Title IX and Sexual Harassment in Schools

As a future educator, what is happening in the education world is important to me, and I spend much of my time researching what is going on. This week, I found an article on the USAToday about sexual harassment in schools – and it’s being ignored. The jist? Local Board of Education’s are finding out about teachers that sexual abuse their students. These teachers? They have no problem finding new jobs. School districts will pay these teachers to simply leave their district, and without public word. These teachers can then, easily, find the exact same position in a nearby district. This is actually happening.

A year-long USAToday investigation concluded some points I would like you all to know:

• State education agencies across the country have ignored a federal ban on signing secrecy deals with teachers suspected of abusing minors, a practice informally known as “passing the trash.” These contracts hide details of sexual behavior and sometimes pay teachers to quit their jobs quietly. The secrecy makes it easier for troubled teachers to find new jobs working with children.

• Private schools and youth organizations are especially at risk. They are left on their own to perform background checks of new hires and generally have no access to the sole tracking system of teachers who were disciplined by state authorities.

• Despite the risks, schools of all kinds regularly fail to do the most basic of background checks. A private high school in Louisiana hired a teacher who was a registered sex offender in Texas. Students using a simple Web search uncovered his past.

• School administrators are rarely penalized for failing to report resignations of problem teachers to state licensing officials. Though 41 states have laws requiring public school administrators to report the firing or resignation of a teacher to state education officials, violations of those laws rarely have consequences.

This, to me, is completely baffling. Schools are temples, made for safe learning, expansive opportunities, and trust. Schools cannot be a place for teachers to take advantage of their students, and be let loose for it. Schools ARE NOT vulnerable places for teachers to live out their most disgusting fantasies.

This has also been in the news lately with Gymnastics facilities.

What is Title IX? It’s important for you to know.

“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.”

Recently, I have been interesting in AAUW, American Association of University Women. I was scrolling through their page, learning more information, and I came across something about Title IX. I have heard about the law, but I figured it was time to do my research.

In 2016, more than 1,200 Title IX related complaints in schools were resolved. This means complaints anywhere from athletics to sexual harassment.

“Women and girls have come a long way since the enactment of Title IX — the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Still, far too many students are denied equal educational opportunities. The National Women’s Law Center works to eliminate and prevent barriers to students’ success in school. Although Title IX is best known for breaking down barriers in sports for women and girls, it also opens the door for girls to pursue math and science, requires fair treatment for pregnant and parenting students, and protects students from bullying and sexual harassment, among other things.” –Title IX

Still today, a wide range of discrimination problems are happening in schools. Especially on college campuses nationwide.

“Four women have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education against four universities, alleging the schools mishandled their sexual assault cases.

Among the allegations, according to End Rape on Campus, the four universities failed to enforce no-contact orders between the perpetrators and victims, and several survivors faced retaliation from the accused.
The Department of Education recommends that universities investigate sexual assault allegations within 60 days, but in these cases, all four universities took “significantly longer” to do so.” -CNN 
What am I trying to say here? Title IX has done enormous efforts this years that have only benefited students nationwide. However, there are problems that still persist. For some reason, schools do not take harassment as seriously as they claim to. If they did, those schools would not just pay teachers under the table to leave their district after they assaulted a student. When you look at it, schools are paying the criminal money to leave without issue, and yet there is an effected, victimized student who get little but a pass back to class.
Thank you all,
Love, Rosie.



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