Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Student Note Examines Schools' Liability for Sexual Harassment

New student-authored scholarship in the Valparaiso University Law Review offers a critical examination of the Title IX standard for sexual harassment in the particular context of harassment of student-athletes. Brianna Schroeder argues that the standard for evaluating a school's liability for sexual harassment, first outlined in Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, provides incentives for universities to develop sexual harassment policies that more focused on preventing liability than on preventing harassment itself. She argues that in order to counteract this incentive, the Department of Education should promulgate additional regulations to ensure that schools address harassment in a preventive manner. Such requirements could include affirmative obligation to notify student athletes and athletic department employees of existing sexual harassment policies and individuals in the institution who are qualified to receive reports of harassment when it occurs.

Citation: Brianna J. Schroeder, Power Imbalances in College Athletics and an Exploited Standard: Is Title IX Dead, 43 Val. U. L. Rev. 1483 (2009).