Title IX cases often involve the question of who an “appropriate school official” is, and whether that official received actual notice of the alleged abuse. Sometimes this is obvious. If, for instance, a student or their parents tells a school principal directly about abuse or harassment, Title IX’s requirements will likely be met. But what about notice to teachers or guidance counselors? Generally, an “appropriate school official” is any employee with the power to address the alleged discrimination and to institute corrective measures. Which employees possess this authority depends on the school. Once an appropriate school official learns about abuse allegations, he or she must show “deliberate indifference” to be liable under Title IX. Whether an official’s behavior constitutes “deliberate indifference” depends on the circumstances. Generally, though, anytime a school official fails to investigate or prevent further abuse, a court will find the school was deliberately indifferent. In one case in Maine, for example, a judge ruled that a school district’s outright dismissal of sexual harassment allegations by a teacher against another teacher and failure to interview any students as part of the investigation could be considered “deliberate indifference.” If you or your child was sexually abused or harassed at school, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced crime victim and sexual abuse attorney with experience bringing Title IX lawsuits. The sooner you consult with a lawyer, the better the chance your rights will be protected.