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How Lack of Transparency Hinders Justice for Accused Students

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Earlier this fall, WBTV reported that Myers Park High School had been under review for several years because it had not abided by the Title IX federal regulation. In fact, between 2018-2019, there were over 1,600 Title IX violation accusations made, but the district investigated very few of these accusations and disciplined even less. After public outrage at the lack of investigating, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system decided to create a new Title IX Task Force to evaluate sexual violence and discrimination complaints. Unfortunately, the task force is working in secret; school officials refuse to identify who is on the task and what actions they are taking.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal regulation that prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sex, including allowing sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. As such, it sets a specific guideline that all federally funded schools must follow when faced with such allegations in their district. Schools must have:

  • Clear and immediate procedures for sexual misconduct allegations
  • Designated personnel to handle instances of sexual violence
  • A “more likely than not” or “preponderance of the evidence” standard for evidence presented during a Title IX hearing
  • A policy that allows both parties involved to access the same procedures, whether that be allowing them to have advisors, make appeals, or how they present their evidence and witnesses
  • A policy that protects the complainant and victim from retaliation for reporting

If someone reports an incident of sexual violence or discrimination, the school must respond or risk losing their federal funding.

Lack of Transparency at CMS

The very fabric of Title IX calls for transparency and notice, but the new task force at CMS is working without any. This lack of transparency hinders justice for accused students. The district believes that they are empowering students to come forward and report, but really, they are allowing for false allegations and then creating protections for accusers. The accused student has the right to know of the accusations the moment they are made, but the way the district has designed the task force, the accused would not be informed of the accusations until later in the process – when bias has already formed.

The Title IX process is designed to protect all students from discrimination – including the accused. Accused students are supposed to be notified of the accusations immediately. They are allowed an advisor to help in their defense and are allowed to present witnesses and evidence. Sadly, this new system will allow many accused students to fall through the cracks. The district will publicly accuse them without proper due process. And even if they are found not to have committed sexual violence or discrimination, the damage to their reputation is already done. The town will forever equate them to the false charges.

How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help

If you or someone you love has been accused of Title IX violations, you have the right to defend yourself. Accused students have just as many rights as accusers under Title IX. You deserve to be supported by your school officials and not be subject to the bias that inevitably follows secret conferences. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has worked with countless high school students across the United States accused of violating Title IX. Attorney Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm work diligently to ensure the school administration provides your child with a fair hearing, free of bias. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule your consultation or reach the Lento Law Firm online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he has sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.

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