University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Department of Justice OCR Title IX Investigation of Wheaton College ED-MA-0006
Docket / Court 169-36-71 ( No Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
The Civil Rights division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation in August 2015, after receiving a complaint about the college's handling of a report of sexual assault alleging violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The exact contents of the complaint and ... read more >
The Civil Rights division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation in August 2015, after receiving a complaint about the college's handling of a report of sexual assault alleging violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The exact contents of the complaint and compliance review are not available. The investigation examined the college's handlings of reports of sexual assault and harassment in the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 school years, and a portion of the 2015-16 school year.

Following the investigation, the DOJ determined that although the college had made substantial efforts to improve its policies and its responses to sexual misconduct, its responses to some reports of sexual assault and retaliation during the relevant time period fell short of the standards required by Title IX. Specifically, the individuals responsible for investigating and adjudicating reports of sexual misconduct did not fully understand their roles or responsibilities which contributed to at least one inequitable grievance process in a sexual assault case. The college also failed to provide and enforce interim measures designed to protect students and ensure their equal access to education. The investigation also determined at least one incident of the college's failure to respond to a complaint of retaliation. The college also fell short in its documentation and reporting methods.

The college entered a voluntary Resolution Agreement on September 21, 2016. The college agreed to draft revised policies and procedures related to sex discrimination to clarify prohibited conduct and reporting procedures, and to provide notice of its revised policies and procedures to all students and employees. The college was also required to revise its Title IX training and provide the revised training to relevant employees by December 31, 2016. As part of the Resolution Agreement, the college agreed to develop a system for tracking complaints of sex discrimination, and to provide the United States with all required documents and information.The agreement was to remain in force for at least three academic years, and the DOJ was to monitor the terms of the agreement until it determined the College had fulfilled the agreement's terms.

Elizabeth Heise - 11/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Failure to train
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. ยงยง 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Wheaton College
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2016 - 2019
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection

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