What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (2024)

When most people hear “Title IX,” they immediately think of school sports for girls and women. But that’s only a small part of what this important law entails. Discover the details of what this legislation says and means and who it protects.

What is Title IX?

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (1)

Source: Hallmark University

This landmark legislation (sometimes written as “Title 9”) changed the face of education in a variety of ways by banning gender discrimination in any educational institution receiving federal funding. This includes all public schools and many private ones. It also includes educational programs run or funded by federal organizations, like a corrections facility, library, museum, or national park. In short, if any part of an educational program’s funding comes from the federal government, Title IX applies.

While this law is frequently associated with the expansion of women’s sports programs, it also has other important impacts. Organizations under its purview must make their activities, classes, and programs available to all, regardless of sex or gender.

Title IX defines discrimination on the basis of sex to include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Title IX institutions must respond promptly to complaints of any type of sexual or gender discrimination.

Discover more details about Title IX here.


History of Title IX

When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it banned many forms of discrimination in employment but didn’t directly address education. Another law, Title VI, did ban discrimination in education based on race, color, or national origin. Gender or sex-based discrimination, though, wasn’t specifically covered in any law.

In 1971, Senator Birch Bayh first proposed the legislation, and it passed in 1972. Representative Patsy Mink took the lead in protecting the law from being weakened in its language and intent. When she died in 2002, the law was officially renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. It’s still generally referred to as Title IX in legal and educational circles.

Read more about the history of Title IX here.

What the Law Says

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (2)

Source: The University of Texas at Austin

Title IX begins with these key words:

“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.”

The law goes on to list some exemptions, such as religious schools. See the complete text of Title IX here.

What does Title IX require schools to do?

Under this law, all affected schools and educational institutions must do the following:

  • Offer all programs equally: Schools must ensure students of any gender have equal access to all its programs, including classes, extracurriculars, and sports.
  • Appoint a Title IX Coordinator: This person (or group of people) is responsible for ensuring the organization is in compliance with the law at all times.
  • Publish an antidiscrimination policy: The organization must create a policy stating that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in its educational programs and activities. This must be publicly published and widely available. Most schools include it in their student handbooks, at a minimum.
  • Address sexual or gender harassment or violence: Schools must recognize and investigate all complaints of sexual or gender harassment or violence. Learn what this includes here.
  • Establish complaint policies: Schools and other educational institutions must create a policy for students and employees to file complaints of sex or gender discrimination. It must include time frames and procedures for addressing and resolving such complaints.

Title IX and Sports

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (3)

Source: The Harvard Gazette

When it was first proposed and the potential impacts became clear, Senator John Tower suggested an amendment that would exclude athletics programs from Title IX’s scope. This amendment was rejected, and ultimately the law led to huge changes in high school and college sports. These were one of the most visible signs of the law in action, and led to the common understanding of Title IX as a “sports law.” In truth, though, it encompasses a great deal more.

Later legal decisions clarified the legislation’s impact on sports. Schools don’t have to offer identical sports to all genders, but they must offer equal opportunities to participate. The quality of the programs, including facilities, coaches, and equipment, must be equal as well. If one gender is underrepresented in athletics programs, schools must show they are making an effort to expand their programs, or that their current programs meet the present demand.

Learn more about Title IX and athletics here.

Sexual Harassment and Violence

This law has also been applied to how schools deal with complaints of sexual harassment or violence. In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights clarified this stance. It stated that all schools must “take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence.” Schools that did not address these issues stood to lose federal funding and could even be fined.

These policies have been applied differently throughout recent years, and it remains a controversial subject. However, at a minimum, schools must have policies in place prohibiting sexual harassment and violence. They must also promptly address all complaints using those policies.

Learn more about sexual harassment and violence policies here.

Does Title IX protect transgender students?

In the last decade, this has become a hotly debated subject. Some states have sought to ban transgender students from competing on gender-based sports teams that don’t match the gender they were assigned at birth. In many areas, transgender students and staff still face regular discrimination, harassment, and violence. This area of the law is still very much in flux—it’s changing day by day.

As of spring 2023, here’s where things stand. The U.S. Department of Education has directed schools (as of 2021) that Title IX protects students from discrimination based on gender identity. In April 2023, the DOE issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that “would establish that policies violate Title IX when they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity just because of who they are.” Whether this rule becomes law remains to be seen.

Regardless of the outcome of the proposed athletics changes, transgender students and educators are still protected from sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence. Learn more about these protections here.

What should students or educators do about potential Title IX violations?

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (4)

Source: Novato Unified School District

If you feel you’ve been the victim of sexual or gender discrimination, harassment, or violence at school or in an educational setting, you’re entitled to make a complaint under Title IX. You can also make a complaint on behalf of someone else or report generalized behavior you’ve seen. If students make a complaint to a teacher or other school official, they’re required to escalate it to the appropriate higher-ups. It’s best to make your complaint in writing, keeping a copy for yourself. Learn how to file a complaint with the DOE Office for Civil Rights here.

The school or educational institution is required to respond promptly, according to the policies they have in place. There will usually be a hearing, in which both sides may make their case. Schools should follow their policies to make determinations and decide on any necessary disciplinary actions. Title IX hearings do not involve any outside law enforcement agencies, such as the police. You may still pursue any complaints you have regarding the situation in criminal or civil court, but they do not affect the school’s internal process.

Regardless of the outcome of any investigations, no one is allowed to retaliate against you for filing your complaint. However, there are many cases where schools do not comply with the law. If you feel this is the case, you have the right to seek legal action.

Explore more about Title IX violations and reporting here.

Have more questions about Title IX? Come talk it over with other educators in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, read .

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (5)

What Is Title IX? An Overview for Educators and Students (2024)


What is the Title IX summary? ›

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

What is Title IX and how does it impact you as a student? ›

Title IX requires schools to adopt and publish grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence.

What are the guiding principles of the US Department of Education Title IX final rule overview? ›

The Final Rule reflects core American values of equal treatment on the basis of sex, free speech and academic freedom, due process of law, and fundamental fairness. Schools must operate free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.

What is the common rule of Title IX? ›

Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

What are three important concepts of Title IX? ›

Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; ...

What is Title IX most well known for? ›

Title IX was passed by the U.S. Congress on June 23, 1972, and signed by President Richard M. Nixon on July 1, 1972. It is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination in education programs and activities receiving federal funds.

What does Title IX affect? ›

Under Title IX, there's a broad definition of discrimination that could involve students, faculty, administrators or staff. It also covers discrimination against pregnant people. The law has also been invoked to outlaw discrimination of LGBTQ students and educators.

What is the outcome of Title IX? ›

The ultimate penalty for non-compliance with Title IX regulations is the withdrawal of federal funds, including monies earmarked for student loans.

What was the major focus of Title IX of the education Amendments Act? ›

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

What students report according to the Title IX final rule? ›

- The Final Rule requires a school to investigate sexual harassment allegations in any formal complaint, which can be filed by a complainant, or signed by a Title IX Coordinator.

What is the burden of proof in a Title IX case? ›

In a Title IX case, the burden of proof and of gathering evidence does not fall on either the complainant or the accused, but instead, it falls on the school. That is not to say that the school must side with one party, or that the parties cannot gather evidence and make arguments on their own behalf.

What can be done to improve how Title IX is implemented? ›

Here are five tips to help improve Title IX compliance and promote a safe and respectful culture:
  • Raise awareness of the role of Title IX coordinators. ...
  • Train on bystander intervention. ...
  • Create a supportive environment. ...
  • Teach the concepts of consent and incapacitation. ...
  • Engage everyone.
Oct 10, 2019

What are the benefits of Title IX? ›

A recent article in the New York Times found that there are lasting benefits for women from Title IX: participation in sports increased education as well as employment opportunities for girls. Furthermore, the athletic participation by girls and women spurred by Title IX was associated with lower obesity rates.

What are the 3 ways in which Title IX is enforced? ›

OCR enforces Title IX by investigating complaints, conducting compliance reviews, and providing technical assistance. An institution found to violate Title IX (or any of the regulations enforced by OCR) has the opportunity to remedy the violation voluntarily.

What is Title IX and why was it important enough to become law? ›

In June 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that has removed many barriers that once prevented people, on the basis of sex, from participating in educational opportunities and careers of their choice.

Why is Title IX important for students? ›

Title IX is a federal law that was passed in 1972 to ensure that male and female students and employees in educational settings are treated equally and fairly. It protects against discrimination based on sex (including sexual harassment).

What are the quick facts about Title IX? ›

Title IX requires schools and colleges receiving federal funds to give women and girls an equal chance to play sports and to treat men and women equally when it comes to athletic scholarships and other benefits like equipment, coaching and facilities. But Title IX does not apply ONLY to athletics.

What is the value of Title IX? ›

This law, known commonly as Title IX, gives each gender equal rights to educational programs, activities, and federal financial assistance.

What is an example of Title IX? ›

  • stalking or obscene phone calls, texts, emails, or gestures.
  • sexually suggestive jokes, whistles, catcalls, or innuendos.
  • inappropriate touching.
  • intimidation.

How did Title IX affect the future? ›

Here, not only did Title IX ensure those athletes' rights to equal opportunities to develop their athletic talents and abilities at school, it also laid the groundwork for those athletes to challenge gender inequality outside of education.

What are the unintended consequences of Title IX 9? ›

10 While this progress is admirable, Title IX has had unintended negative consequences, including a decrease in the number of female coaches, high rates of sexual abuse of female athletes, and the elimination of successful men's programs."

Does Title IX actually provide opportunity? ›

Since Title IX was signed into law more than 50 years ago, it has enabled tremendous strides in educational opportunity free from sex discrimination, including in athletics, for millions of students across the country.

What impact did the Title IX have on educational institutions? ›

Gersen: Title IX's most palpable impact has been the one that was most obviously envisioned by Congress: the prohibition of formal inequality in the treatment of males and females by schools that partake of federal funding.

What is the controversy with Title IX? ›

Title IX passed in 1972 amid other policies affirming women's rights. Feminists celebrated the law, although they initially thought it would only affect academics. Controversy exploded when girls and women rushed to claim space in academic programs and on athletic playing fields.

How do you beat Title IX case? ›

Let's briefly consider some common strategies that can be useful in a Title IX dispute.
  1. Obtain Supportive Witness Testimony. ...
  2. Undermine Legitimacy of Complainant. ...
  3. Secure Conflicting Evidence on Social Media. ...
  4. Negotiate with the School or Complainant. ...
  5. Contact Binnall Law Group, PLLC for Title IX Defense Guidance.
Nov 29, 2019

What is Title IX presentation? ›

What is Title IX? ◆ Title IX of the. Education. Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance.

What is the clear and convincing standard for Title IX? ›

The “clear and convincing evidence standard” means that the information presented in support of the alleged Title IX violation is substantially more likely to be true than untrue (substantially greater than 50%).

What is beyond a reasonable doubt in Title IX? ›

What is the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of evidence? “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard of proof that applies in a criminal trial. It is a very high standard of proof that is significantly greater than the preponderance of the evidence standard and is NOT used in BYU Title IX investigations.

How do you prove burden of proof? ›

The burden of proof is a legal standard that requires parties to provide evidence to demonstrate that a claim is valid. Three levels of the burden of proof, "beyond a reasonable doubt," a "preponderance of the evidence," and "clear and convincing" determine the level of evidence required for a claim.

What is the impact of inclusion on students with disabilities? ›

In fact, research shows that inclusive education has positive short-term and long-term effects for all students. Kids with special education needs who are in inclusive classes are absent less often. They develop stronger skills in reading and math.

What are the impacts of every student succeeds act? ›

ESSA also provides funding for literacy programs and other grants that can help students succeed. And it encourages innovation in how schools teach kids. Under ESSA, each state gets to set its own general education standards and coursework for schools. This is the material students are expected to learn in each grade.

How does the Every student Succeeds Act affect students? ›

ESSA requires every state to measure performance in reading, math, and science. Each state determines the way students are assessed. Every school in each state must inform parents about their standards and their results.

How does Title IX affect online students? ›

Our Title IX Policy provides for accommodations to be granted to affected staff, faculty or students. These accommodations may include academic accommodations and No Contact Directives. Even though you will be teaching online, accommodations may be granted by our Title IX Office.

What are 3 benefits of inclusion for children with disabilities? ›

Some of the benefits of inclusion for children with (or without) disabilities are friendship skills, peer models, problem solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching parents and families to be more accepting of differences.

What is an example of inclusion in the classroom? ›

An inclusive classrooms features students of all learning styles and ability levels. For example, an inclusive classroom could have a mix of gifted students, auditory learners, visual learners and students with disabilities such as ADHD, students who are in wheelchairs, and students with executive functioning issues.

How do you promote inclusion in the classroom? ›

  1. Make it Personal. Provide opportunities for students to share their own experiences and perspectives. ...
  2. Include Various Perspectives. Provide a variety of perspectives on the topics you teach. ...
  3. Know Your Students. Get to know your students. ...
  4. Respect Diverse People. ...
  5. Respect Diverse Talents.

What is the most important feature of the Every Student Succeeds Act? ›

The main purpose of ESSA is to make sure public schools provide a quality education for all kids. It gives states a central role in how schools account for student achievement. This includes the achievement of historically disadvantaged students who fall into one or more of four key groups: Students in poverty.

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act in simple terms? ›

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is intended to ensure families are empowered to support their children's learning and that all students receive a high-quality, well-rounded education that prepares them for long-term success.

Who benefits from the Every Student Succeeds Act? ›

The law: Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students. Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.

What are some drawbacks of the Every Student Succeeds Act? ›

List of the Cons of the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • It maintains the status quo in many areas where previous attempts already underperform. ...
  • There is no effort made to address the root causes of inequality. ...
  • It removed the stipulation for adequate yearly progress. ...
  • There are more ways to mask inequalities in the ESSA.
Aug 26, 2021

What changed in the Every Student Succeeds Act vs No Child Left Behind? ›

ESSA endorses Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This approach to teaching aims to meet the needs of all students, including those with learning and thinking differences. The law also encourages states to expand personalized learning for students. NCLB didn't include UDL or personalized learning.

Was the Every Student Succeeds Act successful? ›

Success in the States

Educators rallied to limit testing time, and they helped pass a measure that limited testing on all standards-based assessments for public school students per school year to no more than 2 percent of the minimum number of instructional minutes per year.

How does Title IX protect college students? ›

Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression. All female, male, and gender non-conforming individuals are protected from any sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence.

Which of the following is true about Title IX? ›

Which of the following is true about Title IX? It applies to all public and private schools that receive federal funds.


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