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How Does Title IX Address Sexual Harassment on College Campuses?

Posted on in College Student Representation

milwaukee college student lawyerBy: Attorney Brianna Meyer 

Students have the right to pursue an education and other opportunities while attending college, and they are protected against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This discrimination may come in a variety of forms, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender-based violence. Students who have experienced harassment or who have been accused of harassing or assaulting someone else can work with a lawyer who provides legal representation for students. An attorney can provide guidance on how the laws apply in a particular situation and ensure that students understand the options for resolving these matters successfully.

Protections Against Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct may involve unwelcome sexual actions, sexual harassment, and verbal or physical abuse based on a person’s sex or gender identity. Title IX, the federal statute that addresses sexual discrimination at educational institutions, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual misconduct may be considered discrimination if it interferes with a student’s ability to pursue educational opportunities or participate in activities on a college campus.

Sexual misconduct can take many forms, including:

  • Inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact committed against a student by another student, a professor, or a staff member. 

  • Sexual assault, including intercourse or other sexual acts that occurred when a person was unable to give consent.

  • Stalking, which may include physically following another individual or repeatedly sending messages through email, social media, or text messaging apps.

  • Insults, threats, or other forms of verbal abuse based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Physical assaults, including hitting, kicking, or slapping someone.

  • Inappropriate comments about a person’s gender identity, sexual characteristics, or sexual orientation, including discussions involving professors and students during classes and other forms of speech that may make a person feel unsafe or unwelcome on campus.

Colleges and universities are required to have policies to prevent sexual misconduct, and they must respond promptly and effectively to any reports of sexual harassment, sexual assaults, or other forms of violence. Students who have experienced sexual misconduct  can report these incidents to a school’s Title IX coordinator or any other staff member of their institution, who may take measures such as disciplining a student or staff member that has committed harassment or providing accommodations to ensure that a victim of harassment will be safe and free from further discrimination. If necessary, a student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. They may also pursue a civil lawsuit in which they can seek financial compensation for damages that were caused by harassment or ask that a school be required to take certain actions to address harassment and discrimination.

Contact Our Milwaukee, WI College Campus Discrimination Attorneys

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP, we can help you determine how to address any forms of harassment or discrimination you have experienced as a college student. We can also provide representation for those who have been accused of committing sexual harassment or assault, and we will work to resolve these matters effectively. For legal help with these issues, contact our Milwaukee college student harassment lawyers at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/crt/title-ix#D.%C2%A0%20Sexual%20Harassment

https://www.aclu.org/other/gender-based-violence-harassment-your-school-your-rights?redirect=womens-rights/gender-based-violence-harassment-your-school-your-rights

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ocr-factsheet-tix-202106.pdf


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