Dear Colleague Letters

Below are letters from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights discussing Title IX policies, procedures and expectations. They are listed by date for your convenience, starting from most recent.

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Letter on Transgender Students - May 13, 2016

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Highlights:

  • Although this letter does not add requirements to applicable law, its purpose is to provide significant guidance for schools and universities in properly handling the civil rights of transgender students.

  • "When a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity." Some of these sex-segregated activities and facilities include (but are not limited to) Restrooms and Locker Rooms, Athletics, Single-Sex Classes & Schools, Fraternities and Sororities.

  • Access the Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students document referenced in the above letter.

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Letter on Title IX Coordinators - April 24, 2015

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Highlights:

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Letter on Sexual Violence - April 4, 2011

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Highlights:

  • All sexual violence is prohibited under Title IX.

  • Sexual violence is not limited to college campuses; incidents of sexual assault are reported in public high schools as well.

  • Schools are required to protect their students wherever sexual violence may be present, "whether those programs take place in a school’s facilities, on a school bus, at a class or training program."

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Letter on Harassment and Bullying - October 26, 2010

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Highlights:

  • Students are protected from harassment and bullying under the Office for Civil Right's federal antidiscrimination laws, as well as a majority of school policies and behavioral guidelines.

  • "Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm".

  • The letter addresses appropriate responses to harassment, which may include an investigation into the reported behavior.

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Dear Colleague Letter on Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Clarification - April 20, 2010

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Highlights:

  • This letter introduces policy changes regarding intercollegiate athletics, while withdrawing previous policy changes issued in March 2005.

  • Additionally, it reaffirms that "the Title IX regulation provides that if an institution operates or sponsors an athletic program, it must provide equal athletic opportunities for members of both sexes".

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Dear Colleague Letter on Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance - September 17, 2008

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Highlights:

  • Although OCR does not define the term "sport", it instead bases its qualification on the structure of the proposed team.

  • OCR also considers the following factors when determining whether an activity can be counted for Title IX Compliance:All activities are considered on a case by case basis.

    • Program Structure and Administration.

    • Team Preparation and Competition.