Title IX cases in high school are very serious situations—and they can be devastating to all involved. If your student is facing Title IX charges, you may be wondering what that means—and what you need to do about them. Your best bet is to be proactive as early as you can in your student's Title IX case. If you're able to protect your child's rights from the start, you may be able to protect their future as well.
Title IX Cases in Alabama High Schools: An Unfortunate Reality
Title IX cases are contentious and confusing. Many are familiar with the term because it occasionally makes a splash in the media, generally tied to sexual discrimination or assault at the university level. This can make it easy for parents to assume that their high school student is safe. Since sexual assault and discrimination in K-12 schools tends to be a hidden issue, this illusion is easy to maintain.
It does not reflect reality. Local news reported that one school district allegedly “deprived female athletes of their rights by providing better opportunities to the boys' teams”. After months of negotiations, the school district agreed to fund sports on a gender-neutral basis.
It's every parent's worst nightmare that their child experiences sexual assault while at school. In Alabama, these devastating events do happen. One recent case involved an AL teacher abusing a 12-year-old student. However, it's not just teachers who can face assault charges. An 18-year-old at an Alabama high school recently was arrested for sexual assault. He received a sentence of 40 years in prison.
What Happens After an Alabama High School Allegation of Sexual Assault?
According to the United States Office of Civil Rights, all schools which receive federal funding must adhere to Title IX regulations. Since each state has its own challenges and populations, the Office of Civil Rights issues policy guidance materials, instead of strict universal policies.
Your Alabama high school's Title IX procedures may be different from any other state in the nation—and even any other school district in the state. Your high school may not deal with many Title IX cases in any given year, which may objectively be a good thing. However, it means that your school may have neither the resources nor personnel to handle your student's case with precision and fairness.
The task of ensuring that your student's Title IX case is completely fair may fall to you. To make sure that you are proactive and prepared to protect your student's rights, hiring a Title IX advisor for legal aid early on in the process may be your best bet.
According to one Alabama high school's posted Title IX procedures, the school specifically prohibits sexual harassment and assault. Students accused of these acts may face suspension, expulsion, or criminal charges. The school board superintendent, or his specific designee, are the only ones who can mete out these harsh punishments. Moreover, suspensions can only last ten days without a hearing for an extension. If a student undergoes a suspension, they must receive written notice of cause and information as to their appeal rights.
If your school is rushing through Title IX proceedings without proper timelines or notifications, that needs to stop. A Title IX advisor can help you protect your student's rights in these situations. Ignoring the rights of the accused in Title IX investigations has caused many innocent students to suffer unwarranted repercussions. Do not let your child be one of them.
Working to Keep Your Alabama High School Accountable to Your Student's Rights
Did you know that Alabama is the only state in the southeast that has no legal protection for students' rights to defend themselves in disciplinary procedures? If a child is facing suspension from school, in most states, they have the right to argue their case. In Alabama, schools do not guarantee this right.
Another school's code of conduct notes that if a student requires serious discipline and a parent-teacher conference is necessary, it is the parent's responsibility “to make arrangements for the conference within twenty-four (24) hours of being notified of the problem.” After this, your child may face suspension, school bus suspension, suspension of their driving privileges, corporal punishment, off-campus educational programs, expulsion, or criminal charges.
If it seems like there's a lot at stake, it's because there is.
When facing disciplinary action at your Alabama high school, you and your child both need support. Your family will also need assistance, guidance, and protection throughout the process. Hiring a legal professional to help with your student's Title IX case has distinct advantages, which may include:
- The benefit of years of expertise: While your school may have the resources or experience to handle cases of sexual misconduct, your Title IX advisor will have extensive knowledge of both Title IX intricacies and the policies at your school.
- Confidentiality: An allegation of sexual misconduct is devastating. It can also have detrimental effects on your child's entire academic and professional future. Working with an advisor who works for you, instead of one who works for your school, will ensure confidentiality.
- Proper preparation for all processes: Are you worried about drafting statements yourself? Filing paperwork on behalf of your child? Your Title IX advisor will be able to help you with all documents. Whether you need help finding and interviewing witnesses, representing your child at adjudication hearings, or doing research regarding your student's rights, your advisor will be there to get you through all procedures.
A Title IX Advisor with a History of Success
Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned and skilled Title IX advisor who has worked with thousands of students over the years. For prompt, professional assistance with your Title IX case, you need an advisor who will fight aggressively for your student's interests. Joseph D. Lento is ready to assist you with the investigative process as well as any offered adjudication hearings. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686, or you can fill out our online form to learn more.
Alabama high schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your child's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following school districts:
- Alabama Department of Youth Services Schools
- Alabama School of Fine Arts
- Albertville City Schools
- Alexander City Schools
- Andalusia City Schools
- Anniston City Schools
- Arab City Schools
- Athens City Schools
- Attalla City School System
- Auburn City Schools
- Autauga County School System
- Baldwin County Public Schools
- Barbour County School District
- Bessemer City Schools
- Bibb County School District
- Birmingham City Schools
- Blount County School District
- Boaz City School District
- Brewton City Schools
- Bullock County School District
- Butler County Schools
- Calhoun County Schools
- Chambers County School District
- Cherokee County Schools
- Chilton County School District
- Choctaw County School District
- Clarke County Schools
- Clay County School District
- Cleburne County School District
- Coffee County School District
- Colbert County Schools
- Conecuh County School District
- Coosa County School District
- Covington County Board Of Education
- Crenshaw County School District
- Cullman City Schools
- Cullman County Schools
- Dale County School District
- Daleville City School District
- Dallas County School System
- Decatur City Schools
- DeKalb County School System
- Demopolis City School District
- Dothan City Schools
- Elba City Schools
- Elmore County Public Schools
- Enterprise City Schools
- Escambia County School District
- Etowah County School System
- Eufaula City Schools
- Fairfield City Schools
- Fayette County Schools
- Florence City Schools
- Fort Payne City Schools
- Franklin County School District
- Gadsden City Schools
- Geneva City School District
- Geneva County School District
- Greene County School District
- Guntersville City School District
- Hale County Schools
- Haleyville City Schools
- Hartselle City School District
- Henry County School District
- Homewood City School District
- Hoover City Schools
- Houston County Schools
- Huntsville City Schools
- Jackson County School District
- Jacksonville City Schools
- Jasper City Schools
- Jefferson County Schools
- Lamar County School District
- Lanett City School District
- Lauderdale County Schools
- Lawrence County Schools
- Lee County Schools
- Leeds City School District
- Limestone County School District
- Linden City Schools
- Lowndes County School District
- Macon County School District
- Madison City Schools
- Madison County Schools
- Marengo County School District
- Marion County Schools
- Marshall County School System
- Midfield City School District
- Mobile County Public Schools
- Monroe County School District
- Montgomery Public Schools
- Morgan County Schools
- Mountain Brook City Schools
- Muscle Shoals City School District
- Oneonta City School District
- Opelika City Schools
- Opp City School District
- Oxford City Schools
- Ozark City Schools
- Pell City School District
- Perry County School District
- Phenix City Public Schools
- Pickens County School District
- Piedmont City School District
- Pike County Schools
- Randolph County School District
- Roanoke City Schools
- Russell County School District
- Russellville City Schools
- Saint Clair County Schools
- Sarahland Board of Education
- Scottsboro City School District
- Selma City School District
- Sheffield City Schools
- Shelby County Schools
- Sumter County School District
- Sylacauga City Schools
- Talladega City School District
- Talladega County Schools
- Tallapoosa County Schools
- Tallassee City School District
- Tarrant City Schools
- Thomasville City Schools
- Troy City School District
- Trussville City Schools
- Tuscaloosa City Schools
- Tuscaloosa County School System
- Tuscumbia City Schools
- Vestavia Hills City Schools
- Walker County Board of Education
- Washington County School District
- Wilcox County School District
- Winfield City Schools
- Winston County School System
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your child's Alabama high school is handled properly and that the accused student's interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at high schools where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at high schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused student is found responsible or not responsible for Title IX charges.
Unfortunately, some parents make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct allegations and Title IX charges would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at schools throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused high school student's academic future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 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 attorney advisor to high school students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Alabama and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.