Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

9 Things You May Not Know about Title IX

This week, we're celebrating the 39th anniversary of Title IX. What is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about Title IX? You guessed it, athletics. Although Title IX has afforded women with great progress in athletics, most people don't know that Title IX protects against other forms of sex discrimination too.

So in honor of the birthday of this landmark law, here are 9 things you may not know about Title IX:

  1. Title IX bars sex discrimination in all education programs and activities receiving federal funds.
  2. Title IX requires schools to provide girls and boys with equal opportunities to play sports.
  3. Title IX prohibits education programs and activities from sex discrimination in employment too, protecting school staff as well as students.
  4. Title IX offers protections against sexual harassment of students by their teachers, other school staff, fellow students, and visitors on school premises.
  5. Title IX protects pregnant and parenting teens from being kicked out of school or excluded from school-related activities due to their pregnancy or parenting status.
  6. Title IX protects students from being barred from sports due to pregnancy or parenting. For example, a college cannot terminate or reduce a student’s athletic scholarship due to her pregnancy.
  7. Title IX requires that girls and boys be given equal opportunities in career and technical education programs like construction and engineering, fields traditionally male-dominated that pay better and offer better benefits than traditionally female fields.
  8. Title IX requires schools to adopt and disseminate policies prohibiting sex discrimination and harassment, develop and make known their grievance procedures, and designate a Title IX Coordinator who will oversee the school’s compliance efforts as well as take complaints.
  9. Under Title IX, schools cannot retaliate against students or teachers who report possible Title IX violations or raise issues of concern. Taking adverse action in retaliation for such conduct is itself a violation of the law.

Title IX protects all male and female students, and its mandate is broad.

Want to take action? Contact your school and ask about its anti-discrimination policies. Are there policies in place regarding athletics, sexual harassment, and the treatment of pregnant and parenting students? Do those policies seem fair? Are they being followed and enforced? If not, read up on steps your school can take to fall in line with Title IX protections. You can also contact or


My daughter wished to play Middle school football

My daughter , Christie, has been playing organized tackle football since she is 5 years old. The school she attends made an announcement that in order to play football form needed to be filled out from her doctor. She was told to go to the nurses office to get the forms. She approached the nurse in the cafeteria and requested the required forms. The nurse told her she could not have the forms because she was a girl and football was a boys sport.The nurse told her this in front of several people embarassing my daughter. I went to the principal of the school and she was given the required forms. I had the forms completed and sent them to the athletic director of my school district. Whereas, i recieved a phone call notifying me that my daughter would have to take a physical fitness test in order to try out for the team. I asked if ther boys needed to take the test and I was told no and it was out of his hands it was the rules of New York State. The test she would need to take would not be easy for her or any other 12 year old child. The standards she must meet are greater than if she was trying out for a varsity level team. For example, she needs to do 42 situps in 60 seconds, run a 50 yard dash in 7.5 seconds etc. My problem with this is that she is being singled out and any boy regardless of physical fitness level can try out without first proving they are worthy. I do not know if there is any protection for her available. Please give me some guidance. Thank you.


Hi Lisa,

If you would like to speak to someone about your daughter's experience, please call us at (202) 588-5180, or send an email to - we'd love to hear from you!


Post new comment