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Alan Sash Quoted in Kansas City Star on High-Profile Title IX Case

Tue 14 March 2017 News Releases

TOPEKA – The father of a KU women’s basketball player told a Kansas Senate committee Tuesday that no one from the university had asked for a Title IX investigation following an incident that led to charges being filed against a star men’s player.

Tim Calvert spoke by phone to the Kansas Senate education committee during an informational briefing on Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in education including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Calvert asked for a Title IX investigation earlier this year after his daughter, McKenzie Calvert, reported to police and the University of Kansas that Josh Jackson had vandalized her car in December.

On Tuesday, Calvert told the committee that during a recent meeting with KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access — which handles Title IX cases — he and his family asked if anyone else had reported the vandalism to them and they said “no.”

“They said no other person from the university or coach or administrator had initiated an IOA investigation into this matter,” Calvert said.

According to the university’s IOA policy on Title IX reporting, university coaches would be mandatory reporters of a Title IX related incident.

McKenzie Calvert has said she told coach Brandon Schneider about the vandalism hours after it occurred. She also told her coach that she had thrown a drink at Lagerald Vick, another KU player before Jackson kicked her car.

Men’s coach Bill Self said he disciplined Jackson “in house” for his involvement. A member of the women’s coaching staff also was present at the bar when the car was vandalized, Calvert said.

“All KU employees are required to report incidents of sexual harassment, including sexual violence” to the Title IX coordinator, who is also the executive director of IOA, according to university policy.

Citing the pending case and federal law, KU spokesman Joe Monaco declined to speak about the investigation. He did, however, criticize Calvert for spreading what he called “false information.”

“If Mr. Calvert insists on having public conversations about university investigations, then we invite him to have his daughter sign a waiver allowing us to publicly discuss her situation at KU. We’d be delighted to have that public conversation,” Monaco said.

Alan Sash, a New York lawyer who has handled Title IX for nearly a decade, said if a mandatory reporter of Title IX witnesses or learns about an alleged Title IX violation and does not report it, “that shows deliberate indifference to the alleged violation,” and puts the university in the position of being in violation of federal Title IX rules.

“You can’t know about it or see it and turn a blind eye to it,” Sash said, adding that being a mandatory reporter means “you report and you let it play out, not judge.”

This is the second time Calvert has dealt with a Title IX investigation at KU in the last 15 months.

He told the committee that a year earlier, in December 2015, the university’s athletic department had initiated a Title IX investigation of dating violence between his daughter and Vick.

That investigation found that Vick had more than likely punched Calvert in the arm more than once and kicked her in the face in late 2015 and recommended he receive two years of school probation.

Calvert said a team doctor had examined his daughter and “determined that some of her bruising was not due to basketball-related practices or games.”

Jackson and Vick were never named during Calvert’s testimony on Tuesday, but the father has spoken to The Kansas City Star about his daughter’s recent altercations with members of the men’s team.

Jackson was charged with misdemeanor property damage after he allegedly kicked the driver’s door of Calvert’s car and kicked a rear taillight outside a Lawrence bar in the early morning hours of Dec. 9.

Calvert said that while he knows a Title IX investigation is now underway, “to date, we have still yet to meet with any university officials regarding our concerns.” He said “no official, administrator, coach or otherwise has spoken to us. When we’ve asked, they simply told us to speak with our daughter.”

Calvert has been public in recent weeks about his concerns about how KU has handled his daughter’s case.

He told lawmakers that he believes his daughter is continually being punished “for the events on that night and for making a protected communication to the police.”

“We didn’t want to make the mistake of assuming these matters would simply take care of themselves,” Calvert said.

Shane McCreery, the Title IX coordinator for KU, gave a brief presentation to lawmakers about the program before Calvert’s phone call.

After hearing Calvert’s testimony, he said he could not comment.

“Both students have privacy interests and it’s important that my office respect that,” he said.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican who heads the education committee, said a Senate meeting like the one held Tuesday helps lawmakers hear different perspectives.

Sen. John Doll, a Garden City Republican and former coach, said he didn’t understand why the committee listened to Calvert’s testimony.

“I didn’t see the purpose of that whatsoever,” Doll said.

Sen. Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Republican, said she found the testimony “heart-wrenching.”

“It gives you an idea of what our schools are facing,” Sykes said.

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