Title IX is a federal law passed in 1972 that prohibits schools and colleges that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.  The Supreme Court has held that Title IX can apply to incidents of bullying and harassment of students by other students.  Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (1999).  These claims are quite difficult to prove.  In order for a school to be held responsible for bullying and harassment by students you must show:

 

  • The bullying and harassment must be based on sex or gender.
  • The bullying and harassment must be extreme. The language that courts use is that the bullying and harassment must be “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.”
  • A school official must know of the extreme bullying and harassment.
  • The school allows the extreme bullying and harassment to continue. In order for the school to be liable under Title IX, its response to complaints of bullying and harassment must be clearly unreasonable.