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Can Social Media Lead to a Misconduct Investigation?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

Allegations of sexual assault can have long-lasting repercussions, even when a school determines that the allegations are unfounded. The recent Title IX changes attempted to increase protection for accused students amid a national focus on protecting the rights of those making the accusations. One of the protections was to try to ensure that defendants received due process. But what happens when someone is tried in the court of public opinion? A recent news story takes a look at just such a situation at Skidmore College, located in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Yik Yak Causes Controversy

The Times Union reported on the Skidmore College's response to a walkout of nearly 300 students in protest of how the school supposedly responded to a student's posts. How did this all start?

Students interacting on Yik Yak, an app similar to Reddit, but location-specific within a 5-mile radius, started to name their alleged abusers. After Yik Yak removed some of the posts for violating its rules, many of the stories started to show up on a Twitter account called “Skidanonymous.”

In these posts, students anonymously spoke about their lack of faith in college officials to pursue allegations—and some even spoke about how the college had failed to respond to reported incidents in a way that they deemed sufficient.

The student who was asked to leave campus claims that the school asked her to do so after she made a private social media post about her alleged abuser. She stated that they informed her she was in violation of a no-contact order.

A school representative, Sara Miga, told the Times Union, “Students are suspended from campus for various reasons usually related to violating campus policies. Filing a complaint would never qualify as a reason for suspension.”

This story demonstrates something that students need to be aware of. Let's take a look below.

Can a Social Media Post Result in a School's Investigation?

If the student's claim is true, then there was possibly already an investigation underway that caused a no-contact order to be put into place. At the very least, someone had gone to the effort of obtaining a no-contact order. The school representative's statement seems to indicate perhaps a different timeline, which involves the student filing the claim. Regardless of the timeline, what you need to know is that you should be familiar with your school's code of conduct policy and/or student handbook. Each university or college has its own guidelines around sexual misconduct, and the guidelines for Title IX have stricter parameters than they did before.

Get Help From an Attorney-Advisor

If you or a loved one is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, you want Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm in your corner. They can work with your school to ensure you receive your due process and access all of your rights. Call today at 888.535.3686 or reach out to us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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