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A Case Study of K-12 School Employee Sexual Misconduct: Lessons Learned From Title IX Policy Implementation

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
75 pages

This case study included a purposeful sample of five geographically and demographically diverse districts that experienced an incident of school employee sexual misconduct in 2014, and lessons are drawn for addressing and preventing such cases through the implementation of the provisions of federal law Title IX.


To prevent offenses of sexual abuse from occurring, school districts are attempting to comply with Title IX, a federal law that provides guidelines for preventing and responding to school employee sexual misconduct in K-12 schools. Title IX requirements for schools encompass comprehensive policies and procedures; prevention efforts; training for staff, students, and parents; timely reporting; thorough and coordinated investigations; and effective response. The purpose of the current study was to examine Title IX policy implementation in school districts that experienced a case of school employee sexual misconduct in 2014. Conducted from January 2016 to September 2017, this study involved 92 participants who contributed data through 41 interviews and 10 focus groups. Information was also obtained from document and policy reviews. Based on the study's findings, the researchers recommend that school districts review their policy and implementation efforts in determining whether they are compliant with the key elements of Title IX guidance. Researchers also recommend that the federal and state departments of education establish accountability measures to track policy implementation and ensure that school districts comply with Title IX guidance and provide high-quality, low-cost training options. A further examination of prevalence data, victim and offender characteristics, effects on victims and school communities, criminal justice responses, and the effectiveness of prevention efforts are also recommended. Participants in the study also offered recommendations for improving a school's prevention and response efforts in countering school employee sexual offenses. 6 tables, 53 references, and appended key elements of Title IX, resource list, study sample. protocols, and Title IX codes

Date Published: September 1, 2017