Title IX

Title IX - What is it?

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law, enacted in 1972, which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 

On May 6, 2020, the United States Department of Education released its final rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The final rule requires school districts to follow a specific Title IX Grievance Process while investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.  The Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education considers sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault and intimate partner violence) to be a form of sexual discrimination and requires the school districts to take immediate and effective steps to respond to sexual misconduct.

Title IX Jurisdiction

For a Title IX investigation to apply, the incident must meet the definition of sexual harassment and it must have occurred in an education program or activity in which the District has substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurred.

Sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An OCPS employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

Orange County Public Schools Responsibilities and Obligations

Orange County Public Schools takes its obligation to comply with Title IX very seriously.  As such, School Board Policy JB has been revised to reflect these legislative changes. 

Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and the Grievance Procedure may be referred to the District’s Title IX Coordinator:

Keshara Cowans, Esq.
Staff Attorney II
Office of Legal Services
Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center
445 W. Amelia St. Orlando, FL 32801
   Telephone: (407) 317-3411
Email: [email protected]