About Title IX

Title IX: 20 U.S.C. §1681 & 34 C.F.R. Part 106

“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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” -- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. This federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. LCC is one of those recipients.

Why We Need Title IX

Title IX is necessary to create a safe and inclusive environment on all college campuses. We need Title IX to protect all people who are part of Seattle Colleges from incidents of sex-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual violence, relationship violence, and abuse.

Seattle Colleges offers campus community professional staff, resources, training, and policies that help create a safe environment, both on campus and off. Please see Title IX Training resources.

Where does Title IX happen and to whom?

  • On- and off-campus education programs and activities
  • All academic programs
  • All athletic and student activities
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Visitors

What are Seattle Colleges’ obligations?

  • The college is obligated to provide a prompt, thorough, and equitable investigation of sexual misconduct or sex-based discrimination. 
  • Title IX ensures that both reported parties in an event have an equal opportunity to be heard and participate in the full grievance process.
  • Work to end sexual harassment and discrimination 
  • Remedy the impact across the community
  • Prevent the reoccurrence of violence or discrimination
  • Increase education and awareness of Title IX
  • A resource that explains these obligations

When will Seattle Colleges get involved?

Once the college is aware or reasonably should have known about a situation.

Who is responsible to act?

Any college employee, staff and faculty. 

Every community, including Seattle Colleges, is affected by sexual assault and sex-based discrimination. We must work together to learn what is sexual assault to create a safe environment and culture of respect and equity. 

Educational Resources

Support and Resources for Survivors

Seattle Colleges has resources available at each campus:

  • Central    Counseling: 206-934-5407
  • North      Counseling: 206-934-3676
                    Gender Equity Resource Center: 206-934-3719
  • South      Counseling: 206-934-6409

Additional resources:

How do you get consent? 

Consent requires clear permission by words or actions, to engage in equally agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make sure that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be accurate at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact, there must be actual words or conduct indicating approval to have sexual contact or intercourse. A person cannot consent if they are incapacitated, helpless, asleep, or unconscious, including due to alcohol or other drugs.  Sexual contact or intercourse without consent is considered to be sexual assault.

Consent Is:

  • clear confirmation (words, actions) that create equally understandable permission
  • intentional and voluntary 
  • given for each sexual act during an encounter and for each encounter every time 

Consent Is Not:

  • silence or unresponsive
  • a lack of opposition
  • given while unconscious or incapacitated
  • transferable — consent is needed every time

What is a bystander?

A bystander is a person who is present at an incident or event that is not directly involved in the incident. A bystander might be at an incident, or they could be a witness to any circumstances that led up to an incident.   

What is bystander intervention?

Bystander Intervention is an important way to recognize possible incidents or situations and choosing to respond in a positive way to help others and influence the result of the incident.

Some situations in which a bystander could have an important impact is stopping situations that could have led to a Title IX incident, such as sexual assault. Bystanders can also speak out against situations that support sexual assault or gender-based violence. Finally, bystanders can work to develop more skills to be an ally to survivors of sexual assault or gender-based violence. Overall, bystander’s actions are important and have impact. 

How to become and Active Bystander:

  1. Be aware of the situation 
  2. Interpret if it is a problem or issue
  3. Feel responsible to act and to help the situation. 
  4. Educate yourself on what to do before the situation arises 
  5. Interrupt safely 

How to help safely:

  1. Ask the person you are worried about if they are okay. 
  2. Tell another person to get help or call 911 if you are concerned for someone’s safety  
  3. Distract and remove the uncomfortable party from the situation before escalation. 

Prevention is key

Many instances of sexual assault, sexual violence, or sexual harassment can be prevented if signs are recognized early on and general preventative action is taken. You can protect yourself and others by being aware of your surroundings and educating yourself and your friends about how to avoid situations that may lead to sexual misconduct, as well as what to do if you or someone you know is confronted with such a situation. 

Educational Resources

Mandatory Reporting Responsibility

College employees, except those statutorily barred from doing so, have a duty to immediately report possible Title IX violations to the Title IX Coordinator.

You are required to report incidents you personally observe as well as incidents you know of or should reasonably have known. You must report these offenses to the designated Title IX coordinator of your campus

What Happens after a report is made?

  • Confidentiality and privacy is maintained to the furthest extent possible.
  • Access to resources are provided to both the complainant and respondent.
  • Interim measures may be provided (e.g. change of class; no contact order).
  • Equitable, impartial and timely process provided throughout.
  • No retaliation will be tolerated.

Title IX and Pregnancy:

Title IX protects students in all of the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.

Both federal (Title IX) and state (WLAD and RCW 28B.110) law prohibit institutions of higher education from discriminating on the basis of gender, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. 

How do I make an accomodation for pregnancy at Seattle Colleges? 

While pregnancy is not considered a disability, the process for accommodating pregnancy and many pregnancy related conditions is similar to the reasonable accommodation process for disabilities. 

Please visit Seattle Colleges Acccomodations and Accessibility Website or your schools Campus Services website for more information to inquire about this process. For employees, please consult with your campus Human Resources Department. 

For students navigating this process, the U.S. Department of Education regulations provide that the IHE “shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom as a justification for a leave of absence for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student's physician, at the conclusion of which the student shall be reinstated to the status which they held when the leave began.”  34 C.F.R. § 106(b)(5).  

Guidance from OCR about what constitutes’ “reinstate[ment] to academic status" implies a student should be provided the option of either making up the academic work they missed during their absence or re-entering the program at a later date.

If you have additonal questions, or email compliance@seattlecolleges.edu.  Please also visit the Student Services Title IX Website for more information for students. 

Does a school have to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or childbirth?

Yes. Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns to school, they must be reinstated to the status they held when the leave began, which should include giving them the opportunity to make up any work missed. A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave. The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work.

If the school requires students with other medical conditions to submit a doctor’s note, it may require the same from a pregnant student.

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students (PDF) (ed.gov) at 10 (Emphasis added).  Allowing the student to attend classes remotely while they recovers is another alternative that should be considered.

Summary for Students:

(1) The student is entitled to take an extended leave of absence to the extent such a leave is supported by their healthcare provider.  (2) When the student returns, they should be given the option of making up the classes and continuing with their original cohort or taking time off and resuming their studies with the next cohort.  OCR guidance suggests that this is a decision for the student to make, rather than the college.  That being the case, giving the student the option of attending their classes remotely while they recover may be a means of minimizing the amount they need to make up when they return. 

If you have experienced—or think you may have experienced—sexual assault, stalking, relationship or intimate partner violence, sex- or gender-based harassment, and/or another form of sexual misconduct, resources, support measures and reporting option are available to you. Choosing one option does not preclude others; you can pursue any of them at any time. You can also contact the Title IX coordinator of your campus at any time, for any reason.

Advocates for Youth: Know Your IX Supportive Guide and Resources 

All District employees (faculty, staff, student employees and administrators) are designated as “responsible employees” required to report and must report actual or suspected Title IX violations immediately, subject to limited exceptions for employees who are statutorily barred from reporting (counselors etc.). All details of the reports they receive must be shared promptly to the Title IX Coordinator of their campus. If the complaint is against that Title IX Coordinator, the impacted party should report the matter to the president’s, or Chancellor’s office for referral to an alternate designee.

Starting with speaking with a counselor is the best way to ensure your confidentiality. Counselors can help you consider options and provide support. First, ensure you are first speaking to a confidential counselor before disclosing information. Seattle Colleges Counselors may not be all "confidential counselors", but they can help you be connected to external counseling resources. 

Please also consult with the Washington Coalition for Sexual Assault Programs for more information about confidentiality options.

Most counselors are licensed to provide confidential counseling services under RCW 18.225. All practitioners who are licensed to provide mental health counseling services are subject to confidentiality requirements imposed by either RCW 5.60.060 or RCW 18.83.110

For Students in Crisis:

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency/need immediate assistance please call 911, the King County Crisis Connections at 866.427.4747 and/or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Counseling and Crisis Support Resources

Counseling may assist with recovery from a traumatic experience. Seattle Colleges offers short-term counseling for students on its three campuses and referrals to open-ended counseling services off campus. First, ensure you are first speaking to a confidential counselor before disclosing information. Seattle Colleges Counselors may not be all "confidential counselors", but they can help you be connected to external counseling resources. 

If you have experienced sexual assault, relationship and intimate partner violence, stalking, sex- and gender-based harassment, and/or other sexual misconduct, therapy may include:

  • Providing information about trauma and its effects
  • Providing information on mindfulness techniques
  • Providing tools to support healthy sleep, diet, or exercise habits
  • Helping you identify and deal with negative feelings about the traumatic event, such as feelings of guilt or shame
  • Helping you identify and deal with negative thoughts about the traumatic event, such as self-blame
  • Assisting you in reducing anxiety when exposed to people or places that are reminders of the trauma

Counselors can:

  • Help you understand your rights
  • Support you in creating a plan for your situation
  • Connect you with supportive measures, including academic or employment support
  • Assist in implementing a mutual no contact directive
  • Inform you of Seattle Colleges formal complaint and police reporting options and support you through one or both of these processes
  • Assist you in obtaining a civil protection order (sometimes referred to as a restraining order)
  • Review your housing options
  • Refer you to on- and off-campus resources, including attorneys or mental health professionals

In general, state law protects the confidentiality of counseling relationships and records. For more specific information about confidentiality, consult with counseling services staff or your counselor, who can answer any questions you have.

  • Counselors have limitations on confidentiality when they learn of:
    • Abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18
    • Elder abuse or the abuse of a disabled adult
    • A plan for self harm or harm to others

College employees, except those statutorily barred from doing so, have a duty to immediately report possible Title IX violations to the Title IX coordinator of their campus.

If you have confidentiality concerns, the Title IX Coordinator can discuss your options with you. You may request confidentiality. The district will attempt to protect your privacy to the fullest possible extent, consistent with our legal obligations to comply with federal and state laws and to protect our students and community. More information about confidentiality is found in Policy 283.

Please direct questions about protecting your privacy to the Title IX coordinator of your campus.

Consider contacting a counselor above before disclosing to other Seattle Colleges employees. When meeting with a counselor, you can share as little or as much information as you choose. Sharing information with Counselor is not the same as making a formal complaint to Seattle Colleges for the purpose of starting an Investigation. Ensure you are first speaking to a confidential counselor before disclosing information. 

    Please note, you do not need to make a formal complaint to seek the assistance of a counselor. Counselors have legally protected confidentiality and only share information with others when given specific permission by the person who has experienced the harm or when required by law. Ensure you are first speaking to a confidential counselor before disclosing information. 

    The Office of the Title IX Coordinator and Seattle Colleges Safety and Security/ Police do not have legally protected confidentiality but strive to safeguard the privacy of individuals who have been impacted by sex and gender-based violence and harassment. They share information as needed to respond to the requests of those who have been harmed, to assess community safety, or to comply with legal requirements.