On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Education amended the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, including peer-to-peer sexual harassment and sexual violence. The new regulations took effect on August 14, 2020. The new regulations required us to update our policies, identify specific roles and individuals within the investigatory process, increase training for investigatory staff, and require the district to post certain information prominently on the district’s website.
HASD has updated its policies to reflect the new regulations and the updated investigatory procedures. While this process was technically slated to be in place by August 14, 2020, it is universally understood by all districts that the policy approval process may not allow a district to be in compliance by that date. HASD has gathered information from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and several law firms about model policies. Members on the Title IX team obtained regulatory information and participated in specific training(s) offered by the Office for Civil Rights, the Southwest Human Resources Officials, and district’s attorney on New Title IX Protections (August 10, 2020, September 3, 2020, September 24, 2020, and October 20, 2020). All training materials are posted to the HASD website.
Title IX requirements must be followed, and a school must respond appropriately when a school has actual notice of sexual harassment that occurs in a school’s program or activity. Students and parents should immediately report allegations of sexual harassment or harassment to the Title IX coordinator.
When the school or district learns that someone is alleged to be the victim of sexual harassment, the Title IX coordinator will immediately contact the school solicitor within the firm of Maiello Brungo & Maiello, LLP to ensure regulatory and procedural compliance. Based on the building level associated with the allegation, the roles of investigator and decision-maker will be assigned.