The Maryland Higher Education Commission reports there are more than 289,000 undergraduate students enrolled at postsecondary institutions statewide. These and most schools in the U.S. are required to comply with federal Title IX provisions related to sexually-based discrimination and harassment. The Title IX amendment was originally established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education and ongoing enforcement is handled by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
Institutions that are found to be noncompliant may be ineligible for federal education funding. Schools designate a Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for implementing written practices and procedures outlining how allegations of such discrimination are managed.
Title IX is a civil rights measure that seeks to ensure that individuals associated with educational institutions are treated equally regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. A violation may occur when different standards apply for entry or participation in educational programs, athletic competition or access to benefits.
Sexual harassment is an example of a violation where the victim is exposed to a hostile educational environment. Examples include unwanted sexual advances or verbal slurs or stereotypes related to someone's sex or orientation. Title IX protections also pertain to acts of sexual violence such as battery or rape.
Allegations Made Against LGBTQ Students
Data suggests that LGBTQ students comprise roughly 10% of overall undergraduate enrollments. LGBTQ students may feel that they are not fairly treated when they are the subject of these allegations. This disfavor may be the result of false stereotypes or incorrect characterizations that often exist. Fortunately, schools allow parties to be accompanied by an advisor.
Choosing an attorney to serve in this advisory role is often suggested. Your attorney will work to ensure your rights are protected and pursue your best interests.
Many schools summon all the parties to a hearing. In limited instances, some institutions allow participating in mediation to potentially reach a mutually acceptable resolution. There may be a designated individual that issues a ruling after these disciplinary proceedings. Another model involves a hearing panel composed of several individuals that will issue their findings.
Since being introduced, the evidentiary standard used has been by a preponderance of the evidence. Based on recent federal guidelines, there is now also an option of evaluating whether the allegations satisfy a clear and convincing evidentiary standard. If the allegations are proven, the administration may impose difficult sanctions such as being suspended or expelled.
Why Retain an Attorney in This Role?
Having an attorney act as your advisor brings a host of potential benefits. One critical advantage is that your attorney can assist you in drafting clear and effective statements. You will also be better prepared to confidently respond to the questions you will likely encounter. An attorney will also be to protect an accused student's interests and will be able to level the playing field at all stages of the proceedings from initial investigation through the appeals process when necessary.
Attorney Serves as an Advisor for Students in Maryland Facing Title IX Disciplinary Matters
Are you a student that is faced with allegations of violating Title IX at a school in Maryland? It is highly recommended that you obtain support from a lawyer that is well-versed in these actions. Promptly contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Maryland 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:
- Bowie State University
- Capitol Technology University
- Coppin State University
- Frostburg State University
- Goucher College
- Hood College
- Johns Hopkins University
- Loyola University Maryland
- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
- Maryland University of Integrative Health
- McDaniel College
- Morgan State University
- Mount St. Mary's University
- Notre Dame of Maryland University
- St. John's College
- St. Mary's College of Maryland
- Salisbury University
- Stevenson University
- Towson University
- United States Naval Academy (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- University of Baltimore
- University of Maryland, Baltimore
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- University of Maryland, College Park
- University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
- University of Maryland, University College
- University of Maryland, Biotechnology Institute
- University of Maryland, Environmental Science
- USM Hagerstown
- Universities at Shady Grove
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
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 Maryland 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.