Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) resolved two complaints against San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, a private medical school in Puerto Rico.
The resolution agreement will ensure the school’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) as it applies to requirements to respond promptly and equitably to complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault. The agreement also will ensure that the school uses trained staff to conduct timely and complete investigations of complaints alleging discrimination based on sex as well as race and national origin to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI).
OCR initiated this investigation after receiving two complaints against the school from the same student. OCR determined that the school failed to investigate the complainant’s alleged sexual assault in violation of Title IX. OCR also determined that the school’s procedures for resolving sexual harassment complaints do not meet the requirements of the amendments to the Department of Education’s Title IX regulation that took effect on Aug. 14, 2020.
Additionally, OCR identified compliance concerns regarding the school’s provision of interim measures and its response to the complainant’s complaint about implementation of the protective order.
“We look forward to working cooperatively with San Juan Bautista School of Medicine to address sexual harassment and promote a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for all students,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights.
The school’s commitments to resolve the investigations include:
- Offering to reimburse the complainant for tuition the student paid for two classes for which the complainant received grades of incomplete.
- Revising its policies and procedures to comply with Title IX.
- Training its Title IX coordinator and other school employees involved in processing, investigating, and resolving complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination based on race and national origin.
- Completing and documenting its investigation of the complainant’s allegation of sexual assault and notifying the parties and OCR of the outcome of the investigation. And,
- Providing documentation to OCR demonstrating that the school has responded promptly and equitably to complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination based on race and national origin in academic years 2022 and 2023.