For most students, graduating college is the ultimate goal. Many people spend years preparing to attend the college or university of their choice before they even enter high school. And have their sights set on colleges and universities at a very early age. Unfortunately, some students may face a number of obstacles before they are able to graduate. Being accused of a Title IX violation is a huge issue that could lead to pretty serious repercussions if a student is found guilty.
For the purposes of this article, we will briefly address (1) Gallaudet University's duties under Title IX, (2) the school's sexual misconduct policy, and (3) the Title IX process that you will have to undergo if you are facing Title IX violation allegations.
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that all educational institutions who receive any portion of federal funding must comply with. It explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender against any students, staff, and faculty belonging to the institution. Title IX reinforces that anyone, regardless of their gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity, is entitled to the rights and protections that are provided by educational institutions. Under Title IX, Gallaudet University is required to investigate and work towards resolving all reported instances of gender-based discrimination.
Gallaudet University's Sexual Misconduct Policy
Sexual misconduct in all of its variations - sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc. - is considered gender-based discrimination in accordance with Title IX. Therefore, schools are required to handle complaints regarding sexual misconduct on campus. The Department of Education urges higher education institutions to respond to these accusations promptly and effectively by threatening to strip the federal funding of schools who fail to do so. As a result, schools take sexual misconduct incredibly seriously. Gallaudet University's addresses and adjudicates such case through its Title IX policies.
The Title IX Process
Students who file a complaint pertaining to a Title IX violation are known as “complainants,” while alleged offenders are known as “respondents.” When an incident is reported, the process for resolving it should immediately be initiated by the school.
Investigations will be led by the school's Title IX coordinator - a person who has been trained in how to impartially and efficiently carry out Title IX processes. It is his or her's duty to assign an objective third party to investigate the ins and outs of your case. Investigators typically interview both parties to retrieve a statement. Once enough evidence has been garnered for clarification, a hearing to come up with a determination will be scheduled.
The ultimate goal of a hearing is to come to a decision that dictates whether you, as a respondent, are guilty or innocent of the allegations. A panel, comprised of students, staff, and faculty will assess the facts and will be responsible for coming up with the decision. During a hearing, each party is designated specific rights. Both a complainant and respondent should be allocated the same amount of time to present evidence and witnesses that support their version of events, cross-examinations, and final statements. After each party has made their case, the panel will deliberate and make a decision.
Title IX Advisor
If you have been accused of actions that allegedly violate Title IX in any way, you are permitted to choose anyone you would like to be your advisor. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney that can help guide you through these processes and build a solid defense to present at a hearing. Contact skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento today for help.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future 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 to students facing disciplinary cases in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help.