Title IX - Resources for Students and Parents
Portland Public Schools is dedicated to ensuring that all complaints of gender discrimination or harassment are handled promptly and fairly. The health and wellness of the school community are of paramount importance - if you experienced gender or sex-based discrimination or harassment, please report it to your school-based TIX coordinator (more info below) or use the button on the right-hand side of this site to "tell us what happened."
If you are in imminent danger, have recently been assaulted, and/or are in need of medical attention, please call 911.
Survivor Resources: Printable list of advocacy, support & crisis resources (Feb 2022)
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. Resources for male & non-binary survivors of sexual violence
Find help and support at school
Confidential Advocacy (HS only): You do not have to go through this alone. We encourage PPS high school students of all genders who experience sexual harassment or assault, domestic or teen dating violence, and/or harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation to connect with a confidential advocate as soon as you are able. Advocates are employed by two local non-profit agencies - Raphael House and VOA Homefree of Oregon. While they do not work for PPS, advocates work closely with school administrators and the TIX team and are familiar with PPS policies and procedures, including TIX investigations. As of 2022, every comprehensive high school has (at least) one advocate who holds office hours regularly. They are also available using the PPS student hotline - text or call 503.809.4357 anytime. Available in English and Spanish.
Learn more about this unique, one-of-a-kind partnership by viewing the video below or printing the advocacy postcard here.
School-Based TIX Coordinator: each year, the principal designates a building-based Title IX Coordinator. For more on the role of the school-based coordinator, check out the FAQ.
Their role is to:
- Share basic TIX information with the school community about how to report and receive help
- Promptly respond to reports of discrimination or harassment at school
- Become informed on how TIX-leveled interventions/supports improve school climate
- Implement early interventions and skills-based education
- Monitor student interventions and progress
- Apply district disciplinary procedures as appropriate
- Partner with the district's TIX Office on all severe or persistent behaviors
- Act as the building expert for Title IX and SIRC by educating students, staff, and families about rights and protections and connecting them to resources
- Participate in professional learning opportunities.
2022-23 list of building-based TIX Coordinators (list organized by grade level - use tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to locate your school.
SAFE - PROTECTED - RESPECTED
What is Title IX?
Click here for 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 environments that may interfere with learning or that create an intimidating, offensive, or hostile educational climate. Title IX applies to all PPS students, staff, and third-parties.
The bottom line? When sex-based discrimination or harassment interferes with a student's learning environment or their 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.
Examples of discrimination prohibited by Title IX include (but are not limited to):
• Sexual harassment • Sexual assault • Discrimination based on pregnancy or parenting status
• Sex-based discrimination in PPS programs • Failure to provide equal athletic opportunities
Oregon state law also prohibits discrimination based on gender, gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Click here for more on LGBTQ2SIA+ terminology
How should 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 take care of one another - if you see something, say something!
Remember - a student will 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 a violation of school policy (such as consuming alcohol or drugs). This is to ensure students can report without fear of consequences or retaliation for doing so.
Options for reporting:
Report directly to the Title IX coordinator in your school or program 2022-23 list of building-based TIX Coordinators
Report to the district TIX Office: goes directly to the district's Title IX Investigator who will consult with the building-based coordinator and together, will act accordingly to address what occurred. You may submit an anonymous report using this tool.
Report to Safe Oregon: tip line cross reports to DHS, Portland Police, and PPS as necessary (anonymous option available)
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 Survivor Hotline at 503.809.4357. It is important to address your emotional and/or physical needs first; once you are safe, you can report what happened using any of the reporting tools listed above. Confidential advocacy is available for PPS high school students through our partnership with Raphael House and VOA Homefree. Advocates are fully confidential.
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 within the school. Depending on the type and severity of alleged harassment, a school-based investigation may be appropriate. Families are encouraged to consult with law enforcement if they believe a crime may have occurred. Whether or not to notify law enforcement is the full discretion of the impacted student and their family. However, a law enforcement investigation does not substitute for a school-based investigation (and vice-versa). 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 by their actions or behavior. 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. 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 about the nature of the allegation and your rights. Under Title IX and the U.S. Constitution, every citizen has a right to due process. This includes an opportunity to respond to what is being alleged.
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 risk to the safety of the school community, if the report meets the definition under Title IX and if the alleged behavior occurred at school (or school-sponsored event or activity). If the incident occurs outside of school or school-affiliated events/activities (ex: athletics, school dance, clubs, etc.), 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 Agreement. 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 (who may be the school's Title IX Coordinator, 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. All 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 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 the evidence (more than 50%). If suspension or expulsion is a possibility, the decision-maker is 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 utilized (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. Each case is unique; regardless, the safety and well-being of the school community remain a 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 school 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 everything from prevention to prompt, equitable disciplinary procedures and safety planning. 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
Want more information but not sure where to start or who to ask? Our district Title IX team consults with students, parents, staff, or members of the community. Give us a call, send an email, or follow us on Instagram at titleixpps!
Resources for PPS students & families organized by theme:
Raising Boys to Respect Girls/Women
Social Media Guide for Parents
Training for Title IX Coordinators
Dept of Education Title IX Materials (2020)
Racism & Sexual Violence
SIRC - Information for Parents
Title IX: Bullying/Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender-Identity
Title IX: Sexual & Dating Violence, Consent & Healthy Relationships
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Report gender-based discrimination, harassment, bullying or any incident under Title IX. Submitting a report does NOT mean a Title IX investigation will occur. Before anything happens, the Title IX investigator (Ms. Elizabeth Johnson) will contact you using the information you provide. Ms. Johnson will share options for support and interventions, including a TIX investigation. She will explain the TIX process and answer your questions before notifying others or proceeding with an investigation. You are not committed to any particular path just because you submitted this report.
Title IX Team Contacts for PPS Students/Families
Liane O'Banion, Ed.D., Director., 503.568.2646 (call/text)
Alex Kahl, SIRC Coordinator, 503.312.8338 (call/text)
Elizabeth Johnson, Investigator & Educator, 971.393.3560 (call/text)
24/7 Emergency or Crisis Resources
If you have been the victim of sexual, dating or domestic violence, there are many resources to support your healing & recovery.
Click here for a printable, comprehensive list of advocacy resources (compiled & maintained by PPS Title IX Office).
Title IX Contact Info for School-Based Staff & TIX building coordinators