Board Members and Superintendent
Parents and Community
Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:
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.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. 20 U.S.C.§ 1681(a)
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. While Title IX is a very short statute,Supreme Court decisions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education have given it a broad scope. For example, sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence since it creates a hostile educational environment. Under Title IX,schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments and failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding.
The Ojai Unified School District is committed to providing equal opportunity for all individuals or groups in district programs and activities. District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying and sexual harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy status, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information; a perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in all educational programs, school related or school sponsored activities, school attendance or employment policies which may have an impact or create a hostile environment at school as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and other applicable laws and regulations.
The Title IX Coordinator ensures schools are compliant with Title IX, coordinates the investigation and disciplinary process, and looks for patterns or systematic problems with compliance to ensure schools fulfill all federal obligations. Every school district that receives federal funding is required to designate and train at least one employee to coordinate the recipient’s Title IX responsibilities.
Complaints alleging noncompliance with Title IX can be filed by utilizing the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) as identified in California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 4600 et. seq. and Ojai Unified School District Policy and should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator(s):
Dr. Sherrill Knox, Assistant Superintendent
414 E. Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023
805-640-4300 x 1015
Students or parents/guardians should report a Title IX complaint to the Title IX coordinator within 6 months from the date the alleged incident occurred or first obtained knowledge of the alleged incident. If the complainant is dissatisfied an appeal of the district’s findings may be made within 15 days of receiving the decision, to the California Department of Education, Education Equity UCP Appeals Office at (916) 319-8239 or email email@example.com.
See appeal form for additional details regarding appeal timeline and filer requirements. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/appeals-form.pdf
California Education Code Section 221.9(e) requires public schools that offer competitive athletics to post participation numbers at the end of each school year. “Competitive athletics” is defined as sports where the activity has coaches, a governing organization, and practices and competes during a defined season, and has competition as its primary goal.
Educational institutions have a responsibility to protect every student's right to learn in a safe environment free from unlawful discrimination and to prevent unjust deprivations of that right. The Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. It is the mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.
Who Can File a Discrimination Complaint
Anyone may file a complaint. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. A complainant filing on behalf of or pertaining to another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual, including when a parent files for a student over the age of 18.
Generally, a complaint must be filed with OCR within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination. If the complaint is not filed in a timely fashion, the complainant should provide the reason for the delay and request a waiver of this filing requirement. OCR will decide whether to grant the waiver. In addition, OCR will determine whether the complaint contains enough information about the alleged discrimination to proceed to investigation. If OCR needs more information in order to clarify the complaint, it will contact the complainant; and the complainant has 14 calendar days within which to respond to OCR’s request for information unless the complainant has requested additional time to provide the information.
You may email OCR’s Discrimination Complaint Form or your own signed letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The OCR National Headquarters is located at:
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Telephone: 1-800-421-3481 FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 1-800-877-8339 Email: OCR@ed.gov
OCR affords complainants an opportunity to appeal a determination(s) based on a finding of noncompliance (Section 303(a) of OCR’s CPM) and dismissals based on Sections 108(a), (b), (c), (d), (h), and (i) of OCR’s CPM. An appeal can be filed electronically, by mail, or fax. The complainant must either submit electronically a completed appeal form or submit a written statement of no more than ten (10) pages (double-spaced, if typed) to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202; if submitted by e-mail, to OCR@ed.gov; if submitted by fax, to 202-453-6012. The filing date of an appeal submitted by mail is the date the appeal is postmarked or submitted electronically or by fax.
In the appeal, the complainant must explain why he or she believes the factual information was incomplete or incorrect, the legal analysis was incorrect, or the appropriate legal standard was not applied, and how correction of any error(s) would change the outcome of the case; failure to do so may result in dismissal of the appeal.
An appeal must be submitted within 60 calendar days of the date indicated on the letter of finding or the dismissal. A waiver of the 60-day timeframe may be granted where the complainant was unable to submit the appeal within the 60-day timeframe because of illness or other circumstances, or because of circumstances generated by OCR’s action that have adversely affected the complainant’s ability to submit the appeal timely.
OCR will forward a copy of the complainant’s appeal to the recipient. The recipient has the option to submit to OCR a response to complainant’s appeal. Any response to complainant’s appeal must be submitted to OCR within 14 calendar days of the date that OCR forwarded a copy of the complainant’s appeal to the recipient.
OCR will issue a written decision on the appeal to the parties.
Additional information can be obtained from the California Department of Education Office of Equal Opportunity at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/genequitytitleix.asp or from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html