Federal law Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. This legislation has been implemented and enforced in most of the schools in Alaska, including the state's colleges and universities. Widely known for its effect on collegiate sports, this law intends to ensure that all students, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, receive equal access to education. In recent times, the law has been ousted into the national spotlight for its applicability in sexual misconduct cases.
Title IX forbids sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other discriminatory actions on college campuses. When a school receives a complaint consisting of sexual misconduct, this law requires the institution to take immediate action for resolution. If a student is found “responsible” for violating school policy, he or she has the right to appeal this decision and/or sanction, especially in cases where there's an argument that a finding may have been unfair.
Your Right to Appeal
The right to appeal is an important option for student respondents. If they feel dissatisfied with their case outcome and contend that a decision was unfair or unfounded, they should take advantage of this right. Much like the criminal justice system, the appellate process is intended to keep school authorities accountable for their decisions. Title IX findings are notorious for carrying harsh sanctions, like suspension and expulsion. An unfair finding can expose innocent students to these serious repercussions, which can seriously impair their academic and professional goals. This is why it's important to appeal to ensure, as far as possible, that the right decision is made in these processes.
Questions about your school's appellate process and the course of action you should take in your unique situation should be discussed with a student defense attorney. A legal professional can help you craft a strong appeal.
Grounds for an Appeal
Mere dissatisfaction with a case outcome is not enough to overturn an unfavorable decision. In order for an appeal to be granted, it must be based on specific grounds. The decision to appeal a determination and/or sanction typically hinges on how well you and your advisor can establish at least one of four grounds:
- Procedural error: a serious mistake was made at some point in the disciplinary process, and it influenced the outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
- Disproportionate sanction: the sanction(s) imposed are unduly disproportionate to the alleged violation.
- A violation of due process rights: an institution stripped a student of their entitled rights under Title IX and school policy.
- New evidence available: evidence that supports the case of a respondent, and would have had a substantial impact on a case outcome became available after a hearing.
Every school has its own unique content and submission appeal guidelines. It's important you identify important dates, deadlines, and other regulations by checking your student handbook or code of conduct. If an appeal is not submitted in a timely manner or isn't considered substantively eligible, an appeal may not be denied.
Alaska Title IX Appeal Advisor
If you're attending an Alaska college or university and are planning to appeal a case outcome, you need the help of a skilled student defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped many students in seemingly bleak situations win appeals. He has the skill, expertise, and experience to do the same for you. Contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 for further assistance.
- Alaska Bible College
- Alaska Pacific University
- Charter College Anchorage
- Ilisagvik College
- Prince William Sound Community College
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Southeast
A Title IX finding of responsibility can change an accused student's life if not properly addressed and appealed, and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing disciplinary cases in Alaska and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.