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The Law & Education

Jun 4, 2020

There’s no question that these are unprecedented times for everyone, including school districts and institutes of higher education. COVID, killer bees, natural disasters, and now the new Title IX regulations issued by the department of education. My guest this week is Melissa Carleton, a partner at Bricker & Eckler. Melissa advises higher education entities in a variety of areas, including student affairs, student conduct, disability accommodation, student confidentiality, policies, contract, governance, and employment matters. She also has a great deal of experience in guiding the institutional response to allegations of sexual abuse. She regularly works with colleges, universities, career technical schools, and K-12 school districts to comply with Title IX and, where applicable, the Clery Act, as well as implementing guidance and regulations. In today’s episode, we discuss the changes and challenges that the regulations present for school districts, due to Melissa’s experience in that area, and the work we’ve been doing together on the joint guidance. Tune in to find out more.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • What the implications of Title IX regulations mean for K12 vs. higher education institutions.
  • The challenges the new regulations pose for K-12.
  • The formal complaint and how it plays into the written notice of an investigation.
  • The new narrow definition of sexual harassment and higher requirements for analysis.
  • Parents and the danger of formal complaints that young children wouldn’t comprehend.
  • The visibility and role of Title IX coordinators in school districts.
  • Things to pay special attention to regarding Title IX regulations.
  • What Melissa would be doing if she weren’t a lawyer and the instrument she played in high school.



“We’ve shifted to a paradigm where school districts need to have actual knowledge to take action on an allegation of sexual harassment, and the actual knowledge occurs when a formal complaint is filed” — @MCarletonOhio [0:10:15]

“At the K-12 level… if it doesn’t fall within the definition of sexual harassment… How are you going to address that behavior so that it doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment?” — @MCarletonOhio [0:12:37]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Melissa Carleton on Twitter

ICS Events

Courtney Bullard Email