Sexual Harassment at College Attorney
Sexual harassment is illegal when it occurs in college or school. Examples of unlawful sexual harassment at college include when a professor or staff person sexually harasses a student, or even when a student harasses or assaults another student. The federal law that prohibits sexual harassment and assault in schools is Title IX.
Like sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment in school occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is made to create a hostile or offensive educational environment, or is used as a basis for impacting or as a condition of educational decisions.
Under Title IX, schools are required to take certain actions to ensure its students are protected from sexual harassment and know how to make a complaint if sexual harassment occurs. First, schools must disseminate a notice of discrimination. This notice must prohibit sex discrimination (including harassment) and must be widely distributed, available, and accessible to the school community. Second, schools must designate an employee to coordinate Title IX compliance. Contact information of the Coordinator should be available with the school’s nondiscrimination notice. Third, Schools are required to adopt and publish a grievance procedure outlining the complaint, investigation, and disciplinary process for addressing sexual harassment and sexual violence at school.
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In order to bring a Title IX claim based on sexual harassment, a plaintiff must prove the following:
- That the school exercised substantial control over both the harasser and the context in which the harassment occurred;
- That the plaintiff suffered severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive harassment which deprived her or him of access to all of the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.
- The school must have had actual knowledge of the harassment, meaning that a school official who at a minimum has authority to address the discrimination and institute corrective measures had actual knowledge of the discrimination.
- The school must have acted with “deliberate indifference” to the harassment, meaning that the school’s response to the harassment was clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
- The school’s deliberate indifference must have caused the plaintiff to undergo harassment or made the plaintiff vulnerable to be harassed.
If you are being sexually harassed at school either by your teacher, professor, or another student, it is important for you to take action and talk to a sexual harassment lawyer. As described in this Ebook, you should be sure to write down and collect any evidence you have of the harassment. Make a written report to the Title IX Compliance officer at your school. If you have any questions, be sure to contact a competent and experienced attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the necessary action steps.