Title IX, and the 9+ Ways to Manage It

Avatar of Miranda Couch
Sports Column

Reporting a Title IX violation at Berkeley High School (BHS) isn’t easy. Just getting past Title IX horror stories and into G-202A feels almost longer than the 120 days before a complaint can get “determined,” though Jasmina Viteskic, our Title IX Coordinator, has snacks to make it easier. There are two kinds of reports: an informal report and a formal complaint. Informal reports are verbal, and you confide in BHS staff, who offer support and a complaint form. Since they’re mandated reporters, cases involving sexual harm go to Berkeley Police Department (BPD) or Child Protective Services (CPS), who will likely contact your guardians. Lesson one is that guardians are unavoidable. For a formal report, which is a complaint, you email complaints@berkeley.net and fill out a district form. Three steps follow: investigation, determination, and discipline.

There are four places to report. First, BPD is the most direct way to press charges. Remembering lesson one, your guardians will be notified, but the school isn’t involved unless you want their support. A police report is filed, and you can take legal action from it until you’re 40. 

Second: the BHS Health Center counselors. They’re mandated reporters, but don’t report to the school. If you aren’t in direct harm, the Health Center can provide counseling that may not have to involve the police or your parents. This is a great option if you just want support.

Third is any BHS staff. As mandated reporters, they notify Viteskic and an authority in cases of sexual harm, who will likely tell your guardians. This is similar to an informal report, but you specify intent to file a physical report and can initiate the complaint procedure. 

The final option is to notify Viteskic, whose office is in G-202A. She is a mandated reporter, so she’ll file a police report in cases of sexual harm, and police involvement means guardians. However, you don’t have to speak with the police unless you want to press charges.

If you filed an informal report, there will be a small investigation. You can continue to receive support, and there may be a file on record or a guardian who was called, but then you’re done. However, there’s much more to a formal complaint. The second portion starts with the notice of allegations. You, the “complainant,” and the violator, the “respondent,” will both be notified of your rights, one of which is access to an advisor. Then the investigation begins.

From your physical report, your recollection of events is recorded. In the investigation, both you and the violator will be interviewed separately. You’ll be asked follow-up questions to your report and physical evidence will be gathered. The investigator then writes a report, which they share with both parties, who can review it and ask each other written questions that inform a final report. This goes to the “decision maker,” a trained off-site Title IX advisor, who determines whether the situation has violated the sexual harassment policy and issues disciplines on an individual basis.

For any questions, Viteskic is available in room G-202A, and her email is jasminaviteskic@berkeley.net.