Educational institutions at all levels have a responsibility to protect every student's entitled rights under all circumstances. Unfortunately, this duty isn't always fulfilled in colleges and universities. There's been an apparent upward trend of schools resorting to unlawful discrimination and the deprivation of rights within Title IX disciplinary procedures. Respondent students (the accused) are disproportionately affected by this discriminatory conduct, as it breeds an inequitable system that almost always propels the failure of the accused.
This phenomenon is especially prevalent in cases involving sexual misconduct. The skyrocketing rates of lawsuits initiated and won by complainants for lethargic reactions to their complaints have shifted the incentive for institutions to be equitable. Instead, schools have chosen to appease complainants by slighting the accused. A selfish response that should not be tolerated by innocent student respondents.
Students who wish to hold their school accountable can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR is a government agency that investigates unequal access to education through the denial of rights and other means, and vigorously enforces these rights. However, in order to ensure that you file successfully, you need the help of a skilled attorney. A legal representative with experience can help you defend your rights in a number of invaluable ways. Here a few reasons why you should consider retaining an attorney:
They can file for you: One of the advantages of hiring an attorney is that they can file a discrimination complaint for you. The person filing a complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination and is allowed to file on behalf of another person or group. Therefore, an attorney can complete the whole process for you.
Timeliness: An attorney can also help you stay on top of deadlines. The OCR would prefer a complaint be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. However, if you decide to file past that date, an attorney can help you request a waiver, and write up an explanation providing substantial evidence as to why you did not file within allocated the 180-day timeframe.
Choosing the right way to file: The OCR allows students to choose one of two ways to file a complaint. One can use the template provided by the government agency or write their own letter. An attorney may want you to write a letter to personalize your complaint, or maybe there's limited information so the template is the way to go. Regardless, an attorney will provide you with the best options for you.
Title IX Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide
If you've experienced discrimination by your school and wish to file a complaint with the OCR, you need the help of an experienced attorney. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skills and expertise to help you successfully preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. Contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 for assistance.