Breaking News
More () »

What you need to know about Title IX investigations

CBS19 dug into what what Title IX is, and what it means to violate it.

TYLER — On Wednesday, the University of Texas at Tyler officially received notice the Department of Education was investigating the school for Title IX violations.

But UT-Tyler is by no means the only school facing this problem.

On the Department of Education website, there are more than 1,600 open Title IX violation investigations.

Some of those include investigations at UT Arlington, UT San Antonio and UT Austin.

In it's most basic form, Title IX states that no person in the United States, because of their sex, can be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity that's getting federal funding, like a public college.

"Typically the violations, they involve specific people, but they are against an institution. So they would be investigating UT Tyler's compliance with Title IX," Mike Hiestand, a Senior Legal Consultant at the Student Press Law Center, said.

The two investigations into UT Tyler right now are for, "denial of benefits," and "retaliation."

Any college or university that receives federal funding can be held legally responsible if they sweep Title IX complaints under the rug.

Complaints can be anything from sexual assault involving a student to discrimination in school athletics.

"They report the information to the Department of Education, the Department would see whether or not they have acted appropriately in response to that report to the school," Hiestand said. "So just being under investigation, which is sounds like is what's happening at UT Tyler right now, does not mean that they are in violation right now. The investigation is ongoing."

If a school is found to be in violation of Title IX, consequences can range from owing the victim money to losing federal funding completely.

UT Tyler released a statement to CBS19 saying in part...

"Our belief is that UT Tyler has not violated Title IX. We are fully cooperating with the Department of Education investigation."