Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lopez, Rosita

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


United States Education Amendments of 1972 Title IX; Educational leadership; Sexual harassment in education--Legal status; laws; etc--Research; Liability for harassment in schools--Legal status; laws; etc--Research; Actions and defenses--Research


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education, including K-12 institutions and colleges/universities. The United States Supreme Court has held that Title IX holds schools liable for sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. In the landmark case, Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, the Supreme Court identified the criteria in which a school district can be held liable for student-on-student sexual harassment under Title IX. The Supreme Court's criterion is presented in the form of a three-prong test, and all prongs must be satisfied for liability to exist. The first prong is whether or not the harassment was so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that the victim was denied access to an educational opportunity. The second prong is whether an official who had the authority to stop the harassment had actual notice of the harassment. Finally, the third prong is whether an official who did have both the authority to stop the harassment and actual notice remained deliberately indifferent. The goal of this study was to analyze post-Davis case law to determine how and when a school can be found liable for student-on-student sexual harassment. This analysis can help school administrators and school boards to develop policies and practices to help prevent Title IX liability for student-on-student sexual harassment.


Advisors: Rosita Lopez.||Committee members: Joseph Flynn; Patrick Roberts; Jennifer Rosato-Perea.


147 pages




Northern Illinois University

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