On April 29, 2014, the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, (“OCR”)  issued a new document titled, Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.  The document provides schools with the procedures they are required to follow when the receive reports of sexual violence. In addition, OCR extended Title IX protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.  OCR stated:

Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation. Similarly, the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations.

Also of importance is OCR’s position that schools are responsible for conducting their own investigations when a student reports sexual violence.  OCR opined that the school must determine (1) whether or not the conduct occurred and (2) If the incident did occur, the steps the school will take to address the incident. If a student reports an incident of sexual violence, it is important to follow your policies and procedures.  In addition, it may be necessary to work with your attorney to ensure that you have followed all of the requirements under Title IX.

The Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence document can be found at:



This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Education Law Attorney, Heather R. Pierson at  480.461.5384, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area.