If you're a parent of a K-12 student in Maryland, you only want the best for your child. You have spent years investing in their education, sending them off to school every day, and working with them to build their future.
It's a parent's worst nightmare to see all of that crashing down in an instant. Yet that's exactly what can happen with a Title IX procedure. The federal government enacted Title IX as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Title IX seeks to prohibit discrimination and assault in federally-funded schools on the basis of sex.
The United States Department of Education does give some guidance as to nationwide Title IX regulations. However, the Office of Civil Rights notes that it is difficult to provide clear mandates that apply to all schools and all students. Therefore, the Office of Civil Rights has provided “factors to help schools make appropriate judgments.”
As a result, each state in the nation has differing policies and procedures regarding Title IX and its enforcement. This can be confusing, to say the least. If your Maryland high school student faces Title IX procedures, you may be wondering what happens next. Securing legal aid is a good first step, as is educating yourself about your student's rights.
Are Title IX Cases Really Happening in Maryland?
It can be easy to consider the far-off concepts of sex discrimination and assault and hope that they will never be a real issue in your neighborhood. However, people report sex misconduct on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it isn't just adults and university students who commit sex-based offenses. The Washington Post reported a recent case where several football players at a Maryland high school allegedly assaulted a teammate.
All public schools, including high schools in Maryland, must investigate any accusations of sexual assault or discrimination. If they don't, they might lose their funding. A potential loss of funding provides an incentive for schools to hasten their Title IX investigation. This rushed process can result in your student losing some of their rights.
According to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, every Maryland school must protect students during any investigations on sexual discrimination or violence. Unfortunately, this does not specify which student requires protection. Your school may naturally side with the accuser in a Title IX investigation. As a result, the investigation may not be strictly fair.
An accusation of sexual assault is a serious matter. Being alleged to have committed assault can have serious repercussions, as well. After years of investing in your student's future, it would be devastating to have all of that go to waste because of an unfair or rushed Title IX investigation.
Title IX Disciplinary Measures in Maryland
What happens after an accusation of sexual assault? If your student stands accused of sexual misconduct, you may wonder what disciplinary measures they may face.
The Maryland Guidelines for State Code of Discipline shed some light on this matter. In Maryland, sexual activity and sexual attacks in schools are Level Two through Five offenses, depending upon the age of the students and the severity of the actions.
Punitive measures that correspond to Level Two through Five offenses may include:
- Loss of privileges and removal from extracurricular activities
- Referral to health or mental health services
- A requirement to sign and abide by a behavioral contract
- In-school suspension
- Out-of-school suspension
- Referral to alternative education
Expulsion and extended suspension are only options for accused students in the sixth grade and above.
Even if your student does not face expulsion, they might no longer be able to participate in extracurricular activities. Instead of expulsion or other disciplinary measures, your child may have to sign a behavioral contract. Alternatively, your child could attend mandatory counseling. If you're interested in protecting your student from having to go through that, looking into legal aid a good idea. If you can be proactive about staying informed during your student's Title IX case, you may be better able to protect your student's future.
A trusted Title IX advisor can help you prepare for any hearings, gather and analyze all evidence, manage all paperwork and notifications, and work tirelessly to hold your Maryland school accountable. Hiring a great advisor may be one of the best things you can do to help protect your student.
Is Your Maryland High School Ready for Title IX?
While postsecondary educations may have the resources and trained personnel ready to deal with Title IX investigations and procedures, most high schools do not. Your high school may throw together an ad hoc investigative process, or rely on individuals who are not trained for such an event.
The Prevention and Health Promotion Administration of Maryland wrote an Executive Summary that assessed the needs of sexual assault victims and the programs built to protect them. This report includes a survey of Maryland educators. The educators who completed the study reported that “they do not feel adequately prepared to handle a possible sexual abuse case.” In particular, middle school staff noted that they were not ready to manage alleged sexual abuse cases or proceedings.
If entrusting the fate of your child to untrained Title IX coordinators does not sound good to you, we're ready to assist. Joseph D. Lento is ready to fight for your family, to help you hold your Maryland school accountable.
Experienced Maryland Title IX Advisor At Your Service
If your student faces accusations of sexual assault in the state of Maryland, is it imperative that you consult with a seasoned and successful Title IX advisor. Joseph D. Lento has successfully handled sexual discrimination and assault cases nationwide and is ready to help you protect your child's rights when you need assistance most. From thorough investigations to adjudication through hearings, Joseph D. Lento has vast experience he's ready to put to use for you. Call Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686, or you can alternatively fill out our online contact form.
Maryland 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:
- Acton School Department
- Airline Community School District
- Alna School Department
- Arundel School Department
- Auburn School Department
- Augusta School Department
- Bangor School Department
- Bath School Department
- Beddington School Department
- Berwick School Department
- Biddeford School Department
- Bowerbank School Department
- Brewer School Department
- Bridgewater School Department
- Brunswick School Department
- Bucksport School Department
- Buxton School Department
- Cape Elizabeth School Department
- Caratunk School Department
- Caribou School Department
- Carrabassett Valley School Department
- Caswell School Department
- Chebeague Island School Department
- Coplin Plantation School Department
- Deblois School Department
- Dedham School Department
- Deer Isle-Stonington Community School District
- Dennistown Plantation School Department
- Dresden School Department
- East Machias School Department
- East Range Community School District
- Easton School Department
- Ellsworth School Department
- Falmouth School Department
- Fayette School Department
- Five Town Community School District
- Flanders Bay Community School District
- Franklin School Department
- Freeport School Department
- Gilead School Department
- Glenburn School Department
- Glenwood Plantation School Department
- Gorham School Department
- Grand Isle School Department
- Great Salt Bay Community School District
- Hanover School Department
- Harmony School Department
- Hermon School Department
- Hersey School Department
- Highland Plantation School Department
- Isle au Haut School Department
- Islesboro School Department
- Jay School Department
- Kittery School Department
- Lake View Plantation School Department
- Lewiston School Department
- Limestone School Department
- Long Island School Department
- Lowell School Department
- Madawaska School Department
- Maine School Administrative District 1 - 77
- Maranacook Community School District
- Medford School Department
- Millinocket School Department
- Monhegan Plantation School Department
- Monmouth School Department
- Moosabec Community School District
- Moro Plantation School Department
- Mount Desert Community School District
- Nashville Plantation School Department
- Norway School Department
- Oak Hill Community School District
- Old Orchard Beach School Department
- Old Town School Department
- Orland School Department
- Peninsula Community School District
- Pleasant Ridge Plantation School Department
- Portland School Department
- Raymond School Department
- Richmond School Department
- Sanford School Department
- Scarborough School Department
- Schoodic Community School District
- Seboeis Plantation School Department
- South Portland School Department
- Southern Aroostook Community School District
- The Forks Plantation School Department
- Topsham School Department
- Upton School Department
- Waterboro School Department
- Waterville School Department
- Wells-Ogunquit Community School District
- West Forks Plantation School Department
- Westbrook School Department
- Westport Island School Department
- Windham School Department
- Winthrop School Department
- Wiscasset School Department
- York School Department
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your child's Maryland 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 Maryland and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National High School Title IX Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.