CHARLOTTE — There are still many questions about several Title IX investigations involving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district.
The federal database that tracks them only lists a couple of small details about the type of discrimination being investigated, so there is not much the public knows.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has four pending Title IX investigations into CMS.
The OCR ensures civil rights are protected in schools, which includes investigating Title IX claims of sexual assault or harassment.
Its database shows four cases; two sexual harassment cases from November 2022 and July and two more for retaliation and procedural requirements that opened within two days of each other in late July.
A CMS spokesperson declined to comment Monday because the district cannot comment on any pending investigations.
Last week, Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe spoke with Superintendent Crystal Hill about the district’s handling of Title IX matters, which is something that CMS has been scrutinized through the years.
“What, going into this new school year, is different in that area to ensure that students are safe on campus?” Hill said. “In schools, we talked about Title IX, but Title IX really wasn’t a thing until there was an issue. So, what we needed to do is make sure that Title IX was top of mind, so when concerns came up when a report was made, we were able to act and act quickly.”
Hill said district officials have done that over the summer by:
- Making changes in Title IX training requirements for school-based staff.
- Adding additional Title IX lessons for students, above what is required by the OCR.
- Adding a notification to parents of any OCR report.
Hill said they’re also doing something called “tabletops” at every meeting, which involves principals, assistant principals, and deans.
“We had several scenarios, put it up, discussed it,” Hill said. “Is it Title IX? What should we do? Just an opportunity to level-set so when a situation does come up, the person that’s the receiver knows exactly what to do.”
Hill said Title IX training will be just as vigorous for students this school year.
“Students know to report and our language this year is ‘report, report, report,’” Hill said. “If you see something and that’s not just Title IX, that’s any incident.”
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