Unlocking the 2024 Title IX Regulations

After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Education released the latest iteration of the Title IX regulations on April 19, 2024. The deadline for implementation is August 1, 2024.With just under 15 weeks ahead to make the necessary changes to policies and practice, ICS has distilled the 1,561-page document to eight key themes.

  1. The Devil is in the Details

    Pay attention to expanded definitions, lists, and punctuation. Placement of commas, colons, semi-colons, and the use of AND/OR is critical. A few examples:

    • Complainants may now be individuals who previously participated in your school’s education program when the sex discrimination took place.
    • Complaints can be written OR oral.
    • Pregnancy or related conditions has expanded a great deal.
    • Consent is not defined in the new regulations, but your school’s policy must have one. Be sure your definition is written and explained in a way that students understand it.
    • A report is now a notification.
  2. Make Room on Your Plate

    Talk with your supervisor about how to shift your duties to make room for new responsibilities within these regulations. While some work can move to Title IX Designees, there must be one primary Title IX Coordinator who makes all key decisions. The investigator and decision-maker can now be the same person, but appeals must go to a separate individual. A new position, Supportive Measures Review Administration (SMRA), must be added to the Title IX team. This person should not report to the Title IX Coordinator. Consider these things:

    • How will you structure your Title IX team?
    • How will you adhere to record-keeping requirements?
    • Who will write your grievance procedures?
    • How will your Title IX policy intersect with other school policies?
  3. The What & Where Expanded

    Grievance procedures are now required for ALL sex discrimination, not just sex-based harassment (formerly sexual harassment). This includes pregnancy and related conditions, athletics, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. Mandatory reporting requirements apply to ALL cases of sex discrimination.

    Sex-based harassment includes three types of harassment:

    • Quid pro quo (remains the same)
    • Hostile environment (this changed the most dramatically)
    • Specific offenses such as dating violence, stalking, fondling, etc.

    Hostile environment harassment includes those behaviors that are: unwelcome, sex-based conduct, subjectively AND objectively offensive, severe OR pervasive, and limits or denies one’s ability to participate in the education program/activity.

    Within these regulations we also find discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of: sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity. Schools will need to consider how this component, which is generating the most vocal response, will apply particularly to bathroom and locker room usage.

    Of note, the new regulations expand the scope of Title IX outside of one’s school/employment. There is now an obligation to address a sex-based hostile environment under its education program or activity EVEN WHEN some conduct alleged to be contributing to the hostile environment occurred outside the education program or activity or outside the U.S.

  4. Training, Training, and A LOT More Training

    The training requirement has expanded extensively. The Title IX team, which includes new designees (who will be trained as Title IX Coordinators) and the new SMRA position, will need to be trained prior to engaging in the work. Additionally, ALL employees must be trained annually and upon hiring. Along with the rollout of the new regulations there have been many free webinars available that serve as an overview of the changes, these free webinars do NOT satisfy the requirements for training under the new regs.

    ICS has a variety of training opportunities to help you satisfy your federally-mandated requirements. Check out our K-12 and Higher Ed training dates. We have both in-person and virtual trainings available, and all of our trainings are comprehensive and designed to assist you in your role day-to-day.

  5. Publish it EVERYWHERE

    Your revised Nondiscrimination Statement/Policy and information regarding your Title IX Coordinator will need to be widely published. Include it on your school’s website and in handbooks, catalogs, announcements, bulletins, and application forms. ICS suggests a strong website which contains contact information, your policy, grievance procedures, and reporting/notifying options. We also encourage you to create a QR code which can be published widely, bringing all community members directly to your enhanced Title IX website.

  6. Make New Friends

    As you work to implement these new regulations it is important for your Title IX Coordinator to create key partners across your district/campus. Begin to partner with the folks in Admissions, Human Resources/Employment, Communications, and the IT Office, IEP/504 Team and/or Accessibility Services, if you have not already.

  7. Grievance Procedures ++

    Moving forward, as with the 2020 regulations, you MUST NOT discipline for Sex Discrimination outside of the Title IX process.

    K-12 educators send the Notice of Allegations upon receipt of an oral or written complaint and will then launch the investigation. After a review of the report and/or evidence, questions will be posed to parties and witnesses in an effort to assess credibility. You will then move to a determination and appeal process, if applicable.

    Higher education has two possible grievance procedures:

    • Procedure #1 (§106.45) is to be used for all employee on employee sex discrimination as well as sex discrimination that is NOT sex-based harassment. The Title IX Coordinator sends the Notice of Allegations upon receipt of an oral or written complaint and will then launch the investigation. After a review of the report and/or evidence, questions will be posed to parties and witnesses in an effort to assess credibility. You will then move to a determination and appeal process, if applicable.
    • Procedure #2 (§106.46) must be used for any sex-based harassment involving a student as a complainant or respondent; this procedure can include a live hearing OR no live hearing, to be determined by the Title IX Coordinator. Procedure #2 shares many of the steps of Procedure #1 with a few minor additions (notice of meetings, presence of an advisor, hearing/no hearing with questions).
  8. Finish Strong

    Continue your current work, under the 2020 regulations, as you work toward a strong finish to the 2023-2024 academic year. There will be time at the conclusion of the school year to prepare your school for the transition to the 2024 regulations. ICS is here to assist you in any way we can, whether that is with training solutions or writing new policies, we are in this together!

For up-to-date information about the new Title IX regulations, check out our resources page. Contact us today for more information on how we can support your school, district, or institution.