FAQ on Title IX and Supportive Measures for K-12 Students Introduction Sex-based harassment can seriously affect students’ education. It can be hard to learn in school if your teacher or classmates are sexually harassing you, if you have to be in the same spaces as your rapist or abusive partner, and/or if trauma from sexual violence is impacting your mental or physical health. That’s why a federal civil rights law called Title IX requires schools to provide “supportive measures” that protect your ability to feel safe and learn in school if you have experienced sex-based harassment. For example, Title IX may require your school to give you extensions on homework, a no-contact order, free counseling, a free campus escort, or a change in your class schedule. But in 2020, the Trump administration made changes to the Title IX rules, 1 which reduced schools’ obligations to help students who have faced sex-based harassment. 2 The Biden administration is planning to issue new Title IX rules, and we hope they move fast in doing so, but for now, the Trump rule, for the most part, is still the law.3 Since the Trump administration released the new rule, survivors have been more confused than ever about how to get supportive measures in school. The good news is that schools are still required to help survivors. Please read the FAQs below to learn more about your options as a survivor! Q1) “I’ve experienced sex-based harassment, and I'm struggling in school. What can I do?” Many survivors struggle in school after facing sex-based harassment. That’s because it can be really hard to learn when, for example, you’re sharing a classroom with your rapist or a lunch period with your stalker. But schools have a unique ability, and a civil rights duty, to help when sex-based harassment interferes with students’ access to education. If you’ve experienced sex-based harassment and you are struggling in school, Title IX, a federal civil rights law that requires your school to address sex-based harassment, may be able to help you. If sexbased harassment has made you feel unsafe at school or has made it harder for you to learn, your school is required under Title IX to give you supportive measures. This is true even if your school is still investigating the harassment or isn’t investigating it at all. Q2) “I’ve heard the changes to Title IX limit what sorts of sex-based harassment schools can respond to. Does my situation even qualify for help?” First, sex-based harassment refers to a wide range of behaviors, including: - Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual conduct, including unwanted sexual “jokes,” “catcalling,” slurs, rumors, messages, pictures, or videos. This includes any romantic or sexual relationship 1 Dep’t of Educ., Office for Civil Rights, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, 85 Fed. Reg. 30026 (May 19, 2020), https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-10512. 2 National Women’s Law Center, DeVos’s New Title IX Sexual Harassment Rule, Explained, (May 12, 2020), https://nwlc.org/resources/devos-new-title-ix-sexual-harassment-rule-explained. 3 National Women’s Law Center, Federal Judge Vacates Part of Trump Administration’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Rule (Aug. 11, 2021), https://nwlc.org/resources/federal-judge-vacates-part-of-trumpadministrations-title-ix-sexual-harassment. - - - between a child and adult, even if the child likes the adult or wants the relationship.] It also includes sexual assault (see next). Sexual assault refers to unwanted physical sexual acts. This includes unwanted kissing or touching of private body parts, including rape. Dating violence includes insults, threats, violence, or stalking from someone you are dating or used to date. This includes threats or violence against you, a family member, friend, or pet, or threats to harm your job, money, home, or personal belongings. Domestic violence includes insults, threats, violence, or stalking from someone you live with. This includes threats or violence against you, a family member, friend, or pet, or threats to harm your job, money, home, or personal belongings. Stalking refers to you being followed, watched, recorded, threatened, or contacted by someone (directly or indirectly) in a way that makes you worried about your safety or other people’s safety. Under the Trump Title IX rule, your school is required to provide you supportive measures in the following circumstances: First, we

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