There are currently 31 institutions offering post-secondary education to students in Maine. Schools of all kinds across the U.S. are tasked with maintaining compliance with federal guidelines related to Title IX. This was a civil rights amendment originally established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education that governs sexually-based discrimination in educational institutions.
Ongoing guidance and enforcement at the federal level is handled by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). All institutions must designate a Title IX Coordinator who implements written procedures outlining how complaints of sexual discrimination are managed. Schools are given some latitude in drafting their provisions, which are to result in a process that is fair and equitable.
Title IX may be violated by denying or otherwise obstructing someone's ability to participate in any programs or activities based on their gender or sexual orientation. Violations may result from acts of sexual harassment, which may be verbal or nonverbal. Sexual harassment may involve promoting stereotypes, making unwanted sexual advances, and more.
Acts of sexual violence such as coercion or rape are prohibited. All violations create some type of hostility within the educational environment that somehow impedes someone's civil rights.
The LGBTQ Community & Title IX
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer students compose roughly 10% of the overall U.S. undergraduate student population. Due to false characterizations and lingering stereotypes, many LGBTQ students that are accused of sexual misconduct feel that they may not be treated fairly. In these situations, it is strongly suggested that you retain experienced legal counsel to act as your advisor.
The administration will gather and review all related evidence such as witness testimony. Many institutions have all parties appear for a hearing. These hearings are not intended to resemble formal judicial proceedings. Often a hearing panel composed of faculty and students will ultimately issue a ruling on the allegations.
The evidentiary standard that has traditionally been used is by the preponderance of the evidence, which is used in civil matters. There is also an option of employing the clear and convincing evidence standard. The school's written provisions will contain different sanctions or penalties that may be imposed on violators. The penalties that are commonly imposed include suspension and expulsion from the institution.
Some of the rights that respondents are afforded include the following:
- The respondent has a right to review the allegations in writing
- Respondents are to be given sufficient time for preparation before answering the allegations
- Any benefits or exceptions made for one party must be available to other parties
- All parties may choose an advisor to serve in a supportive role that may accompany the party during the proceedings
- The administration is responsible for ensuring that the proceedings are free from bias or any conflicts of interest
Because of what is at stake in addition to the potential failings of the Title IX disciplinary process, an experienced attorney-advisor will help level the playing field during the investigation, when a hearing is convened, and if an appeal becomes necessary.
Legal Representation for Students in Maine Accused of Violating Title IX
Are you a student accused of a Title IX violation in Maine? Joseph D. Lento is an attorney with years of experience representing those facing allegations of violating Title IX provisions. He will work diligently on your behalf to defend your reputation and your future. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Maine 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
- Bates College
- Bowdoin College
- Central Maine Community College
- Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions
- Colby College
- College of the Atlantic
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Husson University
- Kaplan University Maine Campus
- Kennebec Valley Community College
- Landing School of Boat Building and Design
- Maine College of Art
- Maine Maritime Academy
- New England School of Communications
- Northern Maine Community College
- Saint Joseph's College of Maine
- Southern Maine Community College
- Thomas College
- Unity College
- University of Maine
- University of Maine at Augusta
- University of Maine at Farmington
- University of Maine at Fort Kent
- University of Maine at Machias
- University of Maine at Presque Isle
- University of New England
- University of Southern Maine
- Washington County Community College
- York County Community 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 Maine 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.