Three Wyoming School Districts Under Investigation

On August 2nd staff at the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a list of school districts around the country with open Title IX sexual violence investigations at the K-12 levels.

Three Wyoming school districts are on that list.

Department of Education officials look into Title IX compliance issues for how school's handle sexual violence reports.

There are 154 open Title IX investigations at 137 elementary, middle and high schools across the country.

Natrona County School District #1 is on their list.

Department of Education records show they're investigation into the Natrona County School District dates back to July 11, 2016.

If officials at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights find districts aren't compliant with Title IX, district officials are encouraged to sign voluntary resolution agreements and make changes.

If the noncompliance continues, it could cost a district its federal funds.
The Department of Education's website provides a list showing what school officials must do under Title IX When addressing sexual violence reports for students.

"The Natrona County School District actively investigates all complaints of harassment or discrimination and takes appropriate action based on the findings of the investigation," said Michael Jennings, Natrona County School District Executive Director of Human Resources.

While officials from the school district were not able to share information on the case in question, Jennings says reports of any sexual misconduct are impartially investigated.

"Part of the investigation process is due process and you really do look at all of the relevant facts and context with the complaint. So you interview the person making the complaint, you interview the respondent or who it's against."

Once the investigation is complete it’s determined either substantiated or unsubstantiated. The action that follows is based on that finding.

"We make every effort to make sure that one the harassment or discrimination stops immediately and two we take proactive measures to make sure it doesn't happen again in the future."

For students it can mean anything from suspension to expulsion and for employees’ corrective action and re-training to termination.

Information concerning reports of sexual harassment or violence within the Natrona County School District was not available.

Albany County School District and Laramie County School District are also under investigation for Title IX compliance issues.