New Title IX Regulations No Longer Require Coaches to Report Sexual Misconduct
The changes also bolster protections for students accused of sexual misconduct
In one of the biggest changes to Title IX policy in years, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidelines surrounding campus sexual misconduct. The most notable change is that coaches and athletic trainers are no longer mandated to report sexual misconduct if they learn of it.
Prior to these new changes, a wide swath of institutional team personnel and faculty were “mandatory reporters,” who were required to report any instances of misconduct or discrimination to the school and Title IX office. Now, only two groups are obligated to do so: Title IX officials and an official with “authority to institute corrective measures,” according to Yahoo Sports.
Per ESPN, the change was made to “respect the autonomy of students” who might want to tell a coach about sexual misconduct without filing a report with the Title IX office. These changes do not apply to students in high school and younger, however; everyone working at a school with minors is still obligated to report any such incidents.
Along with the changes to reporting, the new Title IX regulations also put a heavier burden of proof and process on victims. Among the changes here are the requirement of hearings that allow for cross-examination, similarly to how legal cases of sexual misconduct would be conducted. They also give schools the opportunity to raise the level of evidence needed to find fault; prior to these changes, there need only be a “preponderance of evidence” (meaning at least 51 percent of evidence points to a crime), while now schools can choose to use “clear and convincing evidence” as their standard of proof.
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