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Title IX

Title IX Definition

Title IX is a federal law that was passed in 1972 to ensure that male and female students and employees in educational settings are treated equally and fairly.  Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that received Federal financial assistance.  Title IX 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."

Some of the key issue areas in which recipients of Federal funds have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment.  Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or mad charges testified, or participated in any complaint action under Title IX.  

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) vigorously enforces Title IX to ensure that institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the US Department of Education comply with the law.  OCR also provides technical assistance and information and guidance to schools, universities, and other agencies to assist them in voluntarily complying with the law.

Title IX and Sexual Harassment

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, which can include sexual harassment or sexual violence.  Title IX outlines specific responsibilities that school districts have to address sexual harassment and sexual violence including:

  • The responsibility to respond promptly and effectively.  Schools must take immediate action to eliminate sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
  • Even if a student or his/her parent does not want to file a complaint or does not request that the school take any action on a student's behalf, if a school knows or reasonably should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence, it must promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.
  • A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence does not relieve the school of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.

Rights and Responsibilities

The rights of a pupil and the public and the responsibilities of a public school, private school, school district, county office of education, or charter school under Title IX, shall include, but shall not be limited to:

Huntington Beach City School District Board Policies

Huntington Beach City School District Board Policy contains multiple sections that address sexual harassment:  Uniform Complaint Procedure (AR 1312.3-R(1)Nondiscrimination/Harassment (AR 5145.3R(1), and Sexual Harassment (AR 5145.7-R(1). These regulations include detailed descriptions of the procedures that are followed by HBCSD when a complaint is filed. 

Filing a Title IX Complaint

Please utilize the Huntington Beach City School District's Uniform Complaint Procedures (AR 1312.3-R(1) for all discrimination complaints, including Title IX concerns.

How to file a complaint:

  1. Utilize the Uniform Complaint Form
  2. Send or deliver the form to the office of: 

    Patricia Hager
    Title IX Coordinator,
    Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources,
    (714) 378-2020 or phager@hbcsd.us

Statute of Limitations  

A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed only by the person who alleges that he/she personally suffered the unlawful discrimination or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to it. The complaint shall be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination occurred, or six months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. (5 CCR 4630)

Investigation of a Complaint 

Title IX complaints are investigated through the Uniform Complaint Procedures (AR 1312.3-R(1) 

Within 10 business days after the compliance officer receives the complaint, the compliance officer shall begin an investigation into the complaint.

Within one business day of initiating the investigation, the compliance officer shall provide the complainant and/or his/her representative with the opportunity to present the information contained in the complaint to the compliance officer and shall notify the complainant and/or his/her representative of the opportunity to present the compliance officer with any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. Such evidence or information may be presented at any time during the investigation.

In conducting the investigation, the compliance officer shall collect all available documents and review all available records, notes, or statements related to the complaint, including any additional evidence or information received from the parties during the course of the investigation. He/she shall individually interview all available witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint, and may visit any reasonably accessible location where the relevant actions are alleged to have taken place. At appropriate intervals, the compliance officer shall inform both parties of the status of the investigation.

To investigate a complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the compliance officer shall interview the alleged victim(s), any alleged offenders, and other relevant witnesses privately, separately, and in a confidential manner. As necessary, additional staff or legal counsel may conduct or support the investigation.

A complainant's refusal to provide the district's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. Similarly, a respondent's refusal to provide the district's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

In accordance with law, the district shall provide the investigator with access to records and other information related to the allegation in the complaint and shall not in any way obstruct the investigation. Failure or refusal of the district to cooperate in the investigation may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

The compliance officer shall apply a "preponderance of the evidence" standard in determining the veracity of the factual allegations in a complaint. This standard is met if the allegation is more likely to be true than not.

Title IX Coordinator

Title IX requires that each school district have at least one person designated as the Title IX Coordinator.  For the Huntington Beach City School District, the contact information is provided below:

Patricia Hager
Title IX Coordinator
Assistance Superintendent of Human Resources
714-378-2020
phager@hbcsd.us