Mingo County Schools Violate Title IX Law, U.S. Dept. of Education says
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The U.S. Dept. of Education says the Mingo County School District has violated Title IX law on how reported cases of sexual harassment and assault have been handled.
The USDE says it reviewed dozens of Title IX cases in Mingo County Schools over a three year span, ranging from sexual assault to sexual harassment and abuse. Many of the cases were reported at PreK-8 schools.
The concern over how those cases were investigated was outlined in a letter the department sent Mingo County Schools in May. The USDE reviewed cases from 2017-2020, finding four areas of Title IX violations, as well as two areas of compliance concerns.
The violations include not designating an employee to coordinate and comply with Title IX regulations, not following record keeping practices, not publishing the correct Title IX non-discrimination policies and not adopting or publishing grievance procedures.
The review found the district did not adequately train staff on Title IX policies, and did not respond equitably to complaints of sexual assault.
Mingo County Supt. Dr. Johnny Branch said the Office for Civil Rights found that staff training was insufficient, but he is attempting to get more clarity on what training standards need to be met.
The review also found incomplete documentation and inconsistent handling of student sexual assault claims.
The Office of Civil Rights outlined action the district must take to resolve the violations and concerns, including a survey asking parents if they believe additional steps need to be taken to address sexual harassment in schools.
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