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  • Updated List of K-12 Investigated Schools from Office of Civil Rights

    6 July 2015
    573 Views

    From a FOIA request that Jules Irvin-Rooney, J.D., President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, made at the beginning of June 2015 to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), OCR stated that

    “As of June 22, 2015, there are 38 sexual violence cases under investigation at 37 elementary and secondary institutions.”

    From our research, the list should be even longer; however, there exists many reasons why OCR does not investigate some of the complaints made to them or why some individuals decide not to formally make a complaint to OCR.

    For more information, please contact us via email: Jules Irvin-Rooney, J.D. @

    jirvin-rooney@irvinlawfirm.com.

    The following is the list from OCR as of June 22, 2015: 

    AR Lincoln Consolidated School District

    9/26/2014

    AR West Memphis

    8/21/2013

    AZ Tucson Unified District

    6/23/2014

    CA Berkeley Unified

    1/14/2015

    CA Palo Alto Unified

    6/3/2013

    CA San Diego Unified

    12/2/2014

    CA Santa Cruz City High

    6/11/2014

    CO Boulder Valley

    7/23/2013

    CO Custer County School District

    5/18/2015

    CT South Windsor Board of Education

    12/12/2012

    DC District Of Columbia Pub Schls

    Case 1: 12/14/2010 Case 2: 7/17/2014

    FL Pinellas County School District

    3/12/2015

    GA Gwinnett County Public Schools

    3/16/2015

    IL Crystal Lake CC Sch Dist 47

    3/19/2015

    IN School City Of Hammond

    12/18/2014

    LA Vernon Parish School Board

    11/6/2014

    MA Lincoln-Sudbury

    6/18/2014

    MD Prince Georges County Public Schools

    9/16/2013

    MD Queen Annes County School Dist

    1/7/2015

    MI South Lake Schools

    12/22/2014

    MO Fayette R-III School District

    5/23/2014

    MO Francis Howell R-III School District

    8/14/2013

    MT Lockwood SD No. 26

    12/17/2014

    NC Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

    6/17/2013

    NM Albuquerque Public School District

    6/24/2013

    OH North Olmsted City SD

    5/23/2014

    SD Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School

    1/30/2015

    TN Achievement School District

    9/10/2014

    TX Aldine ISD

    5/1/2015

    TX Angleton ISD

    6/2/2015

    TX Bosque County Educational Cooperative

    11/5/2014

    TX Northwest ISD

    2/25/2015

    TX Terrell ISD

    8/19/2013

    UT Murray School District

    3/17/2015

    VA Virginia Beach City Public Schools

    1/28/2015

    WA Seattle SD No. 1

    6/18/2014

    WV Putnam County School District

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  • A Few “Best” Practices for Title IX K-12 Schools

    6 July 2015
    642 Views

    *Please note that these are not all inclusive, nor should they be construed as legal advice for your school or institution.

    School is out for the summer, but that definitely does NOT mean that you should not be helping your school and school district comply with Title IX and Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Guidelines. Below are a few of my thoughts on what schools should be doing. In order to know what more your school should be doing, please set up a consultation with me. We are here to help individualize a “best” practice plan for you!

    What Should Your School/Institution Be Doing?

    Awareness programs: Community-wide and audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.

    Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns: Need to be sustained over time; focus on increasing understanding of relevant topics; use a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution. 

Primary Prevention: Be Pro-Active. Go ahead and implement this at the K-12 level!

    For colleges and universities (and should also be applicable for K-12) the regulations says that schools need to deliver to ALL incoming students and staff the following: programming, initiatives and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.

    Healthy sexuality needs to be geared towards all types of students.

    Risk Reduction: Ask yourself this question: Are our programs currently focused on patterns/behaviors of victims or of perpetrators? Do we have options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence?

    Bystander Intervention: You want training that is based on helping students and staff acquire skills in 5 different areas —

    1) identifying the potentially harmful situation,

    2) knowing their options,

    3) determining what role to play,

    4) taking effective action, and

    5) when to call for additional help. Training should bridge from one skill set to another skill set.

    School/Institution/Campus Climate Survey: If done properly, this will be really helpful. Does it measure what is supposed to be measured? Is it based on a validated survey instrument? Is it tested to see if it measures what it is supposed to measure?

    Developed by Jules C. Irvin-Rooney, J.D., President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC.
    501 Branchway Road – Richmond, VA 23236 – Email: jirvin-rooney@irvinlawfirm.com
    Website: www.title9consulting.com – Phone: 804.897.5035
    © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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  • What exactly is Title IX and the Clery Act?

    30 June 2015
    561 Views

    The following is a brief explanation of two major education laws that we specialize in here at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting–Title IX and the Clery Act.

    Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Indeed, Title IX is a very short statute. Guidance for schools that receive federal funding has been found through Supreme Court decisions and specific guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Most of us first understood Title IX in its relationship to sports, however, from decisions of the United States Supreme Court and guidance letters (entitled “Dear Colleague Letters” from the U.S. Department of Education) Title IX now encompasses sexual assault and harassment — or, as many schools like to term it: “sexual misconduct.” Thus, under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments and failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding — that would be called the “nuclear bomb” reaction. No school has had that transpire. Yet, for those following Title IX campus sexual assault coverage in the media, it is clear that the Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights are taking complaints regarding schools seriously.

    Here, at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, we take compliance issues very seriously. That information can be found through looking at our mission statement, reviewing Jules C. Irvin-Rooney’s biography and curriculum vitae, and (most of all) contacting us to help you.

    However, it is important to understand the specific requirements of Title IX. In order to do so, schools must look to guidance materials from the U.S. Department of Education. Recently, the 2011 Title IX Guidance, known as the “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL), discussed the obligations schools have to address campus sexual violence. While the DCL is not law, it is a firm “recommendation,” and it tells schools what the Department of Education recommends they do in all stages of a campus sexual assault — pro-active and re-active. It also outlines how the Department of Education will review and respond to complaints. For more information, you can read the entirety of the April 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter.”

    Do note that this “Dear Colleague Letter” focuses primarily on post-secondary schools — schools of higher education, whether they are two year colleges or four year colleges or universities. To note, for the Department of Education to investigate, one (1) single instance of sexual violence is sufficient to qualify as creating a hostile educational environment.

    Here at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, we deal with issues both about K-12 federally funded schools and post-secondary schools.

    Yet, what is this “Clery Act?” The Clery Act currently only applies to post-secondary schools. It was originally termed the “Campus Security Act,” yet it is now called the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)). As The Clery Center for Security on Campus States: “This is the landmark federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. The law is tied to an institution’s participation in federal student financial aid programs and it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The Clery Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.”

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  • Happy Birthday Title IX!

    25 June 2015
    543 Views

    June 23rd marked the 43rd Anniversary of Title IX! We still have so far to go in making strides and upholding the intent of the law. We look forward to working this year to provide more change — change that needs to happen at the grassroots level, in every school district, at every college and university, in our judicial system, through better relationships with law enforcement, and through legislation–legislation including The Teach Safe Relationships Act.

    We celebrate the purpose and the meaning of Title IX, in addition to serving our mission of helping train schools to have more than the minimum requirements under the law: we want to see “best” practices.

    Today, on June 25, 2015, Jules Irvin-Rooney, J.D. will present to the National Campus Safety Forum #CSeventDC the presentation: Title IX and K-12 Schools: Understanding the Law & Implementing “Best Practices.” Jules’ session is following the Keynote address by Senator Claire McCaskill on the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Additionally, following Jules will be a presentation from S. Daniel Carter, Director of 32 National Campus Safety Initiative VTV Family Outreach.

    If you are unable to make this break-out session at the National Campus Safety Forum or you want to further your knowledge about the best practices, please contact us.

    Together, we will fight school sexual misconduct and violence; and, by the time Title IX turns 43, substantial positive change will transpire!

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  • Pertinent Information Regarding OCR Title IX Investigations for K-12

    22 June 2015
    480 Views

    One of the most frustrating aspects of working with Title IX at the K-12 level is that the media’s focus has been so much on Title IX complaints at the college level, almost forgetting that school sexual violence starts in the primary grades. Thus, new information about how OCR is looking into K-12 schools is helpful in those of us who are fighting to help these students, these schools, and these educators.

    According to OCR:

    Regarding Sexual Assault

    “During FY 13–14, OCR resolved 90 Title IX investigations related to sexual violence at the K-12 and postsecondary levels, including 25 resulting in a resolution agreement. During these two years, OCR’s compliance reviews related to sexual violence made up 19% of the total number of compliance reviews; 9% of OCR’s complaints were Title IX sexual violence complaints.”

    From the research we do here at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC these numbers are still low; however, we are pleased to be hearing news from OCR.

    Regarding Sexual Harassment

    “Bullying and harassment are harmful to students and the learning environment and are far too pervasive in our nation’s schools. OCR strives to protect students’ rights to learn in environments free from bullying and harassment. Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discriminatory bullying or harassment based on a student’s sex, including allegations of both opposite-sex and same- sex bullying or harassment, bullying or harassment based on students’ gender identity, and bullying or harassment based on a student’s failure to conform to traditional sex stereotypes.”

    In FY 13–14, OCR received 854 complaints related to this issue.”

    For the detailed report, please see Protecting Civil Rights, Advancing Equity.

    If you would like to know more, please contact us!

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  • What is Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC All About?

    22 June 2015
    443 Views

    Many days I get the question: “How did I choose this field to specialize in?”

    I didn’t–it chose me. And the fact that it chose me, the fact that I love teaching, and the fact that I love the law are all reasons why I have dedicated my work and life to combatting sexual violence. I believe that we can create great change, and I have and will continue to fight for that change.

    In our opinion, our parents, educators, administrators, students, and community members have continuously thought: “This cannot be happening at my school. This cannot be happening to my child.” I have horrible news–it is happening at your school and, if your child is not a survivor, your child knows a survivor. We must start early in our children’s lives to combat bullying, harassment, hazing, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. We must change the culture in which we have, for years, dismissed or ignored these issues. And through my work at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, I am here to help you — no matter who you are — do that. 

     

    When people speak about Title IX they are referring to 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), which states:

    “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

    What does this mean?

    Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Indeed, Title IX is a very short statute. Guidance for schools that receive federal funding has been found through Supreme Court decisions and specific guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Most of us first understood Title IX in its relationship to sports, however, from decisions of the United States Supreme Court and guidance letters (entitled “Dear Colleague Letters” from the U.S. Department of Education) Title IX now encompasses sexual assault and harassment — or, as many schools like to term it: “sexual misconduct.” Thus, under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments and failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding — that would be called the “nuclear bomb” reaction. No school has had that transpire. Yet, for those following Title IX campus sexual assault coverage in the media, it is clear that the Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights are taking complaints regarding schools seriously.

    Here, at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, we take compliance issues very seriously. That information can be found through looking at our mission statement, reviewing Jules C. Irvin-Rooney’s biography and mission statement, and (most of all) contacting us to help you.

    However, it is important to understand the specific requirements of Title IX. In order to do so, schools must look to guidance materials from the U.S. Department of Education. Recently, the 2011 Title IX Guidance, known as the “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL), discussed the obligations schools have to address campus sexual violence. While the DCL is not law, it is a firm “recommendation,” and it tells schools what the Department of Education recommends they do in all stages of a campus sexual assault — pro-active and re-active. It also outlines how the Department of Education will review and respond to complaints. For more information, you can read the entirety of the April 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter.”

    Do note that this “Dear Colleague Letter” focuses primarily on post-secondary schools — schools of higher education, whether they are two year colleges or four year colleges or universities. To note, for the Department of Education to investigate, one (1) single instance of sexual violence is sufficient to qualify as creating a hostile educational environment.

    Here at Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, we deal with issues both about K-12 federally funded schools and post-secondary schools.

    Yet, what is this “Clery Act?” The Clery Act currently only applies to post-secondary schools. It was originally termed the “Campus Security Act,” yet it is now called the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)). As The Clery Center for Security on Campus States: “This is the landmark federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. The law is tied to an institution’s participation in federal student financial aid programs and it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The Clery Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.”

    But those are not the only two laws at issue when it comes to K-12 school and college campus sexual assaults and harassment. We have to consider much more. And that, is why we are here to help.

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