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Title IX/ Sexual Misconduct

The educational environment should be a place where you can learn, grow as a person and explore the world around you without fear of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. With that in mind, Dallas Colleges Online wants you to be aware of your rights under Title IX and what you can so if you feel that you have been a victim of gender-based discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct.


What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal civil rights law enforced by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender (including discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity) in federally funded education programs. Under Title IX, such discrimination can include sexual harassment and interpersonal violence including stalking, relationship violence and sexual violence. These terms are referred to collectively here as sexual misconduct. (See the bottom of the Glossary of Terms page for some examples of sexual misconduct.)


DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct Policy

Dallas County Community College District is committed to ensuring equal access to education in an environment free from discrimination, including sexual misconduct. To that end, the DCCCD has developed a comprehensive Sexual Misconduct policy in order to comply with Title IX requirements.

DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy applies to any instance in which a person is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct. Whether you are a student, faculty, staff member or visitor, you have the right to file a complaint. Complaints or reports of sexual misconduct should be submitted to the Title IX coordinator and/or the Deputy Title IX coordinator of the LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online. Reports of sexual misconduct committed by a Title IX coordinator should be reported to the DCCCD Office of General Counsel.


Who is affected?

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual misconduct that often involves an abuse of power; however, it can also occur between peers, such as student-to-student. It is also possible for a student to harass a faculty member or employee of the college. Sexual harassment can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Both men and women can be targets or perpetrators of harassment. Persons who observe someone being harassed may also be intimidated or offended and experience sexual harassment.


What is Consent or a Consensual Relationship?

Consent must be clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Also, in order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. Furthermore, consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.


If You Experience Sexual Violence

  1. Go to a safe place and call someone. Call 911.
  2. Don’t shower, wash your hands, change or remove your clothes, or apply or take medication.
  3. Go to a hospital for medical attention.
  4. Get help, like counseling or victim assistance. (College staff are required to report alleged violations under Title IX)

Dealing With Sexual Harassment

  1. Tell the person to stop immediately.
  2. Be proactive: If you are uncomfortable with the behavior, say so.
  3. Be Consistent: Each time a person’s behavior “crosses the line”, confront the person.
  4. If you are uncomfortable confronting the person, contact a college administrator, supervisor, or Human Resources.

To Report An Incident of Sexual Misconduct Contact

La’Kendra Higgs
Associate Dean, Student Support Services
Title IX Coordinator
972-669-6590
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Directions: If you believe that you have been subjected to civil rights violations, you may submit your complaint using the Complaint Incident Report Form, or verbally by contacting the Title IX Coordinator listed above. Depending on the information you provide, Dallas Colleges Online may be obligated to investigate even without your permission. Dallas Colleges Online can only base its findings and take actions based on the information provided by you.

Complaint Incident Report Form


DCCCD’s Commitment to Equitable (Fair) Resolution

DCCCD affirms its commitment to promote the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational enterprise. All DCCCD policies are subject to an equitable resolution process. The Sexual Misconduct policy is applicable regardless of the status of the parties involved, who may be members or nonmembers of the DCCCD community, students, student organizations, faculty, administrators and/or staff.

DCCCD reserves the right to act on incidents of sexual misconduct occurring on a college campus or off campus. Incidents of off-campus sexual misconduct will be treated in the same manner as complaints about on-campus sexual misconduct if it is determined that the alleged sexual misconduct occurred in the context of an educational program or activity or may have an ongoing effect on the educational environment.


Online/Electronic Communication and Sexual Misconduct

In most cases, online postings or other electronic communication by students are not subject to DCCCD’s policies if they happen completely outside DCCCD’s control (meaning not on DCCCD networks or websites or between DCCCD email accounts). This includes cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cyber harassment, etc. Such behavior will only be subject to DCCCD’s policies when the behavior can be shown to cause a substantial disruption or impediment to a student’s education.

However, online postings or electronic communication that qualifies as sexual misconduct is subject to the Colleges of the DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy, regardless of whether it occurs on DCCCD’s networks or websites, or between DCCCD email accounts. If such conduct takes place outside DCCCD’s control, the behavior will be subject to the Sexual Misconduct policy if it is determined that the alleged sexual misconduct occurred in the context of an educational program or activity or may have an ongoing effect on the educational environment.


Where to Report or Ask Questions

LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online has designated La’Kendra Higgs, Associate Dean of Student Support Services as its Title IX Coordinator with the responsibility to coordinate its civil rights compliance activities and grievance procedures. For information, contact La’Kendra Higgs, Associate Dean of Student Support Services, Title IX Coordinator. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 972-669-6590

All reports of sexual misconduct are acted upon as quickly as possible. Every effort is made by LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online to preserve the privacy of reports. Reports may also be filed anonymously.


Confidentiality and DCCCD Sexual Misconduct Policy

Dallas Colleges Online recognizes that confidentiality is important; failure to keep information confidential may hurt the ability of DCCCD to investigate and resolve claims of sexual misconduct. However, although Dallas Colleges Online is committed to respecting the confidentiality and privacy of all parties (people), we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality.

All DCCCD Employees are considered responsible employees, and are required by DCCCD policy or by law to share a report of sexual misconduct with appropriate parties promptly. Other resources (people) may serve in a professional role in which communication is privileged under law.

Learn more about reporting obligations and your options for confidentiality.


Retaliation

It is unlawful (illegal) and a violation of the Colleges of the DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy to retaliate against an individual for:

  • alleging sexual misconduct;
  • supporting a person bringing a complaint or grievance;
  • opposing sexual misconduct;
  • assisting in providing information relevant to such a claim; or
  • participating in any grievance process on campus or with a government agency.

If you believe you are being subjected to retaliatory behavior for filing a complaint of sexual misconduct or participating in the investigation of such a complaint, please contact:

La’Kendra Higgs
Associate Dean, Student Support Services
Title IX Coordinator
972-669-6590
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Glossary of Terms

See definitions of some terms used in DCCCD’s nondiscrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policies. This page also includes some examples of behavior that would be considered sexual misconduct and/or a violation of DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy.

This glossary is intended to help you understand terms frequently used in the DCCCD’s nondiscrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policies.

In any case where the glossary and DCCCD policy do not seem to match, DCCCD policy should be relied on as the authoritative source.

Allegation.
An allegation is a statement made by an individual who believes a violation of DCCCD policy has occurred.

Complainant.
Complainant refers to the person making the allegation or complaint.

Complaint or grievance.
Notification, either orally or in writing, of the belief that a violation has occurred.

Knowing, voluntary and clear permission, by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

  1. For consent to be valid and considered voluntary, it must be free from threat, force, intimidation, extortion and/or undue influence.

  2. In order for consent to be given competently, both parties (people) must be able to consent. If one of the parties is unable to consent, due to, among other things, drug or alcohol use, then that person lacks the ability to consent.
Days.
Refers to calendar days. DCCCD holidays (i.e., days when colleges and administrative offices of the DCCCD are officially closed) are excluded from the computation of time. If a duration of time ends on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is extended to the following DCCCD business day.

Decision maker.
In the case of students, the student conduct officer or a designated representative. The chief Talent Central officer for the LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online or other DCCCD administrative location, or a designated representative, may serve as the decision maker for employees and faculty.

Deputy Title IX coordinator.
A LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online employee designated to assist in the administration of the responsibilities related to Title IX matters.

Discrimination.
The intentional or unintentional treatment of any member or visitor of the LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online community less favorably than those similarly situated based on race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic predisposition, veteran status or on any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law.

Harassment.
Unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, including but not limited to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or veteran status. Harassment is further defined as behavior so severe that it limits or denies an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from his or her work or educational environment, creates a hostile environment or allows for the abuse of authority.

Interpersonal violence.
Acts of dominance in which at least one individual imposes, or attempts to impose, his or her will on another individual or group in a way that threatens the other person’s rights, safety or welfare, or that of a group of people.

Investigation.
The process the LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online uses to resolve complaints/grievances. This includes the fact-finding investigation and any hearing and decision-making process used to determine.

  1. whether the conduct occurred and

  2. if the conduct occurred, what actions will be taken to end the offending conduct, eliminate the hostile environment and prevent its recurrence.
Investigator.
A trained person designated as an investigator by the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of General Counsel who conducts a fact-finding inquiry (investigation) and writes an investigative report.

Investigative report.
The report created by the investigator, which includes a summary of the complaint; description of the investigation, including names of people interviewed with dates, list of documents reviewed and findings.

Privileged.
Information that is protected by law and cannot be disclosed to (shared with) anyone else without your permission. Individuals commonly, but not always, protected by statutory privilege (legal privilege) are religious leaders, therapists and domestic violence/rape crisis advocates.

Respondent.
The person against whom an allegation or complaint is made.

Responsible employee.
Any employee who has authority to take action to resolve sexual misconduct, who has been given the duty of reporting sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate party, or whom a student or employee could reasonably believe has such authority or duty.

Retaliation.
Any harmful or hostile action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. This includes action taken against a student or employee for reporting or intervening to stop discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation in the investigation or grievance process.

Sexual misconduct.
Acts of sex/gender-based harassment, sexual/gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence and stalking. For definitions of these terms, please see DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy.
See below for some examples of sexual misconduct.

Substantial interest.
A substantial interest is:

  1. Any action that is a criminal offense as defined by federal, state or local law;

  2. Any situation where it appears that the accused individual may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of self or others;

  3. Any situation that significantly affects the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly disturbs the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or

  4. Any situation that is harmful to the educational interests of Richland College.
Title IX coordinator.
LeCroy Center/Dallas Colleges Online has a Title IX coordinator who is responsible for administrating responsibilities related to and compliance with Title IX.

Examples of Sexual Misconduct/Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy
Here are a few examples of behavior that would be considered either sexual misconduct and/or violations of the sexual misconduct policy. Please note that these examples are not all-inclusive.

  1. Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come to his apartment. From 11 p.m. until 3 a.m., Bill uses every line he can think of to talk Amanda into having sex with him, but she firmly refuses. He keeps at her and begins to question her religious beliefs. He even accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, Bill thinks he has worn Amanda down, and he convinces her to give him a "hand job" (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never have done it if Bill hadn’t kept pushing her. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come to his apartment alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it, she could have left.

    Bill has violated DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy. It is likely that DCCCD decision-makers would find the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda unreasonable. Bill pressured Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Sex (including sexual touching) without consent is sexual misconduct. Although the misconduct occurred off-campus, it is still subject to the Sexual Misconduct policy as it may have an ongoing effect on the DCCCD environment.

  2. Kim and Dave have been together for six months. Kim often tells her friends stories of Dave’s sexual prowess, and decides to prove it to them. One night, she and Dave engage in consensual intercourse. Without Dave’s knowledge, Kim sets up her digital camera to videotape them having sex. The next evening, she uploads the video to an online video-sharing site and discusses it with her friends online.

    This is a form of sexual exploitation and is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy. Dave’s consent to engage in sexual intercourse with Kim did not mean she had his consent to videotape it.

  3. Ana filed a complaint alleging that after she broke up with Jeff, Jeff began stalking her. Jeff told his friends about the complaint, and several of them have launched a campaign against Ana on social media threatening to harm her and the witnesses supporting her if she does not drop the complaint.

    The conduct by Jeff’s friends qualifies as retaliation and is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy.

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