The Kansas Board of Regents reports there are now 32 postsecondary educational institutions statewide. To remain eligible for critical federal educational funds, schools must all comply with Title IX. This was an amendment implemented in 1972 requiring that guidelines and procedures be established to properly respond to complaints of sexually-based discrimination.
Facts Regarding Title IX Violations
- Title IX protections extend to all those associated with the institution including students, staff, and faculty
- Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that may involve unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
- Violations may involve an unwilling participant being subjected to sexual violence such as battery, coercion, assault, or rape
- Harassment may be verbal or nonverbal acts that create hostility in the educational environment
- Discrimination often occurs when someone is denied entry to educational programs, athletic opportunities or campus activities based on their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation
Student Rights Under Title IX
Students that are accused of these violations are afforded certain rights. Respondents must be promptly notified of the allegations and be presented with all associated evidence. Accused parties are entitled to adequate time for preparation before answering complaints. The school's written procedural guidelines should be reasonably accessible to all students.
Schools must name a Title IX Coordinator and this individual and their staff must properly disseminate information regarding the ways that a grievance or complaint can be made. Grievances should be addressed promptly. Evidence is gathered, such as any testimony from witnesses.
Many schools conduct a hearing where all parties convene. These hearings may be somewhat informal. Some institutions offer mediation or similar options for resolving matters amicably.
LGBTQ Student Respondents
Overburdened institutional administrators today often move hastily through these proceedings without properly acknowledging the rights of the accused. LGBTQ students facing such allegations are encouraged to seek assistance from an attorney that is well-versed in these disciplinary matters. Having experienced representation will be critical in your preparation of statements, responses, and more.
Proving a Violation
The evidentiary standards that may be used in these matters include a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence standards. In the legal system, the preponderance of the evidence standard is typically used in civil matters. An experienced attorney-advisor will help protect a respondent's interests and level the playing field at all stages of the proceedings including during the investigation, when a hearing is held, and if an appeal becomes necessary.
Sanctions and Penalties
Schools may have an individual that evaluates the evidence and issues a ruling. Some institutions employ a type of hearing panel composed of administrators, students, and others. If it is determined that violations did occur, students may face harsh penalties such as suspension or expulsion.
The Process of Appeal
Title IX guidelines do not specifically require that an appeals process be available; however, the majority of institutions do have an established procedure for appealing. Often there is a tight deadline for filing an appeal. Assistance from an experienced lawyer is strongly encouraged at this point.
Attorney Represents Students as an Advisor in Title IX Actions in Kansas
The federal provisions related to Title IX have been changing in recent years. This is generally the case as a new administration assumes leadership of the federal government. The Lento Law Firm remains up-to-date on these guidelines to effectively represent students in Kansas facing related allegations in educational institutions. You are encouraged to promptly contact the office (888) 535-3686.
Kansas 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
- Allen County Community College
- Baker University
- Barclay College
- Barton County Community College
- Benedictine College
- Bethany College
- Bethel College North Newton
- Brown Mackie College Kansas City
- Brown Mackie College Salina
- Bryan University Topeka
- Butler Community College
- Central Baptist Theological Seminary
- Central Christian College of Kansas
- Cleveland Chiropractic College
- Cloud County Community College
- Coffeyville Community College
- Colby Community College
- Cowley County Community College
- Dodge City Community College
- Donnelly College
- Emporia State University
- Flint Hills Technical College
- Fort Hays State University
- Fort Scott Community College
- Friends University
- Garden City Community College
- Hesston College
- Highland Community College
- Hutchinson Community College
- Independence Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Wichita
- Johnson County Community College
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
- Kansas State University
- Kansas Wesleyan University
- Labette Community College
- Manhattan Area Technical College
- Manhattan Christian College
- McPherson College
- MidAmerica Nazarene University
- National American University Overland Park
- National American University Wichita
- Neosho County Community College
- Newman University
- North Central Kansas Technical College
- Ottawa University Ottawa
- Pinnacle Career Institute Lawrence
- Pittsburg State University
- Pratt Community College
- Salina Area Technical College
- Seward County Community College and Area Technical School
- Southwestern College
- Sterling College
- Tabor College
- The Art Institutes International Kansas City
- University of Kansas
- University of Phoenix Wichita Campus
- University of Saint Mary
- Vatterott College Wichita
- Washburn University
- Wichita Area Technical College
- Wichita State University
- Wright Career 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 Kansas 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.