Five Students File Title IX Lawsuit Against Howard University

May 10, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Three students and two former students of Howard University filed a complaint in federal court asserting that Howard failed to respond reasonably to their complaints of sexual violence in violation of Title IX.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination and retaliation in education. Title IX protects students from sexual harassment, sexual violence, or any gender-based discrimination that may deny a person access to educational benefits and opportunities. Schools have an obligation under Title IX to ensure that student survivors of sexual assault or harassment can continue their education programs and do not have to experience a hostile environment.

The Five Jane Does are current and former Howard University students who, in 2014, 2015, and 2016, reported sexual assaults perpetrated by male students and employees of Howard University. In their lawsuit, they assert that Howard violated their rights under Title IX, where the school failed to investigate one assault, leaving the alleged assailant on campus where he raped another student, repeatedly failed to follow its own policy of investigation within 60 days, and left students waiting indefinitely for information about the status of requested investigations, professional support, remedial measures, or academic accommodations to lessen an experience of an active hostile educational environment.

Linda M. Correia said about filing the complaint, “Our plaintiffs assert in their complaint that Howard failed to take reasonable steps to protect sexual assault survivors’ right to a safe educational environment. Survivors of sexual violence deserve to know they can count on their school to provide a learning environment and culture that rejects discrimination and retaliation.”

For more information, contact Linda Correia at (202) 602-6500 or

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Correia & Puth, PLLC, is a Washington, D.C. law firm dedicated to representing students and employees confronting discrimination, retaliation, and unfair treatment. The firm is a recognized, national leader in advocating for the civil rights of individuals in school and the workplace.