Department of Education investigating sex discrimination complaint at UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Education is now investigating a University of North Florida graduate’s complaint against the school that is alleging sex discrimination.

Tanisha Crisp filed the complaint with the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights.

News4Jax spoke with Crisp about the newly-launched investigation on Friday.

News4Jax obtained a copy of a letter from the U.S. Department of Education acknowledging her allegations and confirming that federal investigators will look into one of her two complaints.

Crisp says she also reported to the university that she was touched inappropriately by an ROTC instructor.

Crisp said while finishing her master’s degree in Public Health and participating in ROTC at UNF, she was not treated well because she was pregnant.

“I was being evaluated against my peers and I was pregnant so it wasn’t fair. If you’re six, nine months pregnant you can’t do everything that they can do,” Crisp said.

She filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education in 2019.

She claims the “University failed to respond to the internal complaint of sex discrimination involving the University’s Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program...”

That is being reviewed by the DOE.

She also claims that "after childbirth, the University’s public policy program provided no accommodations.”

But claim that claim won’t be heard by DOE.

According to the letter, the office can’t determine if the university broke a law here.

Crisp says she also spoke out to the university alleging sexual misconduct by one of her ROTC officers.

“This was a forceful grab touching me on my legs thighs and place where I would not be touched,” she said.

Local attorney Randy Reep, not affiliated with the case, explains this case could be resolved without going to court.

“Once these allegations are brought forward people can resolve them at any time. The school may make an accommodation or otherwise fix whatever the allegation was,” Reep said.

Crisp says she simply wants better policies and protections for students and that she will not be silenced.

“If I don’t come forward, I don’t make it known that this happened, it could potentially happen to someone else,” she said.

Crisp says she believes the university does not care about what happened to her.

Crisp is now a Second Lieutenant in the Army.

Regarding UNF, it is important to note that when an organization is facing a complaint it will generally not comment.

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