To help protect students from school employee sexual misconduct, this qualitative case study examined the implementation of school employee sexual misconduct policies in five geographically and demographically diverse school districts that experienced incidents of school employee sexual misconduct in 2014.
Data were collected from 92 school employees and county officials from five school districts from January 2016 to September 2017 via interviews (N - 41) and 10 focus groups (N - 51), as well as through document and policy reviews. This article outlines findings regarding the key elements of Title IX guidance including (1) policies and procedures; (2) prevention; (3) training for staff, students, students, and parents; (4) reporting; (5) investigations; and (6) response. Although participants reported improvements in these areas after incidents, various challenges, including a lack of understanding of Title IX requirements, continue to affect district-level approaches to sexual misconduct policies. policy and implementation efforts to determine if they are compliant with Title IX guidance. Researchers also recommend that the federal and state departments of education establish accountability measures to track policy implementation and ensure school districts comply with Title IX guidance and provide high-quality low-cost training options. Further examination of how often these cases occur, victim and offender characteristics, effects on victims and school communities, criminal justice responses, and the effectiveness of prevention efforts are also recommended. 3 figures and 59 references (publisher abstract modified)