What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in all educational programs and activities, including athletic programs. No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity operated by the District. Title IX protects all participants in the District’s educational programs and activities, including students, parents, employees, and job applicants. The District does not discriminate on the basis of sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment and sexual violence. In addition to Title IX, the California Education Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools. (California Education Code §§ 220-221.1.) Other state and federal laws also prohibit discrimination and ensure equality in education. Please refer to Board Policy 0410 Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities for more information on the District’s anti-discrimination policies. Title IX information provided here applies to every school site and to all District programs and activities.
The Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. MUSD prohibits discrimination, intimidation, harassment, and bullying in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of actual or perceived age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital or parental status, medical condition, national origin, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, Vietnam Era Veterans' status, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both educational services and employment.
Inquiries regarding nondiscrimination and civil rights should be directed to the District's Title IX Coordinators:
For complaints regarding staff actions:
Dr. Caroline Cota
Director, Personnel Services
For complaints regarding student actions:
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services
Sexual Harassment Policy
The Martinez Unified School District is committed to maintaining a safe school environment free from harassment and discrimination and to providing equal opportunities for all individuals in education. The Board prohibits sexual harassment of district employees, job applicants, and students by anyone at school, school-sponsored, or school-related activities. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who reports, files a complaint, or testifies about, or otherwise supports a complainant in alleging sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment Board Policies:
Your Rights Under Title IX
How to File a Discrimination, Bullying, or Harassment Complaint
The district strongly encourages any student, employee, or job applicant who feels that he/she is being or has been sexually harassed on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity by another student or an adult, or who has experienced off-campus sexual harassment that has a continuing effect on campus to immediately contact his/her teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee. Any employee who receives a report or observes an incident of sexual harassment shall notify the principal or a district compliance officer. Once notified, the principal or compliance officer shall take the steps to investigate and address the allegation, as specified in the accompanying administrative regulation. A student or parent/guardian is not required to attempt resolution through the school site before contacting the District Title IX Coordinator.
Filing a Uniform Complaint
A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination or retaliation must be filed no later than six months from the date the discrimination or retaliation occurred, or six months from when the complainant first learned of the unlawful discrimination. The Superintendent or designee may extend this timeline by up to ninety days for a good cause, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. A student, parent, guardian, employee, individual, or organization may file a written complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying on the basis of a protected characteristic under the District's Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) by sending a complaint to the District's Title IX Coordinator (contact information listed above). A complaint may be filed anonymously, although the District’s ability to investigate and respond may be limited by lack of information.
You may also file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. For more information, follow this link.
The electronic complaint form for the Office for Civil Rights is available online here.
Investigation of a Uniform Complaint
Complaints filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and a decision made within sixty calendar days of the District’s receipt unless the complainant agrees to an extension. The District’s compliance officer or designee may interview alleged victims, alleged offenders, and relevant witnesses. The compliance officer may review available records, statements, or notes related to the complaint, including evidence or information received from the parties during the investigation. The compliance officer may visit reasonably accessible locations where discrimination is alleged to have occurred. As appropriate, the District’s compliance officer periodically will inform the parties of the status of the investigation. The complainant will be notified when a decision is made. Complaints that are not filed under the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and decided pursuant to the applicable procedure.
After the Investigation
For complaints filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, the compliance officer will prepare and send a final written decision to the complainant and respondent, if any, within 60 calendar days of the District’s receipt of the complaint (unless this deadline is extended by mutual agreement). If the compliance officer finds that a complaint has merit, the District will take appropriate corrective action. The district prohibits retaliation against any participant in the complaint process including witnesses. A separate Uniform Complaint may be filed if retaliation occurs against any individual involved in the processing of discrimination, harassment, or bullying complaint. Each complaint shall be investigated promptly and in a way that respects the privacy of all parties concerned. The complainant or respondent may appeal the District’s decision within fifteen calendar days to the California Department of Education. The appeal must specify the reason for the appeal and whether the District’s facts are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied. The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint to the District and a copy of the District’s decision.
For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s webpage on Uniform Complaint Procedures.
For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination based on state law, the complainant may pursue available civil law remedies, including seeking assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys, sixty calendar days after filing an appeal with the California Department of Education. (California Education Code § 262.3.) Note that this sixty-day moratorium does not apply to complaints seeking injunctive relief in state courts or to discrimination complaints based on federal law. (California Education Code § 262.3.)
Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. For contact information, see the section above on “How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?” For more information, visit the US Department of Education's OCR website.