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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination by any educational institution, public or private, that receives federal funds, has been interpreted as prohibiting sexual harassment. In Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1998), the Supreme Court applied Title IX to sexual harassment of a student by an instructor. A year later, in Davis v. Monroe County-Board of Education (1999), the Court extended that holding to sexual harassment of one student by another student.

In the context of faculty-student sexual harassment, discrimination by the school is demonstrated by showing that an “appropriate person” actually knew of the conduct and that the response of the school was deliberately indifferent. The first element, “knowledge by an appropriate person,” refers to a school official ...

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