Universal Mentors Association

Office for Civil Rights resolves Title IX investigation into Montgomery College


Montgomery College responded promptly in investigating a professor accused of requiring female students to remove their shirts in class but failed to notify students about the results of its investigation, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights found during its own investigation of the college.

The Office for Civil Rights reached an agreement with the college to resolve its sexual harassment investigation into Takoma/Silver Spring campus of Montgomery College in Maryland. A complaint alleged that the college discriminated against a student on the basis on sex by failing to promptly and equitably respond to the sexual harassment allegations.

OCR found that the college’s response complied with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 

The accused professor was fired after an investigation found he sexually harassed female students by requiring them to wear only their bras in several classes. The practice was supposed to demonstrate a medical assessment, “despite the fact that the assessment did not require the clothing removal,” agency officials said in a news release.

Only the student who initially reported experiencing sexual harassment received written notice about the outcome of the investigation. Affected students were offered supportive services, including academic assistance and tuition reimbursement. 

OCR officials said in the release that not notifying all affected students about the investigation’s conclusion raised the concern that “the college may not have taken necessary steps to ensure that a hostile environment did not persist for affected students.” As part of the resolution agreement, the college agreed to inform all affected students by mid-August.

“The shameful underlying facts in this investigation—of a college professor subjecting his entire class to sexual harassment as a condition of instruction—are galling and categorically unacceptable under Title IX,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights, in a statement. “I am deeply grateful to Montgomery College for swiftly responding with a thorough investigation and action to address the effects of the hostile environment created by the professor on the students in his class.”


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