Students in Arkansas that are seeking to pursue a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program can choose from several participating schools. ROTC programs offer many potential benefits for those who commit to a period of military service. These individuals can benefit from excellent leadership training, financial assistance for their education, the opportunity to enter a branch of the military as a commissioned officer, and others.
What is Title IX?
Title IX was part of an educational amendment in 1972 that addressed problems with sexually-based discrimination in all U.S. schools. All institutions are responsible for creating a process that promptly, fairly, and equitably handles allegations of potential sexual misconduct. Students that are found to have committed these serious acts are likely to be suspended or dismissed from their school.
Discrimination can occur in the college or university setting in areas including admissions, athletics, access to benefits, and more. Acts of sexual harassment are prohibited because they have shown to create a hostile environment that is not conducive to learning. Examples include inappropriate appeals for sexual favors or unwelcome advances.
Gender-based harassment also violates Title IX and may involve intimidating verbal communication. Often those who perpetrate these acts will make slurs or promote stereotypes that relate to a “student's actual or perceived sex.” Acts of sexual violence are particularly serious such as those involving sexual coercion or assault.
Title IX Proceedings
When college or university administrators believe that evidence supports allegations, they will summon the parties to a hearing. Schools allow all parties to choose an advisor that will accompany them and provide support. Students accused of these violations must retain an attorney to function in this capacity.
An experienced student rights attorney will properly interpret your school's specific procedures, scrutinize all evidence, and ensure your rights to due process. He or she will assist you in preparation to deliver clear statements and effective responses to questions. Allegations must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
Title IX and ROTC Disenrollment
A violation of Title IX is also considered to be a breach of contract for those in ROTC programs. Those who are the subject of an adverse ruling should expect to subsequently face the disenrollment process.
Army ROTC Student Rights in the Disenrollment Process (145-4)
There are many basic rights that students are afforded and procedural requirements associated with the disenrollment process of the U.S. Army such as the following:
- The unit commander will “appoint a board of officers or investigating officer to review and investigate the circumstances”
- Those subject to disenrollment are afforded “reasonable notice” to allow them preparation time
- A copy of all “documentary evidence that supports the disenrollment action” must be provided
- They will be afforded a “right to appear personally” to answer the allegations before the designated officer or board
- The right to call witnesses to testify in a hearing
- Those who wish to appeal an adverse ruling must submit the request in writing within 14 days
ROTC Student Rights Attorney in Arkansas
The federal Title IX guidelines and the ROTC disenrollment provisions are complex and are subject to change. This is one reason to choose an attorney that regularly practices in the field of student rights and is familiar with military law. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Arkansas colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in bold have Army, Navy, and/or Air Force ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Arkansas Northeastern College
- Arkansas State University Beebe
- Arkansas State University Main Campus
- Arkansas State University Mountain Home
- Arkansas State University Newport
- Arkansas Tech University
- Black River Technical College
- Bryan University
- Central Baptist College
- College of the Ouachitas
- Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Crowley's Ridge College
- East Arkansas Community College
- Ecclesia College
- Harding University
- Henderson State University
- Hendrix College
- ITT Technical Institute Little Rock
- John Brown University
- Lyon College
- Mid South Community College
- National Park Community College
- North Arkansas College
- Northeastern State University
- NorthWest Arkansas Community College
- Ouachita Baptist University
- Ozarka College
- Philander Smith College
- Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Pulaski Technical College
- Remington College Little Rock Campus
- Rich Mountain Community College
- South Arkansas Community College
- Southeast Arkansas College
- Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
- Southern Arkansas University Tech
- University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University of Arkansas at Monticello
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- University of Arkansas Community College Batesville
- University of Arkansas Community College Hope
- University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- University of Arkansas Fort Smith
- University of Central Arkansas
- University of Phoenix Little Rock Campus
- University of Phoenix Northwest Arkansas Campus
- University of the Ozarks
- Williams Baptist College
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; ROTC students in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal, or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For ROTC students who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, some students, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out. Title IX cases can be won, but students and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.
Fighting passionately for the future of students at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career is at stake. 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, New Jersey, and New York, 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 to students facing sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings,and disciplinary cases in Arkansas and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.