Incidents of abuse reported under Title IX must be filed through an employee of the school, who will be categorized as one of the following:
- Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is a staff member specifically hired by your school to ensure that all the requirements of Title IX are being met. Once an incident is reported to the Title IX Coordinator (either directly or through another reporter), it’s their job to ensure that the school follows the investigation process laid out by the law.
Good Title IX Coordinators will make every effort to ensure that survivors receive the support, resources, and accommodation they need and that the school honors their wishes throughout the process, but you should keep in mind that school administrations are technically allowed to move forward against a survivor’s wishes.
Once an incident is reported to the Title IX Coordinator, the school will initiate an investigation; the outcome of that investigation is ultimately beyond your control. Your school’s Title IX Coordinator should be listed on its website and well-known by staff.
- Responsible Employees
Responsible Employees are school staff who are required to report incidents of abuse to your school’s Title IX Coordinator as mandated reporters of assault, abuse, or violence. These tend to be teachers, coaches, advisors, and other administrative staff.
Under Title IX, investigations into reports made by Responsible Employees should follow a specific timeline.
- Confidential Employees
Confidential Employees have more discretion in reporting and may not be required to report incidents to the Title IX coordinator, though they can help file a report if asked. These employees tend to be faith counselors, licensed therapists, and other medical staff.
After an incident is reported to a Confidential Employee, survivors should be offered accommodations and services without a formal report; this does not waive the survivor’s right to file a report separately, but if students don’t know whether they want to file a formal complaint or not yet, they should consider reaching out to a Confidential Employee before contacting a mandated reporter.
Each school is different and there’s no universal rule about which employees are designated how. It’s important for you to know your classification and the responsibilities that come with it, and to publicize that information to your students to reduce the risk of unintended consequences around mandated reporting.
Students who aren’t sure about a staff member’s classification should assume they’re mandated reporters and be cautious with details.
If you or any of your students want to discuss Title IX or other questions in a judgement-free space, contact love is respect to speak with a supportive and confidential advocate 24/7.
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