There are now more than 60,000 individuals enrolled at the postsecondary institutions across Delaware. All schools are required to comply with the provisions of Title IX, which is a federal civil rights law that was implemented in 1972 regarding sexually-based discrimination. Schools are required to establish written policies and procedures that relate to Title IX.
What Does Title IX Prohibit?
- Sexual harassment: Involves any type of sexually-oriented conduct that is unwelcomed. Examples include unwanted advances or appeals for sexual favors.
- Sexual violence: Involves physical acts of a sexual nature committed against an unwilling victim or someone unable to consent to participate. Examples may include rape or sexual abuse, battery or coercion.
- Gender-based harassment: This involves adverse acts that are founded on the victim's gender or perceived gender (sex). Examples may include slurs, stereotyping or gender-oriented threats
Upon receiving a complaint, the school's designated administration is tasked with beginning an investigation within a reasonable time frame. There is a significant emphasis placed on fairness and ensuring there are no conflicts of interest. Federal regulations by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) do not specify a certain format or structure for filing grievances (complaints).
It is required that once the options for filing a complaint are determined, that they are disseminated to all students, faculty, etc. The accused will have sufficient opportunity to answer the allegations. Typically, the parties can choose an advisor that is often restricted to a supportive role.
LGBTQ and Title IX
LGBTQ students have traditionally been among the most marginalized groups in group educational settings. When an LGBTQ student is accused of an act, such as involving sexual misconduct, they may feel alienated and uncertain of how to proceed. In these situations, retaining experienced legal representation to serve in this advisory capacity is strongly encouraged. An attorney that is familiar with these proceedings will ensure you are prepared and that your rights are protected.
Rulings, Sanctions or Penalties
Many institutions summon all the parties to a hearing. You may be accompanied by your advisor in these proceedings. Based on the individual institution's process, a ruling or decision will be made. Two potential evidentiary standards may be used to determine if a violation occurred. These include whether the evidence was proven by a preponderance of the evidence or by a clear and convincing standard.
In the majority of schools, this ruling is made by the Title IX Coordinator or other designated administrator. Roughly 14% of institutions employ some type of hearing panel that may be composed of administrators, faculty, students, etc. Disciplinary action may be imposed on violators. OCR guidelines explain that these sanctions may be “based on the severity of the harassment or any record of prior incidents.” An experienced advisor will help at all stages of the proceedings from the initial investigation through to an appeal when necessary.
Attorney Represents Students in Delaware as an Advisor to Title IX Actions
Allegations such as those of sexual harassment or assault will result in Title IX disciplinary proceedings that may have significant adverse sanctions or penalties. Joseph D. Lento is an experienced attorney that has a firm understanding of how to assist students in Delaware in these matters. You are encouraged to contact him today at (888) 535-3686.
Delaware 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
- Delaware College of Art and Design
- Delaware State University
- Goldey–Beacom College
- University of Delaware
- Wesley College
- Widener University–Delaware Campus
- Wilmington University
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 Delaware 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.