Jan 12, 2022 02:44 PM EST
What Accommodations Are Available to Students Under Title IX?
When a student makes allegations of sexual misconduct and files a complaint under Title IX, that student should not have to fear retaliation from the respondent and should be able to continue attending courses and completing school work in an educational environment that is not hostile. Students may also need physical and mental health care after an incident of sexual misconduct, particularly after reporting the incident to a Title IX coordinator and experiencing retraumatization as a result of the complaint or investigation process. What accommodations are available to students under Title IX to ensure that they continue to have equal access to educational opportunities on campus without fear of a hostile environment or retaliation? There are a number of interim measures that a college or university can provide to ensure compliance with Title IX.
Accommodation Requirements Under Title IX
Schools must provide reasonable accommodations to students who are involved in Title IX cases to ensure that they remain in compliance with Title IX. Many colleges and universities have policies for Title IX accommodations and interim measures that refer to language from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR):
"Title IX requires a school to take steps to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities and protect the complainant as necessary, including taking interim measures before the final outcome of an investigation. The school should take these steps promptly once it has notice of a sexual violence allegation and should provide the complainant with periodic updates on the status of the investigation. The school should notify the complainant of his or her options to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator and allow the complainant to change academic and extracurricular activities or his or her living, transportation, dining, and working situation as appropriate The school should also ensure that the complainant is aware of his or her Title IX rights and any available resources, such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, health and mental health services, and legal assistance, and the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement."
Specific Title IX Accommodations Based on College or University Policy
Colleges and universities can specify what types of accommodations may be appropriate in Title IX cases in policies or handbooks, and they can tailor accommodations to the particular facts of a student's case. In recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, such accommodations and interim measures are described as "supportive measures," which can include but are not limited to the following examples:
Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
Modifications of work or class schedules
Use of academic support services
Dropping a class in which the complainant and respondent are both enrolled
Campus escort services
Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
Changes in work or housing locations
Leaves of absence
Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
If you have any questions about your rights under Title IX, or if you need assistance seeking reasonable accommodations, you should get in touch with a national Title IX lawyer to find out more about your options.
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