Students Protected by Title IX in New York

When Title IX was first introduced in 1972, it was best known for expanding women’s rights regarding collegiate athletics. However, since 2011, several court cases, controversies, and investigations have brought more attention to the intricacies of Title IX and expanded its protections.      

It is now more commonly associated with providing protections for sexual violence and harassment offenses on college campuses, as well as for protecting the rights of transgender people.   

Title IX protects all students in New York at federally funded colleges and universities, whether they are part-time or full-time, and regardless of sex, race, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.      

LGBTQ Students 

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of all transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. In fact, LGBTQ youth experience some of the highest rates of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the country. 

Under Title IX, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other gender nonconforming students have the right to equal education opportunities free from gender-based harassment or sex discrimination.   

Federal courts and civil litigation actions have found that schools must investigate and follow Title IX procedures even if the violence or harassment is based on a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation.   

Similarly, a school’s obligation to respond to a sexual violence complaint is the same, regardless of the complainant’s gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Colleges and universities must also respect a transgender student’s gender identity, including access to single-sex bathrooms, and protect them from gender-based bullying (even if it is not sexual in nature). LGBTQ students are among many groups protected by Title IX in New York City.

Students With Disabilities    

When a student with a disability, whether it is a learning, mental, or physical disability, experiences sexual violence or harassment, colleges and universities must promptly investigate and address the incident in accordance with Title IX. These students, however, may require certain accommodations and extra assistance.

For example, they may require specialized counseling in the aftermath of an incident, or require additional support when reporting sexual violence and participating in the investigation.

International Students

Title IX offers protections for foreign students at American colleges and universities, regardless of the student’s country of origin, citizenship status, or immigration status. 

However, foreign students on visas must remain a full-time student (usually taking at least 12 credit hours per semester) for the duration of their time in the United States. 

When an international student experiences sexual violence or harassment, it may be necessary for them to take time off, or reduce their course load so that they are considered part-time students. 

When this happens, foreign students on visas must take certain steps before dropping classes, such as contacting the designated school official (DSO) and getting prior approval, or they risk losing their student status.

Threatening to deport undocumented or foreign students who report sexual violence under Title IX directly violates Title IX’s right to protection from retaliation.

All Students Are Protected

Since any student can experience gender-based misconduct, sexual assault, or sexual violence, they are all are protected under Title IX.

As long as they are enrolled at a federally funded college and the harassment interferes with their education, participation in educational programs and activities, or creates a hostile environment, they have a right to make a Title IX complaint in New York and receive immediate assistance.

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