Know Your Rights

See also Quick FAQs   Legal FAQs   Filing Complaints

Most K-12 schools, parents, and students are not aware of how Title IX relates to sexual harassment/assault in schools. For example, many wonder why schools should investigate student sexual assaults at all and not simply leave the matter to the police.

“Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! is a free video+action plan for K-12 students and families.

Title IX is a civil rights law. It prohibits all educational institutions that receive federal money from discriminating against students on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment/assault is a form of discrimination because it can limit or prevent a student from participating in and benefiting from a school’s educational program.

These resources explain what Title IX is, students’ rights, and schools’ responsibilities under Title IX. Many of these resources are for the college level, but they are also relevant to K-12 schools. Not all resources offer the same advice and information, and some sources are more independent than others.

US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Explains your Title IX rights.
Know Your Rights: Title IX Requires Your School to Address Sexual Violence

Explains the steps for filing a Title IX complaint with OCR.
How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights

Clarifies the legal requirements and obligations of schools under Title IX.
Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence

ocr_logoProvides detailed guidelines for schools on how to respond promptly and effectively to sexual violence against students as required by Title IX.
Dear Colleague Letter
Fact sheet on sexual violence
Know Your Rights summary

Explains how OCR enforces Title IX in several areas of focus, including sexual violence, sexual and gender-based harassment, rights of expectant and student parents, equal support for educational curriculum regardless of gender, etc.
Title IX Enforcement Highlights

Contains a comprehensive list of OCR Title IX publications.
Title IX Reading Room

Federal Government
This website explains students’ rights under Title IX and how to file a complaint. The same website also has Title IX guidance for schools.
Not Alone: Together against Sexual Assault—Guidance for students

Title IX Quick Fact Sheet for K-12 Students and Parents
Developed by Jennifer L. Martin, Ph.D. with help from Professor Wendy Murphy, New England Law, Boston.
Title IX Fact Sheet for K-12 Students and Parents

Know Your IX
Website devoted to empowering students with knowledge of their rights under Title IX. Also includes useful information about how to file a Title IX complaint and pursue a Title IX lawsuit. Plenty of ideas and support for activism too.
Know Your IX
Know Your IX Facebook site

ACLU Women’s Rights Project
Gender-Based Violence & Harassment: Your School, Your Rights

Legal Momentum
Concise explanation of Title IX rights for students.
Know Your Rights about Sexual Violence and School
Legal Resource Kit: Sexual Harassment in the Schools

National Women’s Law Center
Resources on Title IX for students, parents, and educators, including FAQs related to cyberbullying, LGBT and gender non-conforming students, and pregnancy.
Sexual Harassment & Assault
The Next Generation of Title IX: Harassment and Bullying Based on Sex
FAQs for LGBT or Gender Nonconforming Students and Their Families

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Nicely organized summary of students’ rights and schools’ obligations under Title IX (note that the Clery Act pertains to post-secondary schools).
Know Your Rights: Title IX & The Clery Act

Title IX Blog
The professors who author this blog describe it as “an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX, the federal statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded schools.”
Title IX Blog

State Policies on Bullying, Harassment, and Hazing
The National Association of State Boards of Education has a database of state policies on bullying, harassment, and hazing.
Bullying, Harassment and Hazing Policies by State


Survivors of sexual harassment and assault may immediately call 1-800-656-HOPE to be connected to the nearest crisis or counseling center. See also resources here.

This website is intended to provide users with general information and resources that may be of interest. The information is provided as a public service and is not legal advice. Read more…