Title IX Resources

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Campus Resources

Title IX Coordinator – Students

Dr. Damon Bell, Vice President of Student Services
Office Phone: 661-763-7810

Email Dr. Damon Bell

Title IX Coordinator – Employees

Heather del Rosario, Vice President of Human Resources
Office Phone: 661-763-7809

Email Heather del Rosario

Campus Safety & Security

Kevin Altenhofel, Director of Campus Security
Office Phone: (661) 763-7872

Email Kevin Altenhofel

Reporting Options

If you are a victim of discrimination based on your sex or gender expression, or of sexual misconduct you have options. You may contact either (or both) of the following:

  • Taft College Campus Safety (661) 763-7872 or
  • Taft Police Department (661) 763-3101

Campus personnel will assist a complainant in filing a police report and assist students in notifying law enforcement authorities, if the victim requests the assistance of these employees. The victim may also decline to notify such authorities.

Reporting to Campus Safety and/or local police is an option at any time. If you choose not to report to the police immediately following a sexual violence incident, you can still make the report at a later time. However, with the passage of time, the ability to gather evidence to assist with criminal prosecution may be limited. Depending on the circumstances, the police may be able to obtain a criminal restraining order on your behalf.

You may report to the campus Title IX Coordinator, who will provide you with written and verbal information regarding applicable District complaint procedures for investigating and addressing the incident. The Title IX Coordinator will also provide you with information regarding resources available to you, as well as information regarding your rights and options.

In order to reduce or eliminate negative impact on you and provide you with available assistance, the campus Title IX Coordinator will discuss with reasonable interim remedies the District may offer prior to conclusion of an investigation or potential disciplinary action. Examples include: adjustment to work assignments, course schedules or supervisory reporting relationship; requiring the accused to move from District-owned or affiliated housing; immediately prohibiting the accused from coming to the campus; or prohibiting the accused from contacting the parties involved in the reported incident.

These options may be available to you whether or not you choose to report the sexual violence to campus public safety or law enforcement. The Title IX Coordinator remains available to assist you and provide you with reasonable remedies requested by you throughout the reporting, investigative, and disciplinary processes, and thereafter.

District Policies and Administrative Regulations

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs, including athletic programs, or activities that receive federal funding.

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.

Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, rape, and sexual assault.

How Long Does a Title IX Investigation Take?

When discrimination or harassment complaints are filed, Taft College has an obligation to complete a fair and thorough investigation. Under federal regulations, Title IX investigations must be completed in a “prompt” manner.

You may be wondering: How long should a Title IX investigation take? The short answer is that a typical investigation lasts for approximately 60 days—but, an investigation may take longer based on the complexity of the allegations. Just as going too slow in the investigation may cause problems, so can going too quickly.

Title IX Investigations: The Standard

All students deserve an educational environment that is free from any type of unlawful discrimination, including sexual harassment. As noted by the Department of Education (DOE) Office for Civil Rights, all schools that receive federal financial assistance have a responsibility to handle Title IX complaints in a proactive and responsive manner. Some complaints may be resolved on an informal basis—meaning no formal investigation is required. However, if the informal process is not successful, the right to a formal process can then be invoked at which time a school has the legal duty to conduct a fair, efficient, and thorough investigation.

Every Title IX investigation must be completed in a timely manner. Based on the experience of the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights, “a typical investigation takes approximately 60 calendar days following receipt of the complaint.” If you are thinking about how long an investigation should take, this is the best available benchmark. Investigations should generally be on track to be completed around two months from the date the complaint was submitted. That being said, there are some exceptions.

The Length of Title IX Investigations: Specific Circumstances Always Matter

While a 60-day investigation is a standard investigation, there is no rule requiring that all Title IX investigations be completed within this time period. Quite the contrary; the DOE Office for Civil Rights clearly states that the length of an investigation can and should vary depending on the underlying complexity of the allegations. An investigation that takes longer than 60 days—potentially even quite a bit longer—may still be a timely investigation if the case was unusually complex, involved multiple incidents, complainants, and/or witnesses, or if there were other extenuating factors.

Context Can Slow Down the Process

As an example of circumstances that can impact the length of a Title IX investigation, consider a hypothetical case in which a college student is arrested and charged with sexual assault against another student. The Department of Education states that a school should not delay conducting its own Title IX investigation even though law enforcement is involved. There is still a Title IX violation at issue.

However, the DOE also acknowledges that a police investigation may temporarily hinder and delay the fact-finding portion of a school’s investigation, thereby lengthening the amount of time it will take to complete a comprehensive Title IX investigation. In this type of case, a 60-day timeframe may not be possible. A longer investigation may still be a timely investigation given the specific circumstances.

The bottom line: Under Title IX, students and employees are entitled to a timely and comprehensive investigation of their complaint. While 60 calendar days serves as a good baseline for the length of a typical investigation, complex investigations may require additional time.

How Does a Title IX Investigation Work?

In many ways, Title IX investigations are similar to other types of investigations. A formal and systematic approach is taken to uncover evidence and determine what happened and why it happened. The Title IX investigative process is broken down into several phases, including:

  1. Notification to the parties
  2. Gathering of facts, documents, and records
  3. Review and analysis of the evidence
  4. Determination of whether or not violations occurred
  5. Drafting of a final report

For an investigation to be fair and proper, it is important that each stage of the Title IX process is thorough and accurate. Of course, each stage is also going to take some time, but the law requires a “prompt” completion of the inquiry. Remember, under Title IX, the term prompt does not have a single definition. What qualifies as a prompt investigation depends on the specific facts of the case.

A Rushed or Delayed Investigation May Be a Title IX Violation

A comprehensive, timely investigation is crucial to protect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. Whether you were a victim or accused of discrimination harassment, or sexual misconduct, you deserve a fair and reliable investigation without it being rushed or without any unreasonable or unwarranted delay. Process matters. All schools that receive federal financial assistance have a duty to their students and employees to investigate Title IX complaints promptly, thoroughly, and fairly.

Should a delay occur, critically important evidence could be lost. The evidence could be important for either party. Delay may amount to a violation of the rights of the complainant or the respondent. At the same time, a rushed investigation could also undermine the rights of all parties. For schools and educational institutions, a botched or sloppy investigation could result in very serious sanctions against the institution. In the worst cases, a school could even lose access to its federal funding.

Anti-Racism Resources

Moving Beyond Diversity to Racial Equity

To actualize racial equity, it is incumbent upon us to determine how to use our positions of privilege, influence and power to transform lives through education, particularly for our racially minoritized and marginalized students and community. We cannot talk about equity without talking about inequality. We cannot talk about inclusion without talking about oppression. We cannot say we are committed to equity and be afraid to have an open dialogue about structural racism. We cannot talk about structural racism without talking about anti-racism.

Take a more critical look at what informs your worldview by exploring these Anti-Racism Resources.

Articles

Websites and Tookits

Videos

Books

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Di Angelo and Michael Eric Dyson
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young
  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess by John Lewis and Michael D’Orso
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson, Ph.D.
  • The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon
  • Choke Hold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler
  • Engaging the Race Question in U.S. Higher Education by Alicia C. Dowd and Estela Mara Bensimon
  • From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education by Tia Brown McNair, Estela Mara Bensimon, and Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux
  • Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele
  • Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation by Derald Wing Sue