Selected Resources and Research About Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Title IX

See also: K-12 Sexual Assault in the Media   Know Your Rights   Sexual Harassment Defined
Awareness Videos   #MeTooK12 Resources

Essential Fact Sheets for Students

NEW Frequently asked questions on Title IX and supportive measures for K-12 students (National Women’s Law Center, 2021)

The Next Generation of Title IX: Harassment and Bullying Based on Sex. This fact sheet discusses the next generation of Title IX issues, such as protecting gender non-conforming students and cyberbullying. (National Women’s Law Center, 2012)

Cyberbullying and Sexual Harassment: FAQs About Cyberbullying and Title IX. This fact sheet explains what cyberbullying is and how schools should respond to cyberbullying in and out of school. (National Women’s Law Center)

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Know Your Rights: Title IX Requires Your School to Address Sexual Violence. This fact sheet lists the obligations of schools to respect your Title IX rights regarding sexual assault. (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 2014) (OCR has rescinded this document).

Title IX Protections from Bullying and Harassment in Schools: FAQs for LGBT or Gender Nonconforming Students gaystar. This fact sheet in Q&A format explains Title IX protections against harassment and bullying towards LGTB and gender nonconforming students. (National Women’s Law Center, 2012)

Legal Resource Kit: Sexual Harassment in the Schools. Presents factual information about sexual harassment, Title IX, filing a lawsuit, a blueprint for action, and numerous resources. (Legal Momentum, 2008).

How Families Should Work With Title IX Coordinators. Practical tips created by the Feminist Majority Foundation for SSAIS. (2016)

Title IX Coordinators: Key to Fighting Sex Discrimination in Education. Discusses how to renew efforts to increase the ranks of effective and independent Title IX Coordinators and support them as equity leaders. (Feminist Majority Foundation, 2015)

Know Your Rights: Title IX & The Clery Act. Nicely organized summary of students’ rights and schools’ obligations under Title IX (note that the Clery Act pertains to post-secondary schools). (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, 2014)

Public school districts and elementary and secondary schools must submit data (including the number of reported incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence) to the biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) maintained by the Office for Civil Rights. Read the 2017-2018 CRDC Report: Sexual Violence in K-12 Schools.

Sexual Violence Coalitions

National Directory of Sexual Violence Coalitions. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has an online directory that highlights organizations and projects working to eliminate sexual violence.

Research and Surveys on Sexual Violence in K-12 Schools

Sexual Violence in K-12 Schools.  This report by the U.S. Department of Education draws on data from the 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection.

Sexual Harassment and Assault in the K-12 Workplace. Results of an online survey of K-12 teachers and administrators about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the school workplace. (Education Week 2018)

Statistics About Sexual Violence. This factsheet summarizes national surveys on sexual violence and child sexual abuse in the U.S., cost and impact studies, and crime reports. (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2015).

Let Her Learn: Stopping School Pushout for Girls Who Have Suffered Harassment and Sexual Violence. This report delves into the data on girls who are victims of harassment and sexual violence, examines the impact it has on their education, and offers solutions to better serve and support them in schools. (National Women’s Law Center, 2017)

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. This report provides data for states to help them better understand the extent of intimate partner, sexual violence, and stalking and to inform state and national efforts to better prevent this violence and support victims when it occurs. (Centers for Disease Control, 2017) Factsheet  Infographic

Perpetual Violence is not a “Best Practice:” The Intervention and Prevention of Peer-on-Peer Sexual Harassment at Berkeley High School. This honors thesis by Morgan Hartig explores the disparity between how Berkeley Unified School District perceives the adequacy of their interventions to improve the Berkeley High School school climate and the reality of the intervention outcomes as they impact students. (Unpublished honors thesis, UC Berkeley, 2018)

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Bringing Title IX to Bear on the Problem of Sexual Violence in Schools. Two-part article that discusses the legal standards that were brought to bear on a recent Title IX case regarding a student-on-student rape at a Texas public high school. Part 1  Part 2 (Verdict, 2012)

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Experiences Among Middle School Youth. This study presents evidence that middle school youth have experienced a wide range of upsetting sexual violence experiences that seem to be unaddressed by adults in these schools. (AERA, 2014)

Adolescents’ Experiences of Sexual Assault by Peers: Prevalence and Nature of Victimization Occurring Within and Outside of School. This study examined adolescent peer-on-peer sexual assault victimization occurring within and outside school. (Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2009)

Normalizing Sexual Violence: Young Women Account for Harassment and Abuse.  This study discusses how sexual violence is produced, maintained, and normalized among youth. (Gender & Society, 2014)

Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School. This report presents new evidence on sexual harassment, including cyber-harassment, in middle and high schools. It  confirms that sexual harassment remains an unfortunate part of school culture, affecting the educational experiences of millions of students, especially girls. (AAUW, 2011)

Incapacitated and Forcible Rape of College Women: Prevalence Across the First Year. This study demonstrates that a precollege history of sexual assault, particularly incapacitated rape, predicts revictimization, increasing the odds of both incapacitated rape and forcible rape in the first year of college. (Journal of Adolescent Health, 2015)

Institutional Betrayal and Betrayal Blindness. University of Oregon Department of Psychology researchers Carly Smith and Jennifer Freyd have developed the Institutional Betrayal Questionnaire (IBQ) to measure institutional betrayal regarding sexual assault.

#MeTooK12: Impact and reach.  Lists by category publications that reference the #MeTooK12 campaign, launched in 2018.

Research on LGBTQ+ Students  gaystar

The 2015 National School Climate Survey. The GLSEN annual climate survey charts the school experiences of LGBTQ youth in schools, including the extent of the challenges that they face at school and the school-based resources that support LGBTQ students’ well-being. (GLSEN, 2017)

Health Risks Among Sexual Minority Youth.  The first nationally representative study on the health risks of U.S. lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016)

A Hidden Crisis Including the LGBT Community When Addressing Sexual Violence on College Campuses. This brief argues for the need for more data if schools are to understand the impact of sexual assault on the LGBT community. (Center for American Progress, 2014)

Title IX: An Imperfect but Vital Tool To Stop Bullying of LGBT Students. Federal courts and agencies are increasingly holding school districts accountable under Title IX when schools fail to protect LGBT students from gender-based bullying. (Yale Law Review, 2016)

The Bully-Sexual Violence Pathway in Early Adolescence. Study shows that bullying perpetration and homophobic teasing were significant predictors of sexual harassment perpetration over time. (Centers for Disease Control, 2008).

Research on Educator Sexual Abuse

A Case Study of K-12 School Employee Sexual Misconduct: Lessons Learned from Title IX Policy Implementation. Researchers collected data from 92 participants (41 interviews and 10 focus groups), as well as a review of documentation and policies, in five geographically and demographically diverse districts. All five districts experienced an incident of school employee sexual misconduct in 2014; the data were collected in 2016–2017.

Ignorance of Title IX Among K-12 School Districts

Ending Harassment Now: Keeping our Kids Safe at School. This report discusses the lack of Title IX compliance within 116 school districts in the San Francisco Bay area. (Equal Rights Advocates, 2015)

Exemplary Title IX Sexual Harassment Policies in K-12 School Districts

These school districts have developed comprehensive sexual harassment policies and grievance procedures noteworthy for clarity, transparency, and ease of access on districts’ websites:

Essential Information and Directories 

See also: Know Your Rights   The Crisis in Our Schools   K-12 Sexual Assault in the Media

Directory of state education agencies. Every state has a department or agency that oversees its administration of public education. These education agencies are led by a superintendent of schools, although the official title varies by state.

United States school districts. A list of school districts in all 50 states, organized by state.

Ashland (OR) Public Schools Sexual Harassment Title IX Policy. Developed with the assistance of the Jackson County, OR Sexual Assault Response Team, this student- and parent-friendly policy can serve as a model for every school district.

Title IX at 45: Advancing Opportunity through Equity in Education. This report outlines issues and recommendations in six areas covered by Title IX: STEM, CTE, athletics, sexual harassment and assault, single-sex education, and the rights of pregnant and parenting students. It also looks at the role of Title IX coordinators in helping schools comply with the law. SSAIS assisted with the development of the chapter on sexual harassment and assault. (National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, 2017)

Cape Cod Community College OCR Case No. 01-93- 2047 [OCR Case Resolution Letter]. In this case, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) found Cape Cod Community College to have violated Title IX in part because the person identified by the school as the Title IX Coordinator was unfamiliar with Title IX, had no training, and did not even know that he was the Coordinator. (Office for Civil Rights, 1993)

Reinvigorating the Role of the Title IX Coordinator: A Requirement and Resource. A groundbreaking multi-year report that discusses the critical role of Title IX Coordinators in implementing Title IX to end sex discrimination in federally funded education programs from preschool through graduate school. SSAIS assisted with the development of this report. (Feminist Majority Foundation, 2016)

State & Large School District Title IX Gender Equity Coordinators, Methods of Administration Coordinators & other State and District Level Gender Equity Experts. Developed by the Education Equality Program of the Feminist Majority Foundation, this document is designed to help build an effective network of Title IX coordinators at all levels of education throughout the U.S. (2019)

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Sexual Violence Among our Students: The School Counselor’s Legal Role. Explains to school counselors how Title IX affects their responsibilities toward students in the aftermath of sexual assault. (ASCA School Counselor, 2012)

Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education (2nd edition). An essential reference work on gender equity in education. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007)

Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment K-12: Strategies and Solutions for Educators to Use in the Classroom, School, and Community. With more than 700 specific strategies and solutions to use in the classroom, school, and community, this book covers just about everything that educators need, providing a comprehensive and detailed blueprint for an overall plan and policy to prevent and deal with peer harassment. (R&L Education, 2005)

Safe Relationships and Sexual Harassment. A high school sexual harassment slide presentation by the San Francisco Unified School District.

Sexual Assault in Postsecondary Institutions

Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. This first Task Force report focuses on sexual assault at postsecondary institutions – such as colleges, universities, community colleges, graduate and professional schools, and trade schools – that receive federal financial assistance. (U.S. Government, 2014)

Uncomfortable Conversations: Confronting the Reality of Target Rape on Campus. Important commentary by Harvard professor Diane Rosenfeld on the application of Title IX to campus sexual assault. (Harvard Law Review, 2015).

Revenge Porn (non-consensual image sharing)

Nonconsensual Image Sharing Isn’t Pornography — It’s Sexual Assault. This article summarizes research on the effects of nonconsensual sharing of text messages and images (“revenge porn”), from these published studies: Nonconsensual Image Sharing: One In 25 Americans Has Been A Victim Of “Revenge Porn” , A Qualitative Analysis of the Mental Health Effects of Revenge Porn on Female Survivors, and Sexting among singles in the USA: prevalence of sending, receiving, and sharing sexual messages and images. (The MSW@USC, the Online master of social work program at the University of Southern California, 2018)

Sexual Assault Hazing

Lessons Learned from Bystander Intervention Prevention in Ending Sexual and Relationship Violence and Stalking: Translations For Hazing Prevention. (Stapleton and Allen, 2014)

Sample OCR Cases

These cases illustrate some of the many types of sexual harassment, violence, and gender-based discrimination  that resulted in OCR investigations of K-12 schools. We present these cases to encourage you to report violations so school districts will be investigated and held accountable. Every situation is unique, so do not hesitate to act. To see additional cases, visit the OCR site to search on a particular district or locality.

Documents Related to Title IX Investigation of the Seattle School District

These documents pertain to the sexual assault of a female student that led to an investigation of the Seattle School District by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR). These examples may assist other families who pursue accountability and justice at the district, state, and federal levels.

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OCR Complaint (PDF 183KB)
Parents’ June 2014 complaint to OCR against the Seattle School District, making it the 23rd school district in the nation under federal investigation.

Discrimination Complaint (PDF 51KB)
Amplification of the OCR complaint.

Response to Kaiser Assault Report (PDF 21MB)
Parents’ extensive response to the District’s biased/belated investigation of assault. Includes District’s errors and omissions, assailant’s admission of rape, social media posts, supporting documents, redacted medical information, etc.

Sexual Assault Case Documents (PDF 8MB)
Parents’ complaints after the Seattle School District denied sexual harassment, contrary to both WA State definitions of rape and the District’s own definition of sexual assault. Includes parents’ discussion of the District’s distortions to avoid liability for the negligence that allowed sexual assault.

Staff Complaint
Demonstrates the full spectrum of negligence that allowed for a sexual assault on a school field trip. This complaint against teachers, principals, superintendent, legal department, and Section 504 coordinator, includes documentation from the Seattle Public Schools’ own records.

Response to Kaiser Staff Investigation Report (PDF)
Parents’ response to the District’s inadequate investigation of staff misconduct.

Misconduct Violations for ESDs (PDF 87KB)
Request for investigation by the Washington State Office of Professional Practice (OPP) detailing how actions and inactions by Seattle Public School staff violated the Code of Professional Conduct for Education Practitioners published and enforced by OPP, specifically “disregard or abandonment of generally recognized professional standards.”

Correspondence with the Seattle School District Regarding Sexual Assault (PDF 9MB)
Demonstrates the lengths a district will go to evade liability for sexual assault.

Survey On Attitudes Towards Sexual Assault at Garfield (PDF 1MB)
Created by former Garfield High School (Seattle) student Sylvie Nemeth and featured in the media.

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