Can a school charge a student for code of conduct violations that do not involve sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstnaces involving sexual harassment under the Title IX Final Rule?

Schools have many obligations and responsibilities under the Title IX Final Rule. If a student is accused of allegations involving sexual harassments, in addition to other alleged offenses as part of that same circumstance or scenario, the school cannot charge the student independently so that a student's right would be abridged, say, if they were to have lesser rights under the school's code of conduct policies versus the school's Title IX policies.

To give an example, if a student's accused of sexual misconduct, say, the respondent's accused of sexual misconduct by the complainant, and then there is also, say, the use of underaged alcohol on campus. The school cannot charge the respondent independently to try to pursue a case or to try to have a disciplinary sanction or outcome against the respondent by charging that student independently under its code of conduct versus its Title IX policy. In other words, the case would have to be altogether under the Title IX policy if it's otherwise appropriate to be pursued under the school's Title IX policy.

That onto itself would be retaliation by the school. Retaliation is a serious matter. It's a fluid matter in terms of what may be considered retaliation and would not be appropriate to be considered retaliation.

Having an experienced attorney advisor will help you best understand your rights and would best protect your interests and can help you best navigate and understand the process. They should be involved as early as possible in a Title IX case.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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