Title IX: Sexual Harrassment and Discrimination

Title IX Coordinator

Ashley McCartha

Director of Student Services
Contact Info: 652-4535 ext. 300

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities.  

All public and private elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities receiving any federal financial assistance must comply with Title IX.  

The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the entity responsible for monitoring compliance with Title IX. 


What is Sexual Harassment?

Quid pro quo harassment – conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the school on a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct


Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity, including conduct based on sex stereotyping


Sexual assault, as defined in federal law, or dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in federal law


The McDowell County School Board of Education

The Board acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and employees and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring and inviting school environment to facilitate student learning and achievement. The board prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age. The board will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying in any of its educational or employment activities or programs.

The district does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. 

The Board takes seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Individuals who have witnessed or have reliable information that another person has been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying also should report such violations either verbally or in writing to one of the school system officials (eg. Principal/Assistant Principal; An immediate supervisor, Director of Human Resources; Title IX coordinator for claims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Reports may be made anonymously.

Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.

All members of the school community are strongly encouraged to report any act that may constitute an incident of discrimination, harassment or bullying. The responsibility for effective prevention and response lies within a collaborative effort of administrators, teachers, school staff, parents, students, school community and community support agencies. Please see School Board policies below. 

Need Help

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

Office: 210 349-7273
Toll-free crisis line: 1 800 656-hope (4673)
This national sexual assault hotline will inform the caller of the Rape Crisis Center closest to her/him.

Rape Crisis of NC-REAL

Office: 252-758-4537
Toll-free Crisis Line: 800-273-8255

New Hope of McDowell

Crisis Line 828-652-6150
New HOPE of McDowell, formerly Family Services of McDowell County, Inc., has been providing services to victims, survivors and their families in McDowell County, NC since 1983. For over 30 years, the agency has provided crisis services, community education, and programs that focus on the issues that domestic violence and sexual assault create within our community.

Family Services of McDowell County

Confidential 24-hour hotline: 828-652-6150.
Administrative Line 828-652-8538
McDowell’s refuge for victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and incest in families and relationships, providing emergency shelter, empowerment, and prevention, weekly support group, counseling, assistance filing restraining orders (50-B), court advocacy, legal referrals, community education. Emergency contraception must be sought at the hospital ER or Health Department.

Mission McDowell Emergency Room

430 Rankin Drive
Marion, NC 28752
Phone: 828-659-5000
When a woman or teenage girl/boy comes into the ER having been raped or sexually assaulted, tests for STDs are administered. Antibiotics will be given if positive. Pregnancy tests are administered too. Emergency Contraception (EC) is also offered.

Mitchell County Safe Place

P.O. Box 544
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Phone: 828 385-1716
Hot line: 828 765-4044.
Answered by a live person 24/7. Safe Place is a domestic violence shelter offering rape and sexual assault counselors, hospital accompaniment, law enforcement involvement, court and legal support, peer group therapy, referral to a therapist, planning for the future.

Options, Inc.

PO Box 2512
Morganton, NC 28655
24-hour crisis line: 828-438-9444
Options is a shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, and incest. It empowers them to press charges and break the cycles of abuse and economic dependence. It offers court advocacy, individual and group therapy. Residents from outside Burke County need a referral from an agency or shelter in their own county.

Harrassment/Bullying Links

McDowell County Schools Say Something Hotline: Call 1-844-572-9669 (1-844-5-SAYNOW); Mobile App or SaySomething.net website

National Bullying Prevention Center

North Carolina Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies

Stop Bullying

Board of Education Policies:

Title IX Sexual Harassment – Prohibited Conduct and Reporting Process (1725/4035/7236)

Title IX Sexual Harassment – Definitions (1725/4035/7236-R)

Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Process (1726/4036/7237)

Title IX Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex (1720/4030/7235)

Discrimination and Harassment Prohibited by Federal Law (1710/4020/7230)

Bullying and Harassing Behavior Prohibited (4329/7311)

Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace (7232)

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities (1730/4022/7231)