In Alabama in 2018, enrollment at the many two and four-year postsecondary institutions exceeded 254,000 students. It is now estimated that 10% of undergraduate students identify as being LGBTQ. Colleges and universities across the U.S. are required to adhere to federal guidelines contained in the Title IX amendment.
Title IX was implemented in 1972. Federal enforcement is handled by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). It requires all schools that receive federal education funds to establish written guidelines and procedures for responding to allegations of sexually-based discrimination.
Potential Title IX Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Education has broadly defined actions that may be deemed as sexual discrimination. They include any acts that discriminate against someone based on their gender or gender identity. These include preventing participation or entry into any type of school-related activities. It may involve inappropriate statements of a sexual nature or sexual abuse, assault, harassment, or coercion.
All schools will designate an administrator to be the Title IX Coordinator that is responsible for maintaining compliance. Complaints may be made anonymously or through other means outlined in their provisions. The institution will have a written policy established that is accessible to all those associated with the school. This will include a procedure for investigating, making a ruling, and potentially imposing sanctions or penalties on those who commit violations.
Burden of Proof
Although schools can develop their formal process, there is an established standard for proving allegations. To be proven, the allegations must be shown by “a preponderance of the evidence” or by “clear and convincing evidence.” All parties that are subject to Title IX proceeding are generally permitted to choose an advisor that may offer assistance and support.
Schools are responsible for compiling a formal list of potential remedies or penalties for violators. Adverse outcomes in these proceedings often have long-term consequences. For example, some of these potential sanctions may include suspension or expulsion from the academic institution.
Why Should LGBTQ Students Consider an Attorney as an Advisor?
Those in the LGBTQ community that are falsely accused of acts of sexual misconduct are encouraged to consult with an experienced attorney. Although there has been a progression, those who identify as LGBTQ are often stereotyped and marginalized in society. Your attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly.
Parties are supposed to be able to review a clear presentation of evidence, issue statements in their defense, etc., but an experienced professional is often necessary to hold a school accountable during an investigation. Often the institution will have some form of a hearing process. An attorney will ensure you are better prepared to issue statements and respond to potential questions. Keep in mind that most schools will not allow the advisor to function in an “active” role, such as addressing other parties directly on your behalf in a hearing. An experienced advisor can also help with an effective appeal when necessary.
Effective Advisory Representation for Title IX Violations in Alabama Schools
Joseph D. Lento is an attorney with a wealth of experience in the many facets of Title IX student disciplinary matters. You deserve effective representation in Title IX actions in Alabama to protect your best interests. You are encouraged to contact the office at (888) 535-3686.
Alabama 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:
- Alabama A & M University
- Alabama Southern Community College
- Alabama State University
- Amridge University
- Auburn University
- Auburn University at Montgomery
- Bevill State Community College
- Birmingham Southern College
- Bishop State Community College
- Brown Mackie College Birmingham
- Central Alabama Community College
- Chattahoochee Valley Community College
- Columbia Southern University
- Concordia College Selma
- Enterprise State Community College
- Faulkner University
- Fortis College Mobile
- Fortis College Montgomery
- Gadsden State Community College
- George C Wallace State Community College Dothan
- George C Wallace State Community College Hanceville
- George C Wallace State Community College Selma
- H Councill Trenholm State Technical College
- Heritage Christian University
- Herzing University Birmingham
- Huntingdon College
- Huntsville Bible College
- ITT Technical Institute Bessemer
- ITT Technical Institute Madison
- ITT Technical Institute Mobile
- J F Drake State Technical College
- Jacksonville State University
- James H Faulkner State Community College
- Jefferson Davis Community College
- Jefferson State Community College
- John C Calhoun State Community College
- Judson College
- Lawson State Community College Birmingham Campus
- Lurleen B Wallace Community College
- Marion Military Institute
- Miles College
- Northeast Alabama Community College
- Northwest Shoals Community College Muscle Shoals
- Oakwood University
- Prince Institute of Professional Studies Inc
- Reid State Technical College
- Remington College Mobile Campus
- Samford University
- Selma University
- Shelton State Community College
- Snead State Community College
- South University Montgomery
- Southeastern Bible College
- Southern Union State Community College
- Spring Hill College
- Stillman College
- Talladega College
- The University of Alabama
- Tri State Institute
- Troy University
- Tuskegee University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of Alabama at Huntsville
- University of Mobile
- University of Montevallo
- University of North Alabama
- University of Phoenix Birmingham Campus
- University of South Alabama
- University of West Alabama
- Virginia College Birmingham
- Virginia College Huntsville
- Virginia College Mobile
- Virginia College Montgomery
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 Alabama 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.