Thompson & Horton Offers Title IX Compliance Training for the 2021-2022 School Year

Many educational institutions – particularly smaller colleges, community colleges, and K-12 school districts – have not trained their Title IX teams sufficiently to handle Title IX sexual harassment matters when they arise. Many training options on the market are too costly, either in time or money, to be feasible. Although there is no specific hours requirement for Title IX training, the commentary to the 2020 Title IX regulations references eight hours as a ballpark estimate of the amount of annual training needed for team members.

However, what matters is not the specific number of hours provided but the level of…

OCR Blog Post Stands By May 2022 Date for New Rules

On October 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education issued a blog post, “Our Commitment to Education Environments Free from Sex-Based Harassment, Including Sexual Violence.” The blog post comes on the heels of meetings between the administration and at least one advocacy group asking the administration to move more quickly on new Title IX regulations. OCR declined, standing by its plan to issue new proposed regulations in May 2022. In the blog post, OCR explained that its “guidepost” is “thoughtful urgency, recognizing both the urgency of ensuring that students can learn free from sex…

Hit the Brakes: Stop, Drop, and Title IX When You Hear “Sex”

Foot on Brake We have been living with the 2020 Title IX regulations for well over a year, but some basics continue to trip us up. One of the biggest for primary and secondary schools is helping building-level administrators remember to hit the brakes when they learn of sex-based misconduct. Rushing to collect statements, impose consequences (even temporary ones), and collect other evidence could lead to a Title IX violation if the conduct ends up being covered by the law. For this reason, in my opinion, if a school system does…

Appeal in VLRC v. Cardona Raising More Questions About Suppressing Statements of Missing Witnesses in Title IX Hearings

A little over a month ago, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said it would no longer enforce a controversial portion of the 2020 Title IX rules. The “suppression clause” is a ban on reliance on statements by a party or witness who does not submit to cross-examination in higher education Title IX sexual harassment hearings. The 2020 Title IX regulations require that higher education decision-makers ignore all statements by any party or witness who refuses to answer even one relevant question during the required hearing for Title…