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How Mandatory Reporting Harms Alleged Victims & the Accused

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

It's a School Rule, Not a Law

In a recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the authors explored the problems with broad mandatory reporting requirements from both sides. They emphasized that it's something schools are implementing, even though Title IX guidance and rulemaking have never required the practice.

The Alleged Victim Doesn't Even Need to Report It

A student might mention an alleged trauma in an academic setting (on a message board, in a writing assignment, or merely in a conversation overheard by school staff). At many schools, the teacher is required to report it to the Title IX office, which can prompt an investigation.

Negative Consequences for the Accuser

In some cases, the alleged victim (the accuser) might mention an incident because they're seeking information or support—not because they wish to make a formal Title IX report. But the decision of whether to report can be taken out of the accuser's hands. Then they can be dragged into a process that strips them of their privacy and leaves them vulnerable to possible retaliation.

Negative Consequences for the Accused

What happens if the alleged victim was exaggerating, taking creative license, or just plain making things up for drama, and not intentionally reporting an actual assault? Regardless of the accuser's intentions, once the school's Title IX office gets hold of it, the allegation will be treated as a serious report.

The accused faces serious consequences, personally, academically, and professionally, even if the accusation was false or the result of a misunderstanding.

Consequences can be both short- and long-term, including:

  • Interim restrictions while the investigation is underway, which may interfere with your ability to keep up in your classes as well as dictate which buildings you can enter, where you can eat, and more
  • Suspension from school
  • Expulsion from your degree program
  • Damaging entries on your permanent disciplinary record

If you've been accused of a Title IX violation, know this: the system is stacked against you. You might not know exactly what you've been accused of, and you won't see the evidence until right before the hearing. They can call witnesses that you had no idea would be there, and you're not entitled to an attorney during the process.

You Don't Have to Face This Alone

Every student has a right to an advisor in a Title IX investigation. It's a proven fact that Title IX cases turn out better for the accused when they have an advocate on their side. The sooner you talk to someone who can advise you on the Title IX process, the better.

The Lento Law Firm Can Help - Contact Us Today!

Contact Title IX attorney attorney Joseph D. Lento at 888-535-3686 so your rights are protected as early as possible in the Title IX process.

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. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney 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 and his team have 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 any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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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 the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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