Title IX and Gender Equity
Federal Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), implemented at 34 C.F.R. § 106.31, subd. (a), provides that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives federal financial assistance. Title IX requires that school districts take immediate and appropriate action to address any potential Title IX violations that are brought to its attention.
In the event of a complaint regarding gender equity or sexual harassment, or discrimination, including harassment, intimidation and bullying because of actual or perceived disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, contact the Title IX Compliance Coordinators:
For complaints against employees:
Director of Human Resources
For student against student complaints:
Associate Superintendent, Teaching and Learning
Mailing address for both Title IX Coordinators: 589 W. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94087
- Filing a Title IX Complaint with FUHSD
- Student Rights Pursuant to Education Code Section 221.8
- Sexual Harassment Under Title IX
- Forms & Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is also the alleged victim), in person, by mail, by telephone or by e-mail, using the contact information listed for the District’s Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such reports may be made at any time, including during non-business hours, by using the telephone number or e-mail address, or by mail to the office address, listed for the Title IX Coordinator.
Student complaints alleging a Title IX violation should be submitted in written form no later than six months from the date of the alleged incident, or six months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged incident. If the complainant is unable to prepare the complaint in writing, administrative staff shall help the complainant to do so. The time for filing may be extended up to 90 days by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee, for good cause, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the request for an extension of time to file a written complaint. For complaints over six months, please report and the District will determine the manner in which it will be processed. To qualify as a Title IX complaint, the complainant/victim must also be participating in or attempting to participate in the recipient’s education program or activity. The length of time elapsed between an incident of alleged sexual harassment, and the filing of a formal complaint, may, in specific circumstances, prevent a recipient from collecting enough evidence to reach a determination, justifying a discretionary dismissal under Title IX.
The District will process all formal complaints in accordance with Title IX and District Board Policy (“BP”) and Administrative Regulation (“AR”), BP/AR 5145.7 – Sexual Harassment, and AR 5145.71 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures, which includes the option of informal resolution for certain matters. Under Title IX, a formal complaint means a document filed by a victim, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, that alleges sexual harassment against a respondent and requests that the school district investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. Complaints that do not rise to the level of a Title IX complaint will be processed in accordance with BP/AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures, or in a manner that is otherwise deemed appropriate.
All investigations will be conducted as confidentially as possible. Upon receipt of any formal complaint, the District will provide all known parties with adequate notice of the District’s complaint process and the underlying allegations. During the course of the investigation, the District will provide the complainant and respondent (or “the parties”) with an equal opportunity present witnesses and evidence. The District will not restrict the ability of the parties to discuss the allegations under investigation, and it will allow parties to utilize an advisor of their choice. As detailed in AR 5145.71, prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to inspect and respond to evidence directly related to the allegations in the complaint that was gathered during the course of the investigation. Thereafter, and prior to any final decision being made, the parties will receive a copy of the investigation report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence, and they will have an opportunity to submit written, relevant questions to be asked of the other party. Next, a determination regarding responsibility will be made and issued to both parties. Under Title IX and District policy, the responding party is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the end of the complaint process. Any party not satisfied with the final determination will have the option to appeal the final determination, as detailed in AR 5145.71.
Additionally, any complainant who is dissatisfied with the District’s determination may file an appeal in writing with the California Department of Education within 30 calendar days of receiving the District’s final written decision. Complaints made by or on behalf of students may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the Office of Civil Rights for good cause shown under certain circumstances.
Additional details about procedures for filing a Title IX complaint may be found in AR 5145.71 – Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures.
In addition to federal law, the California Education code similarly prohibits schools from discriminating against its students on the basis of sex. Education Code section 221.8 provides as follows:
The following list of rights, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), may be used by the department for purposes of Section 221.6:
a. You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
b. You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
c. You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
d. You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
e. You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
f. You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
g. You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
h. You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
i. You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
j. You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
Sexual harassment under Title IX means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of the school district conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit or service of the school district on an individual’s participating in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo);
- 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
- “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).
Alleged conduct that does not rise to the level of the sexual harassment under Title IX will be addressed in accordance with other District policies that prohibit sexual harassment and/or sex-based discrimination, or other forms of inappropriate conduct, as is deemed appropriate.
- United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
- California Department of Education’s Office for Equal Opportunity
FUHSD RESOURCES & TRAINING MATERIALS
- Frequently Asked Questions about Title IX and Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment Advisory Lesson for Students (Fall 2020)
- Reporting Sexual Harassment in FUHSD Poster
- FUHSD Youth Resource Card
What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is doing or saying anything sexual that makes someone else feel uncomfortable. This includes name-calling, starting rumors, or making sexual jokes or gestures. It also includes unwanted touch and unwanted communication like sexual comments, texts, or messages on social media.
What are my rights regarding sexual harassment in schools? Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting sexual discrimination in schools. It protects people from sexual discrimination and harassment. Teachers and students have the right to participate in all educational programs and activities without fear of sexual harassment. Faculty, staff, and students all have a duty not to engage in sexual conduct that is obscene or unwanted by others. They also have a right to be protected from such conduct.
What can I do if I am being harassed? People who believe they have been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity by another person, or who have experienced off-campus sexual harassment that has a continuing effect on campus should do either of the following:
- Report the offensive behaviors to a teacher, guidance counselor, school-based therapist or administrator; or
- Report the offensive behaviors to the Title IX Coordinator at the district office: Trudy Gross, Associate Superintendent.
For more information, read the resources on this webpage.
What happens after sexual harassment has been reported? The Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) has an obligation to respond to all known allegations of sexual harassment. This means the District must review and appropriately respond to all complaints in accordance with District policy. The District must provide a prompt response, treat everyone fairly and offer supportive measures to all parties. Once you file a complaint, you will receive confirmation it has been received. For those complaints that are investigated, a “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be applied to determine if a violation of District policy occurred. In most cases a written response to your complaint will be provided within 60 days. The District must inform both the reporting party/victim and responding party/accused of the outcome of the investigation and findings.
What happens while an investigation of sexual harassment is conducted? During the time of an investigation the District must put in place what are called “interim measures”. These could include a “no contact contract” in which the parties agree in writing that they will not be in touch in person, via social media or other electronic means, or through other people; designated routing on campus to ensure, to the degree practicable, that the individuals involved do not cross paths within their school day; and meeting with a school-based therapist.
What might be the outcome of an investigation of sexual harassment? In the event that it is determined that District policy has been violated the District will put in place “corrective actions”. These could include ongoing implementation of a “no contact contract” and designated routing on campus, a change in schedule for the responding party, and/or other disciplinary measures. The District must inform both the reporting party/victim and responding party/accused of the outcome of the investigation and findings.
Could Reporting Sexual Harassment Affect My Academics? Reporting harassment and receiving the support that you need will not affect your academics or other standing at the school. Support will be provided to ensure that you are safe at school and free from retaliation.
Will a School Adult Tell My Parents After I Report Sexual Harassment? The school adult will support you in talking with your parent/guardian. A school-based therapist can provide support as well.
Will the Police Get Involved? Sexual harassment can take different forms and will be addressed by school administration. Police are contacted for incidents that could be criminal such as cyber sexual bullying and assault. You may request a school-based therapist to be with you and provide support when giving your report.
What Do I Do If I See Sexual Harassment Occur? Report sexual harassment that you see because you could help another person. Report the incident to a trusted adult, either verbally or in writing. This person can be an FUHSD teacher, guidance counselor, school-based therapist or administrator.
What Do I Do If A Friend Tells Me They Are Being Sexually Harassed? Your friend has the right to file a complaint. Encourage them to report the incident to a trusted adult, either verbally or in writing. This person can be an FUHSD teacher, guidance counselor, school-based therapist or administrator. You could offer to go with your friend to talk with a trusted adult. You may also choose to stand up for your friend and talk with a trusted adult yourself.
What Are Some Reasons People Who Experience Sexual Harassment Do Not Report It? Sometimes people do not report sexual harassment because they fear that they will not be believed or that there will be retaliation by the person who has harassed them. Part of the reporting and investigation process is ensuring the safety of the person reporting the harassment.