Department of Justice Reaches $ 1.6 Million Agreement to Fix Title IX Violations at San Jose State University | GRANDPA
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced an agreement with San Jose State University (SJSU) to ensure that students go to school and college without sexual harassment, including sexual assault -Sports can participate. The division conducted its investigation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).
The department found that for more than a decade, the SJSU did not adequately respond to reports of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, of female students by a sports coach then working at the SJSU. As of 2009, female athletes reported that the trainer had exposed them repeatedly, unwanted sexual touch to their breasts, groins, buttocks and / or pubic area during treatment in the campus training facilities. The department concluded that the SJSU’s ineffective response has harmed additional student athletes for years. The department also found that the SJSU had retaliated against two SJSU employees. The first employee repeatedly warned school officials about the sports coach’s threat, and the second employee spoke out against retaliation against the reporting employee and was fired by the SJSU. The department and SJSU have reached a comprehensive agreement to cover the results of the investigation, which began in June 2020.
“No student should be subjected to sexual harassment in any college or university in our country, especially not from an employee in a position of power,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “With this agreement, San Jose State University will help survivors and reshape their Title IX process to ensure accountability in their athletics program and create a safer campus for all of their students. The Justice Department thanks current and past students who came forward and shared their experiences, and the staff who worked hard to help their students. Because of them, San Jose State University will pass major reforms to prevent such abuse of authority from ever happening again. “
“The department’s findings are a strong reminder that schools need to react quickly to protect students from sexual harassment. Title IX requires nothing less, ”said Acting US Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds for the Northern District of California. “We thank the students and staff at San José State University whose efforts have shed light on this issue, and look forward to working with the university to implement this important agreement.”
As part of the agreement, SJSU will, among other things:
- to significantly improve the SJSU’s process of responding to complaints of sexual harassment;
- Strengthen the Title IX office by revising the office structure and providing adequate authority, independence and resources for the Title IX coordinator;
- Publish Title IX guidelines and protocols and develop user-friendly materials so that everyone in the SJSU community knows how to report Title IX concerns;
- Improve the policies and procedures of the SJSU’s Sports Medicine and Athletics Training Program to prevent sexual harassment from sports coaches;
- Providing training to student athletes and SJSU Athletics employees on obtaining and obtaining informed consent for medical treatments and athletic training services;
- Interviewing SJSU Athletics employees to evaluate their understanding of SJSU policies and identify barriers to reporting;
- Take concrete steps to prevent retaliation under Title IX, including through training that provides clear examples of prohibited behavior; and
- Provide support measures and legal remedies for current and former competitive athletes who have been sexually harassed by the sports coach.
The agreement also obliges the SJSU to pay financial relief totaling $ 1.6 million to those who were sexually molested by the sports coach and who participated in the Division’s Title IX investigations or the SJSU’s internal investigations. The department will oversee the implementation of the agreement through the 2024-2025 academic year.
Attorneys from the Department of Educational Opportunities of the Department of Civil Rights of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California jointly conducted this investigation, with which the SJSU collaborated. Individuals with information on SJSU compliance with Title IX are encouraged to contact the Department of Justice at 1-833-591-0289 or [email protected]
Enforcement of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs and activities of government grant recipients, is a top priority for the Civil Rights Division. More information about the Civil Rights Division can be found on their website at www.justice.gov/crt, and more information about the work of the Education Opportunities Division can be found at https://www.justice.gov/crt/educational-opportunities – Section. More information about the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is available on their website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca. Citizens can report possible civil rights violations at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/. View the summary of the agreement here.