Transgender issues, Title IX, and the Constitution

In Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 Board of Education, a transgender male high school student alleged that his school district informed him that, because he was listed as “female” in the school’s records and had not undergone a surgical transition–a procedure prohibited for minors–he could use only the girls’ restroom or a gender neutral bathroom.  The Complaint asserted that this violated his civil rights under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  One month after initiating the case, the student filed a motion for preliminary injunction.  The next day, the school district filed a motion to dismiss.  The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin denied the motion to dismiss and granted the preliminary injunction.  For more, click here…

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Former Penn State President Spanier gets jail time in Sandusky case

The former president of Penn State University and two other former administrators were sentenced to jail terms Friday for failing to report a 2001 allegation that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys.

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The sentence of two months in jail plus another two under house arrest against a once-leading figure in American higher education marks a low point in the largely distinguished career of Graham Spanier, who was Penn State’s president from 1995 to 2011. He was found guilty in March of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.   For full story, click here….

University of Tennessee releases annual Title IX report

The University of Tennessee Title IX report shows there were 103 violations reported on campus in 2016.

Title IX director, Jenny Richter, sent out the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation annual report to UT students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday.

According to the report, 64 of the 103 violations were sexual misconduct related. Last year, there were 38 reported violations for sexual misconduct.

“More and more students are reporting incidents of misconduct and receiving the care and support needed to help with these difficult and complex issues,” said Richter in the annual report.

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Richter believes that education is the reason for the higher number of reports.

“We attribute that to the fact we have done a much better concerted effort toward making sure that people know what to do if something happens,” said Richter.

UT leaders plan to continue their focus on education for students and teachers about what to do and how to report these situations.

The remaining violations reported included 23 for relationship violence and 16 for stalking. There were zero reports of retaliation.

SIU Carbondale under investigation regarding Title IX complaint

CARBONDALE, IL – Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is under investigation for possible discrimination in the school’s athletics program.  A spokesperson for the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education indicated the investigation began last month.  The office, however, can’t provide details about the case, because it’s an open investigation.  

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SIU Athletics Director Tommy Bell issued the following statement.

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For the full report, click here…..

 

OCR to Visit Cornell, which has the highest number of active Title IX Claims in the Nation 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights investigators will visit Cornell University next week in the midst of its sixth open Title IX violation investigation — the most of any university in the nation.

Sarah Affel, Cornell’s Title IX coordinator, told USA TODAY College that the Office for Civil Rights is reviewing Cornell’s compliance with Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination by educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance.

For full story click here