U.S. Dept of Ed Resolves Sexual Harassment Compliance Review of Mingo County Schools

OCR determined that Mingo County Schools didn’t respond equitably to complaints, violated Title IX, and more.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has resolved a sexual harassment compliance review of the Mingo County Schools in West Virginia.

“OCR had concerns that the district did not complete an investigation of serial misconduct and that it did not respond equitably to complaints of sexual assault during the 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 academic years, including that male respondents may have been treated less favorably than female respondents,” OCR said in a press release.

The agency also determined that Mingo County Schools violated Title IX by failing to identify a Title IX coordinator prior to August 2020; failing to adopt and publish Title IX grievance procedures that complied with Title IX; failing to issue a notice of nondiscrimination that complied with Title IX; and failing to adopt recordkeeping practices with regard to Title IX complaints.

“The district’s Title IX policies and procedures were inconsistent with one another and presented information to students, parents and guardians, and administrators in a confusing manner,” the press release said. “In addition, the district’s files were often incomplete or kept in a manner that did not allow OCR to assess the adequacy of the district’s response to Title IX complaints and, ultimately, determine whether the district complied with Title IX.”

Mingo County Schools agreed to take the following steps:

  • Designating and identifying its Title IX coordinator(s) and providing Title IX training.
  • Reviewing and revising its Title IX policies and submitting to OCR case file documentation sufficient to show that the district’s revised Title IX policies are compliant and effective.
  • Publishing a compliant notice of nondiscrimination.
  • Reviewing all complaints of student and staff Title IX misconduct during the 2017-2018, 2018-2019,  2019-2020, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 school years to determine – with OCR review and approval – whether additional actions need to be taken to comply with Title IX. And,
  • Surveying students and parents to assess a need for additional changes.

The letter to Mingo County Schools is available here and the resolution agreement is available here.

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