Title IX - Resources for Students and Parents

  • Portland Public Schools is dedicated to ensuring that all complaints of gender discrimination are investigated thoroughly. The health and safety of the school community is of paramount importance to us and so if you have been a victim of or know of an incident of discrimination or harassment, please report using any of the options provided below.

    If you are in imminent danger, have recently been assaulted, and/or are in need of medical attention, please call 911. 

    SURVIVOR RESOURCES: Click here for an updated, printable list of advocacy, support & crisis resources (Feb 2021)

    Male and non-binary survivors: Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.  Click here for resources for male & non-binary survivors of sexual violence

    CONFIDENTIAL ADVOCACY: You do not have to go through this alone. We encourage PPS students of all genders to connect with a confidential advocate early in the process. See info at top of this webpage.  

    Learn more about this unique, one-of-a-kind partnership here 

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    SCHOOL COMPLIANCE OFFICERS

    Each PPS school has a School Compliance Officer (SCO). The SCO is the building point of contact and liaison to the district Title IX office. The SCO: 1) receives school-based reports of sexual harassment and violence; gender-based bullying and discrimination (based on sexual orientation or gender-identity); unsafe relationships, dating violence; and any form of sexual misconduct; 2) collaborates with Title IX team to respond to all reports, including implementation of behavioral interventions, support and safety planning, and conducting formal investigations; 3) acts as the designated point of contact for Title IX and SIRC; educating students, staff and families about rights and protections; and connecting families with resources; and 4) utilizes the Title IX Toolkit to effectively implement best practices, ensure compliance with the law, and manage data for district-wide tracking.

    2021-22 List of School Compliance Officers 

    Use tabs at bottom of the spreadsheet to find your school. You may always report using the PPS Title IX report button and info will be forwarded to the identified SCO at your school.

    FIND A SAFE PLACE - TELL A TRUSTED ADULT - CALL AN ADVOCATE - REPORT


    What is Title IX?

    Click here for our Title IX parent presentation (2022)

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (TIX) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in all education programs and activities. Title IX keeps kids safe and in school by reducing barriers and protecting students from an environment that interferes with educational programs or activities or that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile educational climate. Title IX applies to all PPS students, staff, and third-parties regardless of the holiday, extended school closure, or modification of the educational environment such as remote or hybrid learning. The bottom line? When sex-based discrimination or harassment interferes with the learning environment or the ability to safely access public education, schools have a responsibility to respond.

    The U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for ensuring that schools follow Title IX rules. The following 37 words remain unchanged from 1972 (the year Title IX was passed):

    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.

    What is prohibited by Title IX?

    Information for Students & Families - What is Prohibited & What Happens After a Report?

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    Click here for printable .PDF of infographic above

    Click here for more on LGBTQ2SIA+ terminology


    How can I report discrimination or harassment?

    Any PPS employee, student, parent, community member, concerned citizen, or other individual is encouraged to report. Keeping schools safe for all students requires us to look out for one another - if you see something, say something!

    Remember - a student can not be disciplined for making a report in good faith even if during the course of the incident they engaged in something that would otherwise be considered against school policy (such as consuming alcohol or drugs). This is to ensure students can report without fear of consequences or retaliation for doing so.

    There are options for how you report.

    1. Click here to report to PPS: report goes directly to PPS Title IX Director who will consult with the w/designated school administrator (usually the principal or vice-principal) and together, will act accordingly.

    2. Click here to report to Safe Oregon: tip line cross reports to DHS, Portland Police, and PPS as necessary.

    3. Click here to report to the Oregon Dept. of Education


    What if I am hurt by another PPS student? Info for complainants

    The reporting party (or "complainant") is the person alleged to have been harmed by another person. You do not have to go through this alone. If you experienced harm or trauma, please make sure to reach out to advocacy, support, or community resources or the PPS Safe Relationships Hotline. It is important to address your emotional and/or physical needs first; once you are safe, you can alert the district or Safe Oregon about what occurred. Confidential (and mobile) advocacy are offered through a PPS partnership with Raphael House and VOA Homefree.

    The priority of Title IX policy and response is student safety. Once you let PPS know what happened, we will take immediate steps to ensure both parties (if applicable) are safe and protected from further harm. This may include a request that the parties cease communication and/or the implementation of immediate interim safety measures in your school building. Depending on the severity and type of discrimination alleged, a school-based investigation may begin. Families are encouraged to consult with law enforcement if they believe a crime may have occurred; however, a law enforcement investigation does not substitute for a school-based investigation (and vice-versa). Whether or not to notify law enforcement is the full discretion of the impacted party and their family.  If child abuse or neglect is suspected, the administrator will report to the DHS statewide child abuse reporting hotline as required by law.

    What if I am accused of hurting someone else? Info for respondents

    The responding party (or "respondent") is the person alleged to have harmed another person. The priority of Title IX policy and response is student safety. Once an incident is formally reported to the school, we will take immediate steps to ensure both parties are safe and protected from further harm. This may include a request that the parties cease communication and/or the implementation of immediate interim safety or supportive measures in your school building or online. Depending on the severity and type of discrimination alleged, a school-based investigation may begin.

    If it is determined that a Title IX investigation is appropriate, you will be notified by a school administrator or about the nature of the allegation and your rights. Under Title IX and the U.S. Constitution, everyone has a right to due process protections.

    Title IX investigations & safety/supportive planning

    A Title IX investigation aims to uncover the facts of what occurred to determine if Title IX or another PPS policy was violated. Not every Title IX report will result in a formal investigation. Many factors are considered including: whether the person harmed wishes to proceed/participate, the severity of the incident or behavior alleged, any safety risk to others (including the school community) and if the report meets the definition under Title IX and the alleged behavior occurred at school, to/from a school bus stop, during a school-sponsored event or activity (such as a dance, athletic event, field trip, student club/org etc.). If the incident occurs outside of school or school-affiliated event/activities, the district may still be able to investigate under another PPS policy. If no applicable school or district policy applies, the district (or school) will offer safety or supportive measures for all students impacted or involved in the incident. This can include academic accommodation, referrals to community resources, advocacy or mental health support and/or tools such as Stay Away or No Contact Directives. Note: safety/supportive measures are always offered at the start of an investigation and applied equally to both parties.

    A neutral, impartial, and unbiased investigator (which may be the School Compliance Officer, school administrator, or Title IX Investigator) will ask all involved parties (including witnesses) questions about what happened in order to determine the facts of the case. Both parties equally have the opportunity to share what occurred from their perspective, offer names of relevant witnesses, and/or provide relevant documentary evidence such as text messages, DM's, photos, etc. In most cases, the complainant (reporting party) is interviewed first, followed by any witnesses. Next, the respondent is interviewed, followed by any relevant witnesses. Once the investigator has concluded their fact finding, having gathered all the relevant information about what occurred, the next step is to provide that information to a neutral decision-maker. The decision-maker is not the same person as the investigator. In order to ensure a just outcome, a third-party will hear all the information and make their determination based on the information gathered and a preponderance of evidence. If suspension or expulsion is a possibility, the decision-maker will be the PPS Hearings Officer. 

    School discipline, consequences & accountability

    A school-based investigation is not the same as a criminal process; the most significant consequence that a school can apply is suspension or expulsion for a period of time. Expulsion is reserved for the most serious, persistent and/or dangerous behaviors.

    Not all Title IX reports end in school discipline or consequences. In some cases, an informal resolution (such as restorative justice or educational intervention) may be appropriate (if agreed to by both parties and only if doing so would not create additional harm). In other cases, there may not be enough information to reach a conclusion based on the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Each case is unique; regardless, the safety and well-being of the school community is the top priority.

    It is strictly prohibited to retaliate, intimidate, harass, coerce or threaten an individual for reporting to a school or district official. Any act of retaliation will be taken seriously and is subject to immediate discipline. 

    Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to applicable student policies and practices.

    Is there more to Title IX than investigations?

    YES!  Title IX, when done well, spans from prevention to prompt, equitable disciplinary procedures and safety plans. The following Venn diagram illustrates some of the overlapping goals in a comprehensive Title IX framework. On the left-hand side (in yellow) is the individual who was harmed (complainant); on the right-hand side (in pink) is the individual alleged to have harmed another person (respondent). As you can see, there is a lot of overlap!

    Click here for .pdf of the Venn diagram

    Venn

    34 CFR Part 106.45(b)(10) of the 2020 Title IX Regulations requires the public sharing of materials used to train Title IX Coordinators. Please see the "Title IX Resources & Reading Room" tab at the bottom of this page for specifics.

     

    Contact us!

    Want more information but not sure where to start or what to ask? Our team consults with students, parents, staff or members of the community.  Give us a call, send an email or follow us on Instagram!

     

     

     Resources for survivors, parents & students organized by theme:

  • Racism & Sexual Violence

  • SIRC - Information for Parents

  • Title IX: Sexual & Dating Violence, Consent & Healthy Relationships

  • Title IX: Bullying/Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender-Identity

  • Title IX: Pregnancy & Parenting Rights

  • Title IX: Protecting Kids (Child Sexual Abuse & Educator Sexual Misconduct)

  • Title IX Resources & Reading Room

  • SAFE (or SANE) Exams in Oregon (Rape Kit)

  • This webpage is a work-in-progress - send feedback or suggestions to lobanion@pps.net

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