COMAR, Clery, Titles VII & IX: What Do These Laws Mean to Hood?
Three different federal laws, the Clery Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as well as some statutes from the Maryland Code (COMAR), require employees of institutions of higher education to report incidents of sexual assault, sexual discrimination and harassment, child abuse, and some additional offenses. Each law requires reporting by different individuals. Colleges need to decide whether they should train all employees on several inconsistent reporting schemes or require essentially all of their employees (excepting a few persons who are legally enabled to retain confidentiality under most circumstances (medical personnel, chaplains, counselors) to report incidents of sexual assault and other offenses when they become aware of them. Hood favors the second approach, requiring all professional employees, whether faculty or staff (exempting the employees of the Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Office of the Dean of the Chapel) to be "reporters." The College will see that its employees receive appropriate training. Because the reporting mandate is broad, the likelihood is much greater that the necessary reporting will occur. There are variations as to what kinds of information individuals must report, and those are outlined here.
COMAR (Code of Maryland)
COMAR creates a duty for any educator or human service worker, meaning any professional employee of any educational institution (as well as of other types of organizations) to report child abuse, child sexual abuse, and/or child neglect through an oral and written report to the local department of social services or, in abuse cases, to the local law enforcement department and the local State’s Attorney, not later than 48 hours after the contact, examination, treatment or other circumstances that lead one to believe that the child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.
The Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or, simply, the Clery Act, requires each American institution of higher education that receives federal funds to report instances of certain crimes on and around their campuses. It requires each college and university to publish an Annual Security Report, keep a public crime log, to disclose information regarding 15 classes of crimes and arrests or disciplinary referrals that happen on or in the vicinity of its campus. All of these statistics are to be reported to the U.S. Department of Education, as well as being made available to employees and prospective students of the reporting institution. The Clery Act, additionally, requires that timely warnings be issued regarding Clery Act crimes that pose a threat to students and employees, and that emergency response procedures for dangerous situations and threats to the safety of the campus community be developed.
- The Clery Center for Security on Campus
Provides information on training and education on the Clery Act and preventing and responding to the offenses it deals with, as well as offering advocacy for alleged victims including information on how to file Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault Victim's Bill of Rights/Clery Act complaints.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments. Title VII also applies to private and public colleges and universities. It also forbids retaliation against individuals who lodge complaints of discrimination covered under this law. Additionally, it provides the foundation for prohibitions against discrimination in employment and employment practices and against hate speech (by assuring a non-hostile workplace) on campus. It requires an institution of higher education to make accommodations for individual religious practices on campus. Compliance with Title VII helps to assure the productive and respectful exchange of views among the members of our diverse campus community.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include sexual harassment, the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, and discrimination based on pregnancy. To enforce Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with headquarters in Washington, DC and 12 offices across the United States. Title IX has been called "the most important step for gender equality since the 19th Amendment gave [women] the right to vote." Though Title IX has been most visible as it has been applied to providing gender equity in sports, it applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities. This means, for example that college courses that had been offered solely to one sex were made available to everyone; that since sexual violence and discrimination deprive individuals of equal access to education, prevention and resolution of sexual misconduct has become a key concern of Title IX; and that Title IX requires that colleges that receive federal funds must treat pregnant and parenting students the same way they treat other students who are similarly able or unable to participate in school activities.
- Education and Title IX
This website, from the National Women's Law Center gives information and links to resources relating to the many ways in which Title IX affects individuals of both genders in the educational setting.