Frequently Asked Questions for Young People and Their Families

Frequently Asked Questions about Title 9 for K-12 Students and their families

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the K12T9 Initiative website includes answers to many of the questions about Title IX that we get asked by students, parents, educators, and others. Please note that the FAQ is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice for your particular question, issue, or concern. The information provided in the FAQ, however, is intended to be helpful and support you in learning about Title IX issues in K12 educational environment. For specific guidance and support on your particular question, issue, or concern, please reach out to a trusted adult at home, at school, or in the community. Talking about your situation with a trusted adult, and in particular your school district’s Title IX Coordinator, is a critical step in stopping the harassment and getting you help.

 

1.   What is Title IX?

Title IX, or “Title Nine”, is a federal law that makes discrimination based on sex illegal in any school that receives money from the federal government.

Although Title IX is perhaps best known for making sure students are treated equally by a school’s sports programs, Title IX also means that sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender-based harassment is illegal in schools.

Specifically, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 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."

Basically, Title IX says that all students have the legal right to go school and not be subjected to sexual and/or gender-based harassment. If any student believes they have been harassed and reports the harassment to their school or District, the school or District has the legal responsibility to investigate and address the situation.

2.   Who does Title IX apply to?

Title IX applies to all educational institutions (schools and school districts) that receive federal funds. Every school must follow Title IX law if they get support from the federal government – and nearly all public schools get some kind of federal funding. Most private schools also have codes of conduct and policies against sexual and/or gender-based harassment.

All students have the right to be educated in a positive and safe environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and bullying.

Title IX laws and district/school policies prohibit sexual and gender-based harassment of all students, employees, and other persons (for example: volunteers, contractors, and others) while on school grounds, while going to or coming from school, while at school activities on or off school grounds, while on district transportation, or while otherwise involved in a District program or activity.

Title IX laws and district/school policies prohibit retaliatory behavior or action against any person who files a complaint, testifies, or otherwise participates in a Title IX report, complaint, or investigation. That means district/schools can’t punish or discipline anyone who comes forward with a report or complaint about sexual and/or gender-based harassment.

3.   What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?

The Title IX law prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender-based harassment of all students, employees, and other persons (for example: volunteers, contractors, and others) while on school grounds, while going to or coming from school, while at school activities on or off school grounds, while on district transportation, or while otherwise involved in a District program or activity.

Title IX law also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who files a complaint, testifies, or otherwise participates in a complaint. That means you shouldn’t get in trouble for reporting your situation or filing a formal complaint.

4.   What behaviors are covered by Title IX?

The terms “sexual harassment” and “gender-based harassment” refer to a wide-range of behaviors and situations. It’s not the responsibility of the student to figure out what unwelcome sexual behavior does or does not qualify as harassment according to Title IX.

Many different behaviors can be considered sexual and/or gender-based harassment, depending on how severe they are, how often they happen, and how hurtful they are.

The federal law defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively o¬ffensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to educational programs and activities.” That definition was written by lawyers and it can be hard to understand, so here are a few examples of behaviors that might be considered harassment under the Title IX law:

  • Sharing or posting sexual pictures, drawings, notes, texts, posts, rude comments, or jokes online or in real life.
  • Grabbing, touching, or staring at you in a sexual way without your permission.
  • Harassing or bullying because someone thinks you don’t meet gender expectations.
  • Any sexual behavior or expression of sexual interest by an adult.
  • Someone continuing to express sexual interest after being told the interest is unwelcome.
  • Sexual assault, rape, or any other sexual contact that you don’t agree to.
  • Offering educational benefits (like a good grade or a college recommendation) in exchange for sexual behavior.
  • Other sexual behavior that is unwelcome.

5.   What is “sexual harassment”?

The term “sexual harassment” refers to a wide range of unwelcome sexual behavior, including sexual assault and rape.

Many different unwelcome sexual behaviors can be considered sexual harassment under the Title IX federal law. Whether or not particular behavior is covered by Title IX depends on how severe the behaviors are, how often they happen, and how hurtful they are.

The federal law defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively o¬ffensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to educational programs and activities.” Here are a few examples of behaviors that might be considered harassment under the Title IX law:

  • Sharing or posting sexual pictures, drawings, notes, texts, posts, rude comments, or jokes online or in real life.
  • Grabbing, touching, or staring at you in a sexual way without your approval.
  • Harassing or bullying because someone thinks you don’t meet gender expectations and stereotypes.
  • Any sexual behavior or expression of sexual interest by an adult.
  • Someone continuing to express sexual interest after being told the interest is unwelcome.
  • Sexual assault, rape, and/or any other sexual contact that you don’t agree to.
  • Offering educational benefits (like a good grade or a college recommendation) in exchange for sexual behavior.
  • Other sexual behavior that is unwelcome.

6.   What is “gender-based harassment”?

Gender-based harassment includes acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility that are based on someone’s gender identity or expression. The aggression can be verbal, nonverbal, or physical. It is not necessarily sexual in nature.

It is prohibited to harass a student for exhibiting ‘stereotypical’ characteristic(s) for their gender, or for not fitting in to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.

Gender Identity is a personal sense of gender – being a boy/man, a girl/woman, a blend of both or neither. Gender identities may include male, female, agender, androgynous, genderqueer, nonbinary, transgender, and many others, or a combination of these. A person’s gender identity may or may not be the same as their biological sex assigned at birth. For transgender persons, the sex assigned at birth (i.e., male or female) does not match their own sense of their gender identity. Since gender identity is internal, it isn’t necessarily visible to others.

Gender Expression is a person’s external expression of their gender identity. Gender expression is visible to others – it’s the way a person expresses their gender identity through clothing, behavior, posture, mannerisms, speech patterns, activities and more.

Examples of conduct that may constitute gender-based harassment include:

  1. Making hurtful remarks to a student (or aggression toward a student) because they display mannerisms or a style of dress that do not conform to gender stereotypes;
  2. Hostility toward a student because they show interest or participate in an activity more typically favored by a student of the other sex;
  3. Intimidating a student to discourage that student from enrolling in a particular area of study because of their gender;
  4. Use of gender-specific slurs, whether written or spoken.

7.   Who can I talk to about my situation?

Talk to a trusted adult if you have been the victim of unwelcome sexual behavior (including sexual and/or gender-based harassment or assault) or you think you might have been harassed or assaulted in the past. A trusted adult can help you get in touch with your district’s Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for making the harassment stop and getting you the support you need and deserve.

At home, you could talk to your parent(s) or guardian(s) or other adult family member you trust.

At school, you could talk to a teacher, the school nurse, a social worker or therapist, a counselor, a security guard, a classroom aide, or another adult you trust. Please know that if you talk to an adult at school, they are required by law to do something about it, like tell the principal and/or your District’s Title IX Coordinator.

There might be other adults in your life you trust and could talk to, like an adult at your church, synagogue, or mosque or another organization or club you participate in.

Not all students are comfortable talking to an adult about sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual assault. Sometimes students don’t have a trusted adult in their lives.

For those students, we recommend starting with a confidential phone call or chat with the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Check out their website at https://www.rainn.org/, where you can learn more about them, call them at 1 (800) 656-4673, or do a live chat with one of their trained staff members. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

8.   How do I find my school district’s policies, procedures, complaint form, and Title IX Coordinator?

Most school districts have Title IX information posted on their website and/or in their student/parent handbook. The information can be hard to find and hard to understand once you find it, so please reach out to a trusted adult at home, at school, or in your community for help.

What you are looking for is this:

  1. Your school district’s policies on sexual and/or gender-based harassment;
  2. the steps they take to investigate reports and formal complaints (which are sometimes called “grievances”);
  3. the actual complaint form (sometimes called grievance form, or uniform complaint form); and,
  4. the contact information for your Title IX Coordinator (like their name, phone number, and email address).

Most school district websites have a search box. Go to your district’s website and see if there’s a search box on it. You can try searching for the four key pieces of Title IX information using the following search words:

  • Title IX”
  • Title IX Policy”
  • Title IX Coordinator”
  • Sexual Harassment”
  • Title IX Complaint Form”

Click on the top search results and see if that takes you to a webpage that has all four things you are looking for.

9.   Is there someone who can support me through the investigation process?

Yes. You have the right to choose an “advisor” to help and support you through the process whether you are a person who is reporting harassment or filing a complaint, or you are a person who has been accused of harassment. The advisor can be, but doesn’t have to be, a lawyer. You can choose a parent or guardian or another adult you trust in your family, at school, or in your community.

10.   What is a Title IX Coordinator?

A “Title IX Coordinator” is the person at your district who is responsible for investigating and addressing sexual and gender-based harassment cases. They are sometimes called a “Title IX Compliance Officer”. If they find that a person has been harassed, they are required to make the harassment stop, prevent it from happening again, and providing supports and services to the persons involved.

Here’s some information about how to find your district’s Title IX Coordinator. Most school district websites have a search box. Go to your district’s website and see if there’s a search box on it.

Try the following search words in the search box on your district’s website:

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Title IX Compliance Officer
  • Title IX Complaint Procedure
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

11.   What will happen after I tell an adult at school that I’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted?

If you report that you have been (or are being) harassed or assaulted to a school employee or if you file a formal complaint with your school district, they are required by law to take action to investigate your situation and stop any harassing behavior. Here’s what should happen:

  • An adult at your school – usually the principal or assistant principal – will want to talk to you as soon as possible. Your district’s Title IX Coordinator may also want to talk to you.
  • They will ask you questions about what happened or what is happening to you. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s the right thing to do. It can stop the harassment and/or prevent it happening to another person.
  • Your school might want to contact your parent/guardian. You might have mixed feelings about this, but it can make your case stronger.
  • Depending on the situation, the school might call the police, emergency medical help, and/or make a report to child welfare.
  • The harassment should stop.
  • The school should support you through the process by offering “supportive measures”, which could include: counseling; extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments; changing class schedules; campus escort services; restrictions on contact between the persons involved in the case; increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and/or other similar actions.

12.   What will happen if I submit a formal complaint?

If you file a formal complaint, your school and district are required by law to take action to investigate your situation stop any harassing behavior. Here’s what should happen:

  • An adult at your school – usually the principal or assistant principal – will want to talk to you as soon as possible. Your district’s Title IX Coordinator may also want to talk to you.
  • They will ask you questions about what happened or what is happening to you. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s the right thing to do and it might stop another person from being harassed.
  • Your school might want to contact your parent/guardian. You might have mixed feelings about this, but it can make your case stronger.
  • Depending on the situation, the school district may call the police, emergency medical help, and/or make a report to child welfare.
  • The harassment should stop.
  • The school should support you to get through this.

13.   How do I fill out a complaint form?

Once you find your school district’s “Title IX Complaint Form”, read the whole form before you start filling it out. Most complaint forms (sometimes called a “grievance form” or “uniform complaint form”) include the following questions:

  • Who are you? They will ask you to write down your name, your contact information, and your school.
  • What happened? Where did it happen? When (date and time) did it happen? If there are multiple incidents that you are reporting, the form will ask you to describe each one.
  • Who did this to you? The form will ask you to identify the person or persons who harassed and/or assaulted you.
  • Was anyone else there? The form will ask you to identify any person who may have witnessed (seen or heard) the harassment and/or assault.

It’s really important that you complete the form with as much information as you can provide, and that the information is accurate to the best of your recollection. So, try to be specific, detailed, and truthful.

After you file the complaint, you will likely be asked to go over the details again. Asking you to repeat the “what, when, where, who” over and over shouldn’t happen, but the adults at school who are responsible for investigating your situation may ask you to repeat the details one or more times – it’s a method they use to get more detail, ask follow-up questions, and try to really figure out what happened. Remember, you have the right to have an advisor of your choice with you during this process.

Many complaint forms allow you to stay anonymous – to not put your name on the form. It’s your right to stay anonymous, but know that it might prevent your school district from doing a full investigation and could prevent them from stopping the harassment and/or assault.

14.   Will my school call the police?

If you are reporting a crime, like sexual assault or rape, then the school should call the police.

In other cases, it really depends on the details of your report or formal complaint. Although any and all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment can have real consequences – physically, emotionally, and socially – some behaviors can be more harmful than others. Schools try to think about that before they call the police.

15.   Will my school call my parent(s) or guardian(s)?

In most cases, the school will want to talk to your parent(s)/guardian(s) and let them know what is happening.

Some students get really worried about their parents finding out that they have been harassed or assaulted. Remember though, even if you were doing something you weren’t supposed to, like drinking or using drugs, or going out when you were not allowed, that’s no excuse for being harassed or sexually assaulted. It’s not your fault.

16.   It’s just my word against theirs – what should I do?

Some students are reluctant to report harassment or file a formal complaint because they think they don’t have enough “proof” that it happened. Maybe no one saw it, or it seems like no one beieves you.

But it’s not really your responsibility to figure out if you have “enough evidence”. Schools are required to do a full and fair investigation of your situation and make a decision based on the evdence they get during the investigation (like information from you, from any witnesses, and from the person you say is responsible for the harassment and/or assault). If you choose to tell an adult at school or file a formal complaint, please try to include as much detail as possible.

If you don’t report it to an adult at school or file a formal complaint, then the school won’t be able to help you.

17.   I reported my situation and my school didn’t do anything about it. Now what?

You can file a complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In fact, you can file with OCR directly if that makes you more comfortable (as opposed to filing a complaint with your District first).

Here’s the OCR website with information about how to file a complaint https://ocrcas.ed.gov/welcome-to-the-ocr-complaint-assessment-system.

If you want to talk to someone at OCR before filing an official complaint, you can call one of the nine regional offices that represents the area where you live in the United States. Here’s the link to that information - https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/addresses.html.

At any point, you could also get the support of a good lawyer. The organization “Equal Rights Advocates” (ERA), for example, offers free, confidential legal advice for survivors of sexual and/or gender-based harassment and/or sexual assault. You can find out more about their services at https://www.equalrights.org/enough/.

18.   I went through my school’s investigation process, but I’m not satisfied with their decision. Now what?

All students can file an appeal, which means they can ask another authority to review your case and your district’s decision. By law, districts are supposed to let you know about the appeals process. In most states in the US, students can appeal their case to their state-level Department of Education or to the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Education.

The appeals process can be different between school districts and states, so it’s hard to summarize the process here. But basically, if you file an appeal, they will review your case, the evidence presented in the case, and your district’s decision before making their own decision. They may also investigate further and try to gather more evidence.

19.   Will the school tell people about my situation? Will my friends find out?

The school should do everything they can to keep your identity confidential. But they also are required to conduct a full and fair investigation, and that means they will need to talk to any witnesses and/or others at school.

20.   What will happen to the person who harassed or assaulted me?

It depends on a lot of factors - like how severe the unwelcome sexual behavior was, how often it happened, and how much evidence is found during the investigation. If the investigation process ends with a conclusion of responsibility, then that person could be suspended, expelled, moved to another school, prevented from having contact with you, moved out of your classes, or face other disciplinary consequences. The person who harassed or assaulted you could also be arrested and charged with a crime.

21.   Will my parents/guardians find out?

If you file a formal complaint, your parents/guardians will almost always be contacted by your school district. Even if you tell an adult at school and don’t choose to file a formal complaint, it’s very likely that your parents will be contacted by your school district.

Some students get really worried about their parents finding out that they’ve reported a case of harassment and/or assault or filed a formal complaint. Remember though, even if you were doing something you weren’t supposed to, like drinking alcohol or using drugs, or going out when you were not allowed, that’s no excuse for being harassed or sexually assaulted. It’s not your fault.

If you are worried about your parents/guardians finding out about your situation, please talk it over with someone. For example, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, which is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Call 1 (800) 656-4673 or go to their website at https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline for more information and/or to access their online chat service. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

22.   Are there people outside of my school that can help me?

Yes. There are great organizations out there that are available 24/7 for free, confidential support:

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, which is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Call 1 (800) 656-4673 or go to their website at https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline for more information and/or to access their online chat service. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline - The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Call 1 (800) 273-8255 or go to their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for more information and/or to access their online chat services.

The Trevor Project Lifeline – the TrevorLifeLine has trained counselors to support LBGTQ+ young people in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk. Call 1 (866) 488-7386 or go to the their website at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/ for more information and/or access to their online chat service. You can also or text START to 678-678 to get live help from a trained specialist over text messages.

23.   Is my experience “serious enough” to report?

Any and all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment can have real consequences – physically, emotionally, and socially.

If you've experienced any kind of harassment or assault, speaking out is an important part of stopping the behavior and taking care of yourself. Speaking out can also stop someone else from getting harassed or assaulted.

24.   What if I see someone else getting harassed or assaulted?

If you see someone being harassed or assaulted, and if you feel safe, you could ask the person to stop. You could also ask a teacher or another adult you trust to help.

If you think you saw or heard somebody being harassed, you could report it to an adult you trust at school. You could also talk to the person who was the subject of the harassment and encourage them to report it.

25.   What is “gender identity”?

Gender identity is a personal sense of gender – being a boy/man, a girl/woman, a blend of both or neither. Gender identities may include male, female, agender, androgynous, genderqueer, nonbinary, transgender, and many others, or a combination of these.

A person’s gender identity may or may not be the same as their biological sex assigned at birth. For transgender persons, the sex assigned at birth (i.e., male or female) does not match their own sense of their gender identity. Since gender identity is internal, it isn’t necessarily visible to others.

26.   What is “gender expression”?

Gender expression is a person’s external expression of their gender identity. Gender expression is visible to others - it’s the way a person expresses their gender identity through clothing, behavior, appearance, mannerisms, speech patterns, activities and more.

27.   What is “sexual assault”?

“Sexual assault” is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, including:

  • Inappropriate touching;
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration;
  • Sexual intercourse that you didn’t consent to (sex that happened without your explicit permission);
  • Rape, including date rape; and
  • Attempted rape.

Sexual assault can happen in different situations: in the home by someone you know, on a date, or by a stranger in an isolated place. Sexual assault can happened anywhere.

Sexual assault is not about sex, it is an act of power and it is always wrong. Sexual assault is a crime. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault – no matter where or how it happens.

28.   What is relationship (dating) violence?

Dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Dating violence can happen anywhere.

29.   What is “date rape”?

Rape is sex you don’t agree to. Date rape is when you are raped by someone you know, like a boyfriend or girlfriend. Both are crimes. Rape is not about sex – it is an act of power by the rapist and it is always wrong.

Date rape drugs, which often have no smell or taste, can be given to you without you knowing at parties or in a club – especially where alcohol is served. Alcohol can make you less aware of danger and make you less able to think clearly and resist sexual assault. If you are given date rape drugs, you may not be able to say "no" to unwanted sex and you may not be able to clearly remember what happened. Click here for more information about date rape drugs.

30.   How do I know if I am a victim of sexual or gender-based harassment?

If you think you might have been harassed or assaulted, talk to an adult you trust about it.

You can also talk to or text with the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Check out their website at https://www.rainn.org/, where you can learn more about them, call them at 1 (800) 656-4673, or do a live chat with one of their trained staff members. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

31.   Can boys be victims of sexual or gender-based harassment too?

Yes, anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment and/or gender-based harassment or assault, regardless of their sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

32.   Are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth protected against sexual and gender-based harassment?

Yes, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth students are protected under Title IX law.

33.   Can I get in trouble for filing a complaint?

No, you should not get in trouble for filing a complaint based on what you believe to be true. Title IX law makes it illegal for anyone to retaliate against any person who files a complaint, testifies, or otherwise participates in an investigation or complaint.

34.   What are the rights of persons who are accused of committing a Title IX violation?

People who have been accused of engaging in harassment and/or assault have the right to tell their side of the story, just like people who are reporting harassment and/or assault.

If you’ve been accused of sexual and/or gender-based harassment, you have the rights. You have the right…

  1. To be treated fairly.
  2. To identify witnesses and provide evidence.
  3. To be informed in writing of the finding, rationale and remedial action(s) associated with the complaint.
  4. To choose an advisor to help you through the process. The advisor could be a parent, a lawyer, or someone else that you trust to support you.
  5. To appeal your District’s finding and any disciplinary actions they may have imposed on you.

35.   What if I make a report or a formal complaint and my school and/or my district just ignores me? What can I do?

If your school or district ignores your report or complaint, or if they don’t investigate your situation, or if they retaliate against you for making the report or complaint, or if you continue to be harassed or assaulted, you may want to take further action with the support of a good lawyer.

The organization “Equal Rights Advocates” (ERA), for example, offers free, confidential legal advice for survivors of sexual and/or gender-based harassment and/or sexual assault. You can find out more about their services at https://www.equalrights.org/enough/.

36.   Is it normal to feel bad about being a victim of sexual or gender-based harassment or assault?

Yes. People who are victims of harassment or assault can experience a range of negative feelings or thoughts. Here are some common and totally normal reactions to being harassed or assaulted:

  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
  • Some people blame themselves. Remember that it’s never your fault.
  • Having nightmares and thinking about the harassment or assault over and over.
  • Feeling depressed or suicidal.
  • Wanting to be alone and not talking to anybody.
  • Pretending like it didn’t happen or trying to convince themselves that it “wasn’t too bad”.
  • Having panic attacks and flashbacks.

If you are experiencing any of these feelings or thoughts, or other bad feelings or thoughts, please get help. Talking to an adult you trust is a great first step. You can also reach out to your school nurse or school social worker for help.

You can also call or chat with someone confidentially at the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Check out their website at https://www.rainn.org/, where you can learn more about them, call them at 1 (800) 656-4673, or do a live chat with one of their trained staff members. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or ending your life, please call the National Suicide Preventions Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can learn more about them at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. They provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

37.   Where can I go to for help?

If you have been a victim of sexual and/or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual violence, it’s important to get help. Remember that it’s not your fault.

If you have been the victim of unwelcome sexual behavior (including sexual and/or gender-based harassment or assault), or you think you might have been harassed or assaulted in the past, then talking about it with a trusted adult and then with your district’s Title IX Coordinator a good way to make the harassment stop.

At home, you could talk to your parent(s) or guardian(s) or other adult family member you trust.

At school you could talk to a teacher, the school nurse, a social worker or therapist, a counselor, a security guard, a classroom aide, or another adult you trust. Please know that if you talk to an adult at school, they are required by law to do something about it, like reporting your situation to the principal and/or your District’s Title IX Coordinator.

There might be other adults in your life you trust and could talk to, like an adult at your church, synagogue, or mosque or another organization or club you participate in.

But not all students are comfortable talking to an adult about sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual assault, and sometimes students don’t have a trusted adult in their lives. For those students, we recommend starting with a confidential phone call or chat with the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Check out their website at https://www.rainn.org/, where you can learn more about them, call them at 1 (800) 656-4673, or do a live chat with one of their trained staff members. Follow this link (https://rainn.org/what-weve-done-make-it-safe) to learn more about what they have done to make it safe for you to contact them.

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