When people reference Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, they often immediately think of gender discrimination in connection with collegiate athletics. However, Title IX does not simply cover the topic of sex discrimination in colleges and universities. In fact, Title IX carries over into practically any educational institution, even elementary schools. Violations of the federal law are not limited to sports-related activities, nor are they relegated to discrimination; they cover sexual abuse, too.
As a result of Title IX’s widespread coverage beyond athletics, sexual abuse lawyers may refer to Title IX in some cases involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. For instance, if a female elementary school student is sexually abused in a school bound by Title IX laws, her family may seek representation from a lawyer with Title IX familiarity.
Regrettably, many victims and their loved ones are still in the dark about the relationship between Title IX and certain claims of sexual abuse. Hopefully, more press stories will emerge to improve the understanding of Title IX, such as the 14-year-old girl from a southern state who successfully battled a Title IX sexual abuse case.
According to reports, a female student attending a middle school told an authority figure at her school that she was being sexually harassed by a boy. The authority figure believed her and then suggested she use herself as bait to see if he would try to assault her in the school restroom. Sadly, the girl complied with the idea to catch the boy, but the authority figure arrived too late to prevent the girl from being sexually violated. This led to the girl being raped in a bathroom stall. To the credit of the plaintiff’s lawyers and the courts, the case was settled between the school board and the plaintiff for $200,000.
In a very different situation, a female middle school student and her parents told the school about various forms of harassment, including inappropriate sexual touching by multiple students. The incidents spanned many weeks and resulted in the student leaving the school. The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights determined the school was non-compliant under Title IX and requested the school act to make restitution. One such action was to cover any costs incurred by the family as a result of the sexual harassment.
Although there are more Title IX violation reports across the nation, plenty of young victims of sexual abuse in schools do not make the connection. Anyone who has been sexually victimized should contact a sexual abuse lawyer immediately. Lawyers well-versed in sexual violation cases can determine if a situation falls under Title IX, as well as how to proceed.
If you or someone you know has been sexually victimized in a private or public educational institution, please contact a Georgetown sexual abuse lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we serve clients from the surrounding areas of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.