High School Title IX Advisor – Indiana

Indiana has a school discipline problem. According to data compiled by Indiana Public Media, Indiana schools suspend more than 75,000 students a year and expel more than 3,500 students a year. That's higher than the national average. Indiana students with disabilities are also more likely to face harsh punishments. Indiana suspends 1 in 17 students without disabilities and 1 in 7 students with disabilities.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal civil rights law enacted the law as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. Congress originally intended for the legislation to create gender equity in school athletics admissions, employment, financial aid decisions by prohibiting discrimination based on sex. In the 45 years since its implementation, Title IX regulations, and case law have expanded the legislation to include sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and bullying. The law applies to all federally funded U.S. educational institutions, including K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Indiana State Law

Indiana law gives school principals and superintendents broad power to take disciplinary actions necessary to "prevent interference with an educational function or school purpose" and write regulations governing student conduct. See IC § 20-33-8-10 (2016). Students can be expelled or suspended for:

  • Student misconduct
  • Substantial disobedience
  • Unlawful activity
  • Possession of a deadly weapon on school grounds

The misconduct or disobedience must be:

  • On school grounds immediately before or during school hours, or immediately after school hours, or at any other time when a school group is using the school.
  • Off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event; or
  • Traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event.

Indiana law uses a broad standard for misconduct that isn't limited to simply Title IX violations. See IC § 20-33-8-14, -15, -16 (2016).

Indiana law also outlines administrative procedures for expulsion or suspension. While a principal can suspend a student summarily after a meeting where the student has the opportunity to explain, expulsions follow more formal procedures:

  • The school must notify the student and parent in writing of the right to appear at an expulsion meeting;
  • The notice should fully explain the reason for the expulsion and the procedures to request an expulsion meeting;
  • The person conducting the expulsion meeting must make a written summary of the evidence presented and the findings and take appropriate action after providing written notice;
  • The student or student's parent can request an appeal within ten days.

See IC §20-33-8-19 (2016). In Title IX cases, the school must comply with federal due process regulations if they are more stringent than the options mandated by Indiana law.

New Title IX Regulations for Indiana High Schools

The Indiana Department of Education issued guidance to its schools regarding the changes to Title IX regulations. After a school has actual knowledge of an incident, it must:

  • Respond promptly and meaningfully to every report.
  • Give the individual the option to file a formal complaint.
  • Inform both parties that supportive measures are available.
  • Inform all parties that an informal resolution via, for instance, mediation, may be available.
  • Allow anyone to file a formal complaint, including the victim, a parent, or the Title IX coordinator.
  • Allow complaints filed via email, regular mail, or handed in person.
  • Activate the school's grievance process to potentially punish the perpetrator when someone files a formal complaint.
  • Investigate every formal complaint.
  • Offer free of charge supportive measures to the individual even when no one files a formal complaint.
  • File a formal complaint to investigate a possible harassment pattern of a serial/repeat offender (even if the individual[s] do not wish to file a formal complaint).

Additionally, Indiana high schools must also:

  • Develop written policies on sexual harassment.
  • Develop written grievance policies.
  • Ensure that the Title IX investigator is not the individual determining whether a student is responsible for the allegation.

Schools may also:

  • Use either a "clear and convincing" or a "preponderance of the evidence" standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings.
  • Hold entirely virtual hearings, although hearings are optional.

Indiana's guidance to its schools also discusses changes to sexual harassment policies and definitions at length.

The New Definition of Sexual Harassment

One of the most impactful changes to the new Title IX regulations concerns the definition of sexual harassment. The new regulations narrow the definition to include:

1. Any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a school's employee;

2. Any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access;

3. Any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Schools must respond to any allegations of sexual harassment regardless of whether a student, parent, or bystander files a complaint. However, schools will no longer be violating Title IX unless they fail to act on actual knowledge of an incident of sexual harassment. A school is violating Title IX if it is "deliberately indifferent," defined as "clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances."

While Title IX regulations now require that Indiana high schools dismiss allegations that do not meet the narrower definition of sexual harassment. However, schools may still pursue disciplinary action against a student under Indiana law or school policy under a broader definition. There is also nothing in Title IX regulations prohibiting schools from providing more due process protections to students than those required by the federal law. It is common in Title IX cases for federal law and regulations to sometimes conflict with state law and local school conduct policies. As a result, any student facing a disciplinary investigation or hearing involving sexual harassment should consult an experienced Title IX advisor as soon as possible.

Experienced Title IX and Students Rights Attorney

As you can see, the interplay between federal Title IX law, federal regulations, Indiana state law, and local school board policies can be complicated. If you or your student are facing a Title IX investigation or hearing in an Indiana high school, it's essential to consult an experienced Title IX and student rights attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has successfully resolved hundreds of Title IX matters at schools across the country through negotiation, investigation, and disciplinary hearings. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-555-3686 or contact us through the online form.

Indiana 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:

A

  • Adams Central Community Schools
  • Alexandria Community School Corporation
  • Anderson Community School Corporation
  • Argos Community Schools
  • Attica Consolidated School Corporation
  • Avon Community School Corporation

B

  • Barr-Reeve Community Schools
  • Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
  • Batesville Community School Corporation
  • Baugo Community Schools
  • Beech Grove City Schools
  • Benton Community School Corporation
  • Blackford County Schools
  • Bloomfield School District
  • Blue River Valley Schools
  • Bremen Public Schools
  • Brown County School Corporation
  • Brownsburg Community School Corporation
  • Brownstown Central Community School Corporation

C

  • Cannelton City Schools
  • Carmel Clay Schools
  • Carroll Consolidated School Corporation
  • Cass Township Schools
  • Caston School Corporation
  • Center Grove Community School Corporation
  • Centerville-Abington Community Schools
  • Central Noble Community School Corporation
  • Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation
  • Clarksville Community School Corporation
  • Clay Community Schools
  • Clinton Central School Corporation
  • Clinton Prairie School Corporation
  • Cloverdale Community Schools
  • Community Schools of Frankfort
  • Concord Community Schools
  • Covington Community School Corporation
  • Cowan Community School Corporation
  • Crawford County Community Schools
  • Crawfordsville Community Schools
  • Crothersville Community Schools
  • Crown Point Community School Corporation
  • Culver Community Schools Corporation

D

  • Daleville Community Schools
  • Danville Community School Corporation
  • Decatur County Community Schools
  • Decatur Township Metropolitan School District
  • DeKalb County Central United School District
  • DeKalb County Eastern Community School District
  • Delaware Community School Corporation
  • Delphi Community School Corporation
  • Duneland School Corporation

E

  • East Allen County Schools
  • East Gibson School Corporation
  • East Noble School Corporation
  • East Porter County School Corporation
  • East Washington School Corporation
  • Eastbrook Community School Corporation
  • Eastern Greene Schools
  • Eastern Hancock County Community School Corporation
  • Eastern Howard School Corporation
  • Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation
  • Edinburgh Community School Corporation
  • Elkhart Community Schools
  • Elwood Community School Corporation
  • Eminence Community School Corporation
  • Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

F

  • Fairfield Community Schools
  • Fayette County School Corporation
  • Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corporation
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Franklin Community School Corporation
  • Franklin County Community School Corporation
  • Franklin Township Community School Corporation
  • Frankton-Lapel Community Schools
  • Fremont Community Schools
  • Frontier School Corporation

G

  • Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District
  • Gary Community School Corporation
  • Goshen Community Schools
  • Greater Clark County Schools
  • Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools
  • Greencastle Community School Corporation
  • Greenfield-Central Community Schools
  • Greensburg Community Schools
  • Greenwood Community School Corporation
  • Griffith Public Schools

H

  • Hamilton Community Schools
  • Hamilton Heights School Corporation
  • Hamilton Southeastern Schools
  • Hanover Community School Corporation
  • Huntington County Community School Corporation

I

  • Indianapolis Public Schools

J

  • Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation
  • Jay School Corporation
  • Jennings County Schools
  • John Glenn School Corporation

K

  • Kankakee Valley School Corporation
  • Knox Community School Corporation
  • Kokomo-Center Township Consolidated School Corporation

L

  • Lafayette School Corporation
  • Lake Central School Corporation
  • Lake Ridge Schools Corporation
  • Lake Station Community Schools
  • Lakeland School Corporation
  • Lanesville Community School Corporation
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation
  • Lawrenceburg Community School Corporation
  • Lebanon Community School Corporation
  • Liberty-Perry Community School Corporation
  • Linton-Stockton School Corporation
  • Logansport Community School Corporation
  • Loogootee Community School Corporation

M

  • Maconaquah School Corporation
  • Madison Consolidated Schools
  • Madison-Grant United School Corporation
  • Manchester Community Schools
  • Marion Community Schools
  • Marion-Adams Schools
  • Medora Community School Corporation
  • Merrillville Community School Corporation
  • Metropolitan School District of Bluffton-Harrison
  • Metropolitan School District of Boone Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Martinsville
  • Metropolitan School District of Mount Vernon
  • Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township
  • Metropolitan School District of North Posey County Schools
  • Metropolitan School District of Perry Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Pike Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Shakamak Schools
  • Metropolitan School District of Steuben County
  • Metropolitan School District of Wabash County Schools
  • Metropolitan School District of Warren County
  • Metropolitan School District of Warren Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Washington Township
  • Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
  • Michigan City Area Schools
  • Middlebury Community Schools
  • Milan Community Schools
  • Mill Creek Community School Corporation
  • Mississinewa Community School Corporation
  • Mitchell Community Schools
  • Monroe Central School Corporation
  • Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Monroe-Gregg School District
  • Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation
  • Pleasant Township Community School Corporation
  • Vernon Community School Corporation
  • Muncie Community Schools

N

  • Nettle Creek School Corporation
  • New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation
  • New Castle Community School Corporation
  • New Harmony Town & Township Consolidated School Corporation
  • New Prairie United School Corporation
  • Noblesville Schools
  • North Adams Community Schools
  • North Daviess Community Schools
  • North Gibson School Corporation
  • North Harrison Community School Corporation
  • North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation
  • North Knox School Corporation
  • North Lawrence Community Schools
  • North Miami Community Schools
  • North Montgomery Community School Corporation
  • North Newton School Corporation
  • North Putnam Community Schools
  • North Spencer County School Corporation
  • North Vermillion Community School Corporation
  • North West Hendricks Schools
  • North White School Corporation
  • Northeast Dubois County School Corporation
  • Northeast School Corporation of Sullivan County
  • Northeastern Wayne Schools
  • Northern Community Schools of Tipton County
  • Northern Wells Community Schools
  • Northwest Allen County Schools
  • Northwestern Consolidated School Corporation
  • Northwestern School Corporation

O

  • Oak Hill United School Corporation
  • Oregon-Davis School Corporation
  • Orleans Community Schools

P

  • Paoli Community School Corporation
  • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
  • Perry Central Community Schools Corporation
  • Peru Community Schools
  • Pike County School Corporation
  • Pioneer Regional School Corporation
  • Plainfield Community School Corporation
  • Plymouth Community School Corporation
  • Portage Township Schools
  • Porter Township School Corporation
  • Prairie Heights Community School Corporation
  • Prairie Township Schools

R

  • Randolph Central School Corporation
  • Randolph Eastern School Corporation
  • Randolph Southern School Corporation
  • Rensselaer Central School Corporation
  • Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
  • Richmond Community Schools
  • Rising Sun-Ohio County Community School Corporation
  • River Forest Community School Corporation
  • Rochester Community School Corporation
  • Rockville Community School Corporation
  • Rossville Consolidated School District
  • Rush County Schools

S

  • Salem Community Schools
  • School City of East Chicago
  • School City of Hammond
  • School City of Hobart
  • School City of Mishawaka
  • School City of Whiting
  • School Town of Highland
  • School Town of Munster
  • School Town of Speedway
  • Scott County School District 1
  • Scott County School District 2
  • Seymour Community Schools
  • Shelby Eastern Schools
  • Shelbyville Central Schools
  • Shenandoah School Corporation
  • Shoals Community School Corporation
  • Smith-Green Community Schools
  • South Adams Schools
  • South Bend Community School Corporation
  • South Central Community School Corporation
  • South Dearborn Community School Corporation
  • South Gibson School Corporation
  • South Harrison Community Schools
  • South Henry School Corporation
  • South Knox School Corporation
  • South Madison Community School Corporation
  • South Montgomery Community School Corporation
  • South Newton School Corporation
  • South Putnam Community Schools
  • South Ripley Community School Corporation
  • South Spencer County School Corporation
  • South Vermillion Community School Corporation
  • Southeast Dubois County School Corporation
  • Southeast Fountain School Corporation
  • Southeastern School Corporation
  • Southern Hancock County Community School Corporation
  • Southern Wells Community Schools
  • Southwest Allen County Schools
  • Southwest Dubois County School Corporation
  • Southwest Parke Community School Corporation
  • Southwest School Corporation of Sullivan County
  • Southwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County
  • Southwestern Jefferson County Consolidated Schools
  • Spencer-Owen Community Schools
  • Springs Valley Community School Corporation
  • Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation
  • Switzerland County School Corporation

T

  • Taylor Community School Corporation
  • Tell City-Troy Township School Corporation
  • Tippecanoe School Corporation
  • Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation
  • Tipton Community School Corporation
  • Tri-County School Corporation
  • Tri-Creek School Corporation
  • Triton School Corporation
  • Turkey Run Community School Corporation
  • Twin Lakes School Corporation

U

  • Union County/College Corner Joint School District
  • Union School Corporation (Modoc)
  • Union Township School Corporation
  • Union-North United Schools

V

  • Valparaiso Community Schools
  • Vigo County School Corporation
  • Vincennes Community School Corporation

W

  • Wabash City Schools
  • Wa-Nee Community Schools
  • Warrick County School Corporation
  • Warsaw Community Schools
  • Washington Community Schools
  • Wawasee Community School Corporation
  • Wes-Del Community Schools
  • West Central School Corporation
  • West Clark Community Schools
  • West Lafayette Community School Corporation
  • West Noble School Corporation
  • West Washington School Corporation
  • Western Boone County Community School District
  • Western School Corporation
  • Western Wayne Schools
  • Westfield Washington Schools
  • Westview School Corporation
  • White River Valley School District
  • Whitko Community School Corporation
  • Whitko Community School Corporation
  • Whitley County Consolidated Schools

Z

  • Zionsville Community Schools

It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your child's Indiana 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 Indiana 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.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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