. Turner as the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students. Dr. Turner is charged with monitoring and implementing compliance with these regulations for students. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance against students, may be directed to him.
If you are a student who believes you have been subjected to (1) sexual harassment by another stdent or (2) any other form of gender discrimination against students under Title IX, you may report such misconduct or file a formal complaint with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office.
You can contact Dr. Turner through the Dean of Students Office located at:
360 Wright Building Greenville, NC 27834
Off: (252)328-9297 Fax: (252)328-9147
You can also submit a complaint to the Title IX Coordinator, LaKesha Alston at the:
Office for Equality and Diversity
Old Cafeteria Complex, Suite G 406
Greenville, NC 27858
Title IX explicitly does not cover admissions policies in traditionally single-sex public institutions (that were single-sex before Title IX was enacted) or private institutions of undergraduate higher education, or in elementary or secondary institutions. Depending on the type of institution, single-sex educational programs are subject to regulations under the Constitution and/or Title IX.
"The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 1996 decision in United States v. Virginia, holding that the exclusion of women from admission to the Virginia Military Institute was a violation of the ‘equal protection’ clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, makes it clear that any categorical exclusion of members of one sex from a public educational institution or program will be met with ‘skeptical scrutiny’ under the Constitution. . . . A public school or program that excludes all members of one sex may pass constitutional muster only if the school demonstrates persuasively that it truly serves the objective of compensating for discrimination and eliminating barriers to advancement. For example, an all-girls math program may be sustainable if its proponents can demonstrate that it substantially furthers the goal of remedying past or present discriminatory practices that have discouraged girls from pursuing an interest in math. If, however, such a program lacks a compensatory justification, and instead teaches math in a diluted form based on stereotypes that girls are ‘bad with numbers,’ it would not withstand a constitutional challenge.
"Unlike the Constitution, Title IX applies to many private institutions. Like the Constitution, however, Title IX does not categorically prohibit single-sex education in institutions it covers. The regulations issued under Title IX do contain certain exceptions that permit specified programs separated by gender."
These exceptions include sports involving bodily contact, sex education classes, music classes, financial aid (created under a will, bequest, or other legal instrument), student housing, and programs for pregnant and parenting teens—provided that these programs or policies are not discriminatory.
In addition to requiring the assignment and notification of a Title IX coordinator, the regulations encourage institutions to take proactive steps to foster an equitable learning environment for all students. To assess equity in your school, you can look at such factors as physical environment, curriculum, extracurricular activities/athletics, behavior management, role models, administrative oversight, and employment practices.