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How Does Title IX Protect College Students Against Discrimination?

Posted on in College Student Representation

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bri.jpgBy: Attorney Brianna Meyer

As students pursue a college education, they should all be treated fairly and equally. Unfortunately, there are a variety of situations where students may face discrimination, and they may be treated differently based on their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. In cases where a student has experienced discrimination, they will need to understand how Title IX, a federal civil rights law, addresses their situation and provides them with protections. By working with an attorney who can provide representation for college students, victims of discrimination can take legal action to protect their rights.

Protections Under Title IX

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at educational institutions. In addition to discrimination based on sex or gender identity, schools are also prohibited from treating students differently based on issues such as marital status, pregnancy, or parental status. This law applies to any school or program that receives financial assistance from the federal government. Title IX provides protections against discrimination in multiple situations, including:

  • Harassment - Students are protected from sexual harassment and sexual assault or other forms of harassment based on their gender or gender identity. A college must respond promptly and effectively to reports of harassment. Students should be aware of their various options both under Title IX and within the criminal justice system if they are the victim of any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual violence.
  • Admissions - Male and female students who apply for admission to a university cannot be treated differently. A college cannot limit the number of admissions for a certain sex or rank applicants separately by gender. However, a college can take affirmative steps to address existing disparities.
  • Financial aid - Different types or amounts of financial assistance cannot be provided to students based on their gender. Eligibility for financial aid cannot be limited on the basis of sex, and a university cannot apply different criteria for financial aid based on a student’s gender. Certain types of sex-restricted scholarships may be administered by a university through wills, trusts, or bequests, but the overall effect of these scholarships cannot result in discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • Athletics - Male and female students should have equal opportunities to participate in athletic programs. Students should also be treated equally in terms of the quality of equipment provided, scheduling of games and practices, financial support for travel expenses, opportunities for tutoring, and locker rooms, sports fields, or other facilities of comparable quality.
  • Employment - Colleges cannot treat employees, including students who participate in work-study programs, differently based on their sex. Hiring practices cannot disproportionately affect one sex, and a university cannot provide different benefits based on a person’s gender identity.

Contact Our Milwaukee Title IX Attorneys

If you have experienced discrimination while attending or working at a college or university, the attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you understand your rights and the best ways to address these issues. We will help you take legal action to ensure that you will be treated fairly and equally and that any negative effects you have experienced due to discrimination are mitigated as much as possible. Contact our Milwaukee, WI college student discrimination lawyers at (414) 271-1440 to arrange a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/crt/title-ix

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/title-ix-rights-201104.html

http://nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/ABasicGuidetoTitleIX.pdf

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