There are now 66 colleges and universities in Oklahoma with an annual student enrollment of approximately 140,000. These and the majority of U.S. schools must remain compliant with federal provisions related to Title IX. This is an educational amendment established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education that addresses sexually-based discrimination. At the state level, the Oklahoma State Department of Education monitors federal changes to Title IX and is a key resource for institutions.
Institutions that fail to adhere to these guidelines may become ineligible for critical federal education funds. A Title IX Coordinator must be named that will implement written policies and practices explaining how allegations of discrimination are managed. The OCR maintains a pledge to ensure that these proceedings are conducted fairly and equitably.
Examples of Sexual Discrimination
- Sexual harassment: May involve unwanted sexually-oriented behavior. Some examples include requesting sexual favors, unwanted advances, and other acts that made verbally or nonverbally
- Sexual violence: These include physical acts of violence such as rape or coercion involving a victim that is unwilling or incapable of legally giving consent.
- Behavior that discourages or hinders someone's ability to enter programs or derive benefits based on their gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- Acts that intimidate or stereotype based on gender that create a hostile educational atmosphere.
After receiving a complaint, the assigned staff will promptly review and investigate the allegations. Evidence may be collected that may include witness testimony. The subject of the allegations (respondent) is afforded adequate time for preparation before answering the claims. All of the parties may generally choose an advisor to assist and accompany them throughout the proceedings.
LGBTQ and Title IX
It is now estimated that 10% of all undergraduate students enrolled self-identify as being LGBTQ. The OCR's provisions continue to evolve expand. Recently, provisions established that Title IX protection extends to students regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. They emphasized prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identification or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
LGBTQ students faced with allegations of violating Title IX should familiarize themselves with their school's written policies and procedures. Many LGBTQ respondents may feel that long-perpetuated stereotypes and false characterizations may influence how they are viewed in these proceedings. Retaining an experienced attorney to serve as your advisor is a great way to ensure your rights are protected.
Evidentiary Standards and Potential Sanctions
Traditionally, the alleged violations are evaluated and must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. In recent years, the clear and convincing evidence standard has been introduced as an alternative. Both of these are a lesser standard compared to beyond a reasonable doubt that applies to criminal actions.
When allegations are proven, the violator may face harsh consequences. These commonly include being suspended or expelled from the institution. Having a strong legal representation is encouraged. An attorney can be a tremendous help in crafting effective statements and responses to questions and will protect a respondent's rights and interests during the investigation, if a hearing is convened, and if an appeal becomes necessary.
Experienced Advisor for Students in Title IX Disciplinary Matters in Oklahoma
Are you the subject of allegations that are considered to be Title IX violations at an educational institution in Oklahoma? Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned attorney that is familiar with these disciplinary matters that will work to create a positive outcome on your behalf. We encourage you to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
Oklahoma colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your gay or lesbian student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools
- Bacone College
- Brown Mackie College Tulsa
- Cameron University
- Career Point College
- Carl Albert State College
- Connors State College
- DeVry University Oklahoma
- East Central University
- Eastern Oklahoma State College
- Family of Faith College
- Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College
- ITT Technical Institute Oklahoma City
- ITT Technical Institute Tulsa
- Langston University
- Mid America Christian University
- Murray State College
- National American University Tulsa
- Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
- Northeastern State University
- Northern Oklahoma College
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Oklahoma Baptist University
- Oklahoma Christian University
- Oklahoma City Community College
- Oklahoma City University
- Oklahoma Panhandle State University
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology Okmulgee
- Oklahoma State University Main Campus
- Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University
- Oral Roberts University
- Redlands Community College
- Rogers State University
- Rose State College
- Saint Gregorys University
- Seminole State College
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University
- Southern Nazarene University
- Southwestern Christian University
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
- Tulsa Community College
- University of Central Oklahoma
- University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
- University of Phoenix Oklahoma City Campus
- University of Phoenix Tulsa Campus
- University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
- University of Tulsa
- Vatterott College Tulsa
- Western Oklahoma State College
Approximately 10% of college students in the United States identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or questioning according to studies and LGBTQ+ students should not feel alone when accused of sexual misconduct. As importantly, they should they not face such burdens alone or without the necessary support and guidance.
The reason LGBTQ+ students should not go through the Title IX process alone is because, as with all students accused of sexual misconduct, Title IX allegations and charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process. It is critical to have a dedicated and experienced advocate when facing a challenge in life and Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of LGBTQ+ students at universities and colleges throughout the nation. 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 and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing Title IX and disciplinary cases in Oklahoma 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.