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Title IX and Education Law: Legal Information

Case Law

Alexander v. Yale University, 631 F.2d 178, 182 (2d Cir. 1980).

This is the first case where a court ruled that Title IX applied to sexual violence and harassment, not just to admittance into academic and extracurricular programs. The case is significant because it opened the door to anyone who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to raise a valid Title IX complaint, as it now fell under the umbrella of discrimination based on sex, and within Title IX's protections. 

Gebser v. Lago Vista Indep. School Dist., 524 U.S. 274, 276 (1998). 

This case established the "deliberate indifference" standard - essentially saying that if a school covered by Title IX was aware of sexual discrimination, but chose not to act (therefore remaining deliberately indifferent to the problem), that the school itself could be held responsible. This case has been reflected in countless Dear Colleague Letters, but the key takeaway is that schools have to take action when they know someone's rights are being violated under Title IX. The case also reaffirmed the Alexander case, two decades later, confirming that sexual violence and harassment are still valid claims under Title IX. 

Davis Next Friend LaShonda D. V. Monroe Cnty. Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999). 

This case clarified what acts of sexual harassment or violence qualify as Title IX violations, and when the school is required to act. The standard is that a violation occurs whenever conduct is severe enough to effectively bar a student's access to an educational opportunity or benefit. If a student is so harassed that he/she is unable to participate in an educational opportunity, that harassment is a violation of Title IX. This case is very interesting because it brings the line of cases full circle, back to the original purpose of Title IX: to prohibit schools from denying access to students based on sex. 

Legal Texts - Laws and Proposed Bills

Title IX 

This is a link to the text of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. If we're going to be discussing Title IX and whether/how to reform or amend it, it is probably going to be useful to have read it. 

Clery Act

This is a link to the full text of the Clery Act, which requires campuses to report crime statistics and threats, among many other things. 

SaVE Act

This is a link to the full text of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, or SaVE Act. The law is one of many modifications that have been made to the Clery Act over time, and it was a way to write some Dear Colleague Letters into law. 


This is a link to the full text of Senator McCaskill's proposed bill to reform Title IX, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, or CASA.