Student sexual harassment in New York City is illegal under the guidelines of Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972. According to Title IX, discrimination based on sex against all students, teachers, and employees is illegal. This includes sexual harassment. For over 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of student sexual harassment or Title IX violations, receive the compensation they deserve.
Student Sexual Harassment in New York City
Student sexual harassment occurs when a student experienced unwanted sexual contact or advances by another student, teacher/professor, administrator, or an employee within a school. This can occur throughout all levels of education, from elementary school through college and beyond. Anyone attending an institution for the purposes of learning, whether taking one class (like a dance class at a studio) or a full-time enrolled student at a university, can be considered a student and can be the victim of student sexual harassment.
In New York City, there are federal and state laws that help protect you is you are a student victim of sexual harassment.
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX applies to schools that receive federal funding. This includes public and private schools of all levels. Although private schools are not fully funded by any public money, they accept financial aid and grant money, which is all part of the federal financial aid program. The law states that discrimination on the basis of sex against all students, teachers, and employees is illegal.
- Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). This is a New York state law that protects students only. This law prohibits students and employees from unwanted sexual contact, advances, or favors from students and employees on both school property, at school-sponsored functions, on school parking lots, in school stadiums, on school buses, and even at events that are off school property and not school-sponsored, but would otherwise cause a substantial disruption when going to school, such as a frat party.
- The New York City Department of Education Chancellor’s Regulations A-831. This regulation protects students from sexual harassment brought on by other students. The regulation states that it is their policy to maintain a safe and supportive learning and educational environment free from sexual harassment.
There are two types of student sexual harassment claims in New York City: Quid Pro Quo (this for that) and a hostile environment. You must show evidence for one of these two claims when filing a lawsuit for student sexual harassment.
- Quid Pro Quo. Quid pro quo literally means “this for that.” This means that you are offered something in exchange for sex or sexual contact. You may be offered a passing grade by your professor. A student may offer to write your thesis for you if you go on a date with her. In order for quid pro quo to exist, you must prove that you were propositioned sexually in exchange for something that would benefit you.
- Hostile Environment. A hostile environment occurs when the refusal of unwanted sexual contact or the continued and persistent requests for sexual contact or advances interfere with your learning environment. Your harasser can be continually asking for a date, telling sexist and explicit jokes, or otherwise making it virtually impossible for you to learn as a result of the sexual harassment.
Student sexual harassment can take many forms. It can come from other students, teachers or professors, employees, or administrators. Some examples of student sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Your professor offers to give you an A for the class if you sleep with him.
- A student consistently calls you by gender-specific slurs, even though you have asked him to stop repeatedly.
- Your teacher tries to kiss you or grope you whenever you and she are alone.
- A fellow student plasters the campus with flyers involving sexually explicit jokes and comics.
- A student emails the student directory with crude and pornographic images
- Your athletic coach refuses to put you in any games because you did not go on a date with her.
- You are kicked out of a class because you complained to the administration about your teacher’s constant favoritism towards the male students, such as giving the males all of the opportunities for class participation and offering the males easier assignments.
- A student group on campus is clearly sexist as well as consistently creates events to berate and harass women and the group has not been forced to disband.
- You are at a frat party and the frat brothers make it clear that you are only allowed to stay if you are completely naked. You leave and face severe ridicule as a result.
Under Title IX, you have a time limit of 180 days of sexual harassment to file your claim with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). However, if you choose to file a complaint with the federal court without going through OCR, New York gives you 3 years to file a complaint of student sexual harassment.
If you are filing a claim under DASA, the statute requires that you file a complaint using the proper form with the New York State Education Department within 1 year of the sexual harassment incident.
Under the New York City Department of Education Chancellor’s Regulations, A-831, a complaint must be filed with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management (OEO) within 1 year of the harassment.
As a victim of student sexual harassment in New York City, it makes sense that you would want to get the relief you deserve and go back to learning. Some of the available remedies in New York City courts include, but are not limited to:
- Reinstatement to classes, athletics, clubs, or the educational institution
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Attorney’s fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Removal of individual(s) responsible for the harassment
- Review and revamping of the sexual harassment policy
- Punitive damages
The length of time a lawsuit for student sexual harassment may take to settle depends on the parties involved and the details of the case. If your school and harasser are willing to negotiate a fair settlement prior to going to trial, the case may settle in as little as 4 to 6 months. However, if the case goes to trial, it may take 8 months to a year or more to prepare for trial. The trial may then last anywhere from a few days to several weeks before a judgment is entered.
If you are the victim of student sexual harassment, there are a few things you can do while you prepare to file your lawsuit.
- Consult an expert student sexual assault attorney immediately.
- If your school has a sexual harassment policy, follow it.
- If your school has a department for reporting sexual harassment, file a complaint.
- Gather evidence of the harassment. Make sure to document everything, including what happened, when and where it occurred, who was involved, and any witnesses.
- Do not waste time. Your time to file a complaint is limited. Do not wait until it is too late.
Contact Our Experienced New York City Student Sexual Harassment Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation.
Students are entitled to learn in an environment free from sexual harassment from their professors, teachers, administrators, employees, or even fellow students. Anything less is unacceptable. If you are the victim of student sexual harassment in New York City, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group (including our team of former sex-crimes prosecutors) are happy to help. Contact us today at (212) 587-0760 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until we help you win your case.