Title IX cases are serious no matter who the victim and perpetrator are. Sexual assault accusations can be particularly devastating when those involved are in high school. If your South Carolina high school student has received an allegation of sexual assault from a peer, you're likely rushing to educate yourself on what's going to happen. Sexual assault and discrimination, after all, can seem like issues that shouldn't pertain to children in their teens.
A brief search through the news shows that sexual assault does happen in South Carolina high schools. A local news station recently reported that four students at a South Carolina high school faced two separate charges of assault. The suspects were 14 and 15 years old.
Title IX is a law that promises to protect your child from sexual discrimination and abuse. Those protections can also make it difficult for your school to treat your student fairly throughout a Title IX investigation. If you and your family are preparing for Title IX proceedings, the best thing you can do is be proactive about protecting your student's future. This may involve educating yourself about the disciplinary processes at your school. It may also involve hiring a hard-working Title IX advisor to assist with your case.
Title IX Procedures in South Carolina High Schools
The South Carolina Department of Education has created an outline of school safety laws and regulations. This document makes it clear that sexual misconduct at your high school is serious—and punishable in a variety of ways.
Firstly, the Department notes that your school may have to treat violent sexual misconduct as a criminal offense. If so, the accused student face arrest—and the sexual misconduct laws in your state. One-time incidents of sexual misconduct fall under this provision, as well as more serial actions such as stalking or harassment.
To protect all students, South Carolina high schools must create a policy for student conduct. Parents, teachers, and school employees all need to assist with the creation of this policy. This policy should contain detailed descriptions of punishable behavior as well as clear steps for administering discipline when necessary. Your school also needs to state specific grounds for expulsion in this policy.
On a statewide level, the Sexual Assault Protocol from the office of the South Carolina Attorney General notes that students under the age of 16 who allegedly commit criminal sexual conduct are young enough to face treatment as legal minors. However, this means that any high school student aged 17 and up may face felony charges for serious sexual misconduct.
A charge of sexual assault will follow your student for their entire life. The bright future your family has built can vanish because of these proceedings. You must prepare your case to be proactive when your student stands up to false allegations of sexual assault. A seasoned Title IX advisor can help you prepare your best case to protect your student's rights.
SC Title IX Disciplinary Measures: Will Your High School Student Face Expulsion?
If your school notifies you that your student faces suspension or expulsion, you need to know that your family has options. The South Carolina Legal Justice Center provides clear outlines of your student's rights in this situation:
- A suspension must be short. For one offense, a suspension can be no longer than 10 days.
- Your school must notify you of your child's specific offense. The notification must tell you where and when you can discuss the matter with school officials.
- If you do not agree with the method of punishment, you can appeal the decision to the school district Board of Trustees.
- Expulsion is only an option after a student has undergone a hearing.
- Your school must send you a written recommendation for expulsion.
- The timelines for Title IX cases are tight: Your school must complete the hearing for your child's case within 15 days of the written recommendation for expulsion. After the hearing, the school must notify you of their decision within 10 days.
- If you do not agree with their decision, you can appeal to your county.
A Title IX advisor with a history of success can help keep your SC school accountable for these regulations. If you need help with the investigative process, assistance as your student prepares for adjudication via a hearing, or information about the appeal process, your advisor will be a good resource.
Holding Your South Carolina School Accountable
All federally-funded schools must adhere to Title IX regulations. This includes your South Carolina public school. However, the majority of sexual assaults tend to occur at the university level. This might mean that your high school does not have the resources or trained personnel in place to handle Title IX proceedings effectively. Since your school may risk losing its funding if it does not investigate all matters of sexual assault, your school may force a rushed or ad-hoc Title IX process.
Your school's possible lack of preparation or competence should not impact your child's future.
Regardless of your school's levels of readiness, your school must provide your child with all due notices, information, and privileges. Otherwise, your school has denied your child his rights under the law. If so, you and your legal advisor may be able to help your student get back to his life and his academic career without unfair and undeserved punishment.
A Successful Title IX Advisor, Ready to Assist Your South Carolina Student
Joseph D. Lento is an experienced Title IX advisor in the state of South Carolina—as well as across the U.S.A. Over the past years, he has dealt with more than a thousand student misconduct and discipline cases successfully. If you and your family need assistance handling serious accusations of sexual assault, Joseph D. Lento will be able to assist. As your high school student's Title IX advisor, Joseph D. Lento will fight aggressively to protect your student's rights. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686, or reach out through our online form for prompt assistance.
South Carolina 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:
- Abbeville School District
- Aiken County Public School District
- Allendale School District
- Anderson School District One
- Anderson 2
- Anderson 3
- Anderson 4
- Anderson School District Five
- Bamberg 1
- Bamberg 2
- Barnwell 19
- Barnwell 45
- Beaufort County School District
- Berkeley County School District
- Calhoun School District
- Charleston County School District
- Cherokee School District
- Chester School District
- Chesterfield School District
- Clarendon 1
- Clarendon 2
- Clarendon 3
- Clover School District
- Colleton School District
- Darlington County School District
- Dillon 1
- Dillon 2
- Dillon 3
- Dorchester School District Two
- Dorchester 4
- Edgefield School District
- Fairfield School District
- Florence Public School District One
- Florence 2
- Florence 3
- Florence 4
- Florence 5
- Fort Mill Schools
- Georgetown County School District
- Greenville County School District
- Greenwood School District 50
- Greenwood 51
- Greenwood 52
- Hampton 1
- Hampton 2
- Horry County Schools
- Jasper School District
- Kershaw County School District
- Lancaster County School District
- Laurens 55
- Laurens 56
- Lee School District
- Lexington School District One
- Lexington 2
- Lexington 3
- Lexington 4
- District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties
- Marion 1
- Marion 7
- Marlboro School District
- McCormick School District
- Mullins School District
- Newberry School District
- School District of Oconee County
- Orangeburg Consolidated 3
- Orangeburg Consolidated 4
- Orangeburg Consolidated 5
- School District of Pickens County
- Richland County School District One
- Richland School District Two
- Rock Hill Schools - York County District 3
- Saluda School District
- Spartanburg County School District 1
- Spartanburg School District 2
- Spartanburg County School District 3
- Spartanburg County School District 4
- Spartanburg County School District 5
- Spartanburg County School District 6
- Spartanburg County School District 7
- Union School District
- Williamsburg School District
- Williston School District 29
- York School District 1
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your child's South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.