Sexual Harassment in Education
Another context in which sexual harassment claims arise is in the schools. Claims of sexual harassment have been brought at every level of education, from elementary schools through universities.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal statute that prohibits educational programs or activities that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. The vast majority of educational institutions in the United States, including primary and secondary schools and colleges and universities, receive federal funds. Some schools receive the funds through direct grants; others receive the funds indirectly, through the federal student loan program. Consequently, the vast majority of educational institutions in the United States are prohibited from engaging in sex discrimination under Title IX.
Although it does not specifically mention sexual harassment, Title IX has been interpreted to prohibit sexual harassment within educational institutions. It has been construed consistently to protect students from harassment by teachers and administrators. There is some dispute, however, among courts as to whether it makes the schools responsible for any sexual harassment by a student's peers, considered later in Documents 78-80.