Solving a Title IX problem

1. Preparation

Gather Facts

Use Time Out, Does Your School Play Fair to find ways in which boys’ and girls’ sports can be treated unequally, create a list of the inequalities between boys’ and girls’ sports at your school. Be as specific and detailed as possible.

  1. Example: The boys’ baseball field has cinderblock dugouts, while the girls’ softball dugouts have only wire fencing.
  2. Example: The boys’ baseball team was recently given new uniforms after three years of use, while the girls’ softball team has had the same uniforms for six years.
  3. Example: The boys’ baseball field has a scoreboard, while the girls’ softball field does not.

Gather Support

Contact parents, friends, teammates, or coaches who might also want to get involved. Your school is more likely to respond to pressure from a larger group of people.

Create a Paper Trail

From this point on, keep track of the names and contact information of the people you contact to discuss your Title IX concerns. Be sure to log the date and time of meetings and phone calls as well as a brief description of who you talked to and what happened. Keep copies of all letters or emails exchanged. At all times, make sure you have a complete set of all documents that you’ve sent, received or created regarding your Title IX concerns.

2. Write a Complaint

Use the attached sample complaint to write a complaint letter to your school’s Athletic Director describing your school’s Title IX violations and requesting a meeting. Deliver a courtesy copy of your complaint to your school’s Principal. Remember to keep a copy.

3. Meet With the Athletic Director

When you meet with the Athletic Director, be sure to bring an additional copy of your complaint, Time Out and your list of Title IX violations. Show these materials to the Athletic Director and, using your complaint as a guide, explain why you think your school is not complying with Title IX. Conclude your meeting by asking the Athletic Director to fix your school’s Title IX violations within a certain period of time. If you want the Athletic Director to act quickly, ask him or her to fix your school’s Title IX violations in a shorter period of time.

If you are not satisfied with the result of the meeting with the Athletic Director, find out the name of your school’s Title IX Coordinator. To find the Title IX Coordinator in charge of your school district, first go to your District’s website. If the information is not on the District’s website, call your school’s administrative office and ask. If the person at the administrative office claims that the District does not have a Title IX Coordinator ask to speak to his or her superior. All schools are required by law to have a Title IX Coordinator.

4. Contact the Principal

Using the attached letter as a guide, request a meeting with your school’s Principal. Be sure to attach your complaint to this letter. Send a courtesy copy of this letter and your complaint to your school’s Title IX Coordinator. Again, bring a copy of Time Out, your list of Title IX violations, and the log of your actions up until this point to the meeting. Bring an additional copy of your complaint and your letter to the Principal. Again, using your complaint as a guide, explain to the Principal why you think your school is not complying with Title IX and ask the Principal to fix your school’s Title IX violations within a certain period of time. If the Principal is not helpful in working to fix your school’s Title IX issues, it’s time to contact your Title IX Coordinator.

5. Contact the Title IX Coordinator

Using the attached sample letter as a guide, request a meeting with your school’s Title IX Coordinator. Attach your complaint to this letter. At the meeting, remember to bring an additional copy of your letter to the Title IX Coordinator and your Complaint. Again, bring Time Out, your list of Title IX violations, your log of actions and any related letters or emails between you and school administrators. Using your complaint as a guide, explain your Title IX concerns and the actions you’ve taken up to this point. Request that your Title IX Coordinator conduct an investigation into your school’s Title IX compliance. Conclude your meeting by requesting that the Title IX Coordinator make sure that your school complies with Title IX within a certain amount of time. If your Title IX Coordinator is not helpful in working to fix your school’s Title IX violations, use the additional resources below.

6. Additional Resources

File an administrative complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.  Your complaint with OCR must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination, or

Contact Us: California Women’s Law Center (323) 951-1041.


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