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OCR: Office for Civil Rights
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Dear Colleague Letter

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY



Page 6

nature of sexual harassment and violence, and understand that the school will not tolerate such conduct. Indeed, these measures may bring potentially problematic conduct to the school’s attention before it becomes serious enough to create a hostile environment. Training for administrators, teachers, staff, and students also can help ensure that they understand what types of conduct constitute sexual harassment or violence, can identify warning signals that may need attention, and know how to respond. More detailed information and examples of education and other preventive measures are provided later in this letter.

Procedural Requirements Pertaining to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

Recipients of Federal financial assistance must comply with the procedural requirements outlined in the Title IX implementing regulations. Specifically, a recipient must:

(A) Disseminate a notice of nondiscrimination;16

(B) Designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX;17 and

(C) Adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee sex discrimination complaints.18

These requirements apply to all forms of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and are important for preventing and effectively responding to sex discrimination. They are discussed in greater detail below. OCR advises recipients to examine their current policies and procedures on sexual harassment and sexual violence to determine whether those policies comply with the requirements articulated in this letter and the 2001 Guidance. Recipients should then implement changes as needed.

(A) Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Title IX regulations require that each recipient publish a notice of nondiscrimination stating that the recipient does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, and that Title IX requires it not to discriminate in such a manner.19 The notice must state that inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the recipient’s Title IX coordinator or to OCR. It should include the name or title, office address, telephone number, and e-mail address for the recipient’s designated Title IX coordinator.

The notice must be widely distributed to all students, parents of elementary and secondary students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other relevant persons. OCR recommends that the notice be prominently posted on school Web sites and at various

16 34 C.F.R. § 106.9.
17 Id. § 106.8(a).
18 Id. § 106.8(b).
19 Id. § 106.9(a).


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Last Modified: 04/03/2011