MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) concluded a sexual harassment investigation into a Montgomery College professor, finding that he harassed several female students by requiring them to remove their shirts and stand in their bras in a classroom setting.
OCR said the professor at the Takoma/Silver Spring campus then commented on the students’ bodies in what was referred to as a medical demonstration.
The students promptly reported the harassment including targeted harassment that occurred outside of class. The school immediately placed the professor on paid leave pending a Title IX investigation.
The school conducted interviews, and within three months of the initial reports, it determined that the conduct had created a hostile environment on the basis of sex.
The college terminated the professor’s employment and took steps to inform students and offer supportive services to the affected students.
Despite the steps taken, OCR found that several affected students were not notified. In a news release, issued on June 28, 2023, OCR said it intervened to make sure the college made written acknowledgments to all affected students.
“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 Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “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, and I appreciate the additional commitment Montgomery College made to fulfill its remaining obligation under Title IX to ensure that the discriminatory effects end for all its students.”