New Title IX Regulations (October 2020 Update)
In May 2020, the Department of Education issued new Title IX Regulations that specifically focus on how schools investigate Sexual Harassment. Accordingly, the District has updated its Sexual Harassment and Bullying/Harassment policies to incorporate these changes.
***Please visit the Announcement: New Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policies page for further information on the new policies and additional resources.***
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education, including K-12 schools. Title IX is a federal law that has been used to promote equity in education by ensuring that girls and women receive equal resources and treatment in the classroom and provides protections for students who are sexually harassed and discriminated against and/or bullied based on their gender.
In addition to this federal law, the California Education code similarly prohibits schools discriminating against its students on the basis of sex (Education Codes 220-221.1).
Sexual harassment is also in violation of San Francisco Unified School District Board and Administrative policies. These policies extend to the San Francisco County Office of Education, including community school programs and activities. All forms of sexual harassment, whether student to student, staff to student, or student to staff, are unlawful at SFUSD schools.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
The Title IX regulations defines sexual harassment as conduct, performed on the basis of sex, that satisfies one or more of the following:
- A District employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the District on a student or individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- 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 District's education program or activity; or
- "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. 1229(a)(8), or "stalking" as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30). These definitions are also available in AR 5145.7.
How is Sexual Harassment Investigated?
Conduct that meets the definition of sexual harassment will be investigated under the District's Formal Title IX Complaint Procedure, as set forth in the District's Sexual Harassment Policies.
A Formal Title IX Investigation is initiated when a student (the victim of the alleged conduct) or their parent/guardian submits a written formal complaint to the District's Office of Equity. Once filed, the Office of Equity will either begin an investigation or, if the alleged conduct is out of scope of the Sexual Harassment policy, refer the matter to the school site to be investigated under other applicable District policies.
For more information on the formal complaint procedure process, please see the District's Title IX Complaint Procedure Handout and Investigation Process Chart.
Incidents That Do Not Meet the Definition of Sexual Harassment
Incidents that do not rise to the level of sexual harassment as defined in this police may violate other District polices and will be addressed accordingly. Harassing conduct, such as conduct described above, that may not rise to the level of sexual harassment will be investigated by the school site in an accordance with the District's Bullying & Harassment policy (BP 5131.2/AR 5131.2)
For more information please see the District's Bullying & Harassment webpage.
How to File a Title IX/Sexual Harassment Complaint?
A student or their parent/guardian may submit a Title IX Formal Complaint Form via mail, fax or email to:
San Francisco Unified School District
Office of Equity
555 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
If you or someone you know has been the victim of any form of harassment, we strongly encourage you to report the incident to your school site administrator or Title IX Site Officers. Upon receiving your report, the Administrator/Title IX Site Officer will assist you by taking steps to stop any ongoing harassment and ensure that the incident is addressed in accordance with proper District Policy. They are also available to assist you will filing the Title IX Formal Complaint Form, should you have any questions.
Title IX also includes protections from gender-based harassment, which includes, among other things, use of gender-specific slurs and disparaging remarks or aggression made to a student due to their sex or because that student displays mannerisms or a style of dress perceived as indicative of the other sex.
SFUSD schools, programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying targeted at any student by anyone, based on the student's actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Title IX Student Rights
- Students have the right to equal learning opportunities in their schools.
- Students and employees may not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to harassment or other forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in any program or activity.
- Students may not be required to take and/or may not be denied enrollment in a course because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- Students have the right to be evaluated and graded without regard to their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- Students must be provided counseling and guidance that is not discriminatory
- Counselors may not urge students to enroll in particular classes or programs or activities based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- Schools must offer female and male students equal opportunities to play sports.
- Equipment and supplies, game and practice schedules, budgets, coaching travel allowances, facilities, publicity, support services and tutoring offered to teams are to be equivalent between male and female teams.
- Pregnant and parenting students have the same right as any other student to continue in their regular school and in any program for which they qualify.
- Students have the right to call the police.
Office of Equity
Keasara (Kiki) Williams
San Francisco Unified School District/County Office of Education
Executive Director, Office of Equity & Employee Relations
Title IX Coordinator
555 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Title IX Training Materials
Please see below for materials used to train the District's Title IX Team. Links to the training materials are posted when available. Where links are currently unavailable, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to view a hard copy of the training materials.
- K-12 Title IX Coordinator & Administrator Advanced Training and Certification Course (ATIXA, February 2020)
- Maintaining Title IX Program Integrity in the Face of a Pandemic (ATIXA, March 2020)
- Ten Things to Know About the New Title IX Regulations (ATIXA, May 2020)
- New Title IX Regulations: Hot Takes for K-12 (Bricker & Eckler, Attorneys at Law, May 2020) - Links Will Be Posted Shortly.
- K-12 Breakdown and Implementation of the New Title IX Regulations (Institutional Compliance Solutions, July 2020)
- Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator Training (Institutional Compliance Solutions, September 2020)
- Fundamental Training for Title IX Teams: Compliance Officers, Investigators, Decision-makers and Facilitators of Informal Resolution (Dannis Woliver Kelley Attorneys at Law, December 2020).
- Severe, Pervasive, and Objectively Offensive (SPOO) (ATIXA, December 2020)
- ICS Year End Title IX Review (Institutional Compliance Solutions, January 2021)
- Title IX Formal Complaint Brochure
- Title IX Student/Family FAQ
- Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster
- Student and Family Resource Link
- Title IX in Athletics
- See also Bullying & Harassment Webpage
This page was last updated on June 6, 2022