How to File a Title IX Complaint

Want to know how to report a Title IX Complaint?

If you’ve experienced or witnessed examples of discriminatory behavior at your school, you should know that you have the right to file a Title IX complaint in an attempt to remedy the offending conduct. To find out more about the complaint process, keep reading.

What is Title IX?

To make sure everyone’s on the same page, Title IX refers to a statute passed in 1972 aimed at eliminating gender discrimination in education. The relatively short law has been broadly interpreted by courts and is used now to curb discrimination in terms of extracurricular activities (including sports), admissions, academics as well as sexual harassment or sexual violence at any one of a number of educational facilities that receive federal funding.

Who can file a Title IX complaint?

Anyone who sees evidence of sexual-based discrimination against a person or group of people at a school or other educational facility that receives federal funding can file a complaint. The person bringing the complaint does not have to personally be impacted by the discrimination, but is instead allowed to complain on behalf of others.

When must you file a Title IX complaint?

Title IX complaints normally need to be filed within 180 days of the date of the discrimination. This can be a pretty short time period and, in some cases, can be extended if there’s good reason. In cases where a person has filed an internal grievance according to the educational institution’s existing process, the complainant has 60 days after the last act of the institution to file a complaint.

What to include with your Title IX complaint

Complaints need to contain sufficient information to allow investigators to get a sense of what has gone on and the harm the discrimination has resulted in. Complaints need to address what discrimination occurred, who it was directed against, when it took place, who was harmed and who can be contacted for more information. The person filing the complaint needs to include his or her contact information as well as contact information for the offending educational institution. Though you will be providing personal information, understand that the Office of Civil Rights will keep this confidential.

How to file the Title IX complaint

A person filing a Title IX complaint is allowed to begin the process by following the grievance procedures available at the educational institution where the discriminatory behavior occurred. In some cases, this might be a faster way to resolve a problem, though not always. It’s also good to know that there is no requirement that a person first use an internal grievance procedure before filing a Title IX complaint, it’s simply another option.

To formally file a Title IX complaint, you can do it as easily as submitting a form online, by email or by regular mail. The Office of Civil Rights has existing forms on their website that you can use, making the process of filing a complaint much less cumbersome than it used to be. Finally, if the Office of Civil Rights decides that more information is needed they may contact you and ask for additional details. At this point, the matter is in their hands and the investigation phase begins.