Tennessee Title IX Advisor for LGBTQ+ Students

The postsecondary education system in Tennessee has 105 colleges and universities with an annual enrollment of roughly 190,000 students.  The U.S. Department of Education remains committed to preventing all forms of discrimination. In 1972, they implemented Title IX, an amendment that specifically addressed sexual discrimination in educational settings.

Ongoing federal guidance and enforcement is the responsibility of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). All educational institutions that seek to remain eligible for federal educational funding must comply with Title IX provisions. Each institution names a Title IX Coordinator that drafts policies and procedures for responding to allegations such as:

  • Acts that prevent participation or discourage entry into educational programs, access to aid or benefits or athletic opportunities based on gender or sexual identity
  • Forms of harassment including negative slurs or stereotypes that create a hostile educational environment for students
  • Acts of sexual violence such as rape perpetrated against a victim that has not consented or is unable to grant consent

Investigation of Allegations

Complaints received involving Title IX must be responded to promptly and fairly. Administrators must prevent conflicts of interest. The investigative process may involve gathering witness testimony and assessing the evidence. The accused is notified of the allegations and afforded sufficient time to respond. Students are typically permitted to choose an individual to serve as an advisor for support and assistance.

Allegations Against LGBTQ Students

LGBTQ students that are accused of violations may feel isolated and vulnerable. They may fear that investigators will make assumptions of guilt based on false characterizations and lingering stereotypes. In these instances, students are encouraged to consult with an attorney.

Types of Title IX Complaints Involving LGBTQ Students from 2010 to 2018

  • Allegations of sexual harassment (56.9%)
  • Acts of differential treatment, exclusion or denial of the entry (20.1%)
  • Gender-based harassment (19.5%)
  • Acts of retaliation (4.5%)
  • Other (1.9%)

Potential Hearings and Burden of Proof

Each school will create unique processes using their discretion. Many employ a model where all parties attend a hearing. Hearings are not intended to mimic formal judicial proceedings. Some institutions encourage parties to engage in mediation to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

The rendering of a decision may be the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator, other institutional leaders or panels of multiple individuals. Allegations must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which is used in civil matters. Federal guidelines were revised to allow schools the option of using a clear and convincing evidentiary standard also.

Students facing accusations are encouraged to consult with legal counsel. An attorney is permitted to serve in this advisory capacity; however, advisors may be restricted from active participation at many institutions. Your attorney will work to protect your rights and pursue your best interests during the investigation, if a hearing is held, and an appeal becomes necessary. 

Experienced Advisory Representation for Students in Title IX Disciplinary Matters

Were you recently notified that you are alleged to have violated your college or university's guidelines related to Title IX? If the allegations are proven, students in Tennessee may face consequences such as suspension or expulsion. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that will provide diligent representation on your behalf. Please feel free to contact the office at (888) 535-3686.

Tennessee 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:

  • American Baptist College
  • Aquinas College
  • Argosy University Nashville
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
  • Belmont University
  • Bethel University
  • Bryan College
  • Carson Newman College
  • Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers
  • Chattanooga State Community College
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Cleveland State Community College
  • Columbia State Community College
  • Cumberland University
  • Daymar Institute Clarksville
  • Daymar Institute Murfreesboro
  • Daymar Institute Nashville
  • DeVry University Tennessee
  • Dyersburg State Community College
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Fisk University
  • Fortis Institute
  • Fortis Institute Nashville
  • Fountainhead College of Technology
  • Free Will Baptist Bible College
  • Freed Hardeman University
  • Hiwassee College
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Nashville
  • ITT Technical Institute Chattanooga
  • ITT Technical Institute Cordova
  • ITT Technical Institute Johnson City
  • ITT Technical Institute Knoxville
  • ITT Technical Institute Nashville
  • Jackson State Community College
  • John A Gupton College
  • Johnson University
  • King College
  • Lane College
  • Le Moyne Owen College
  • Lee University
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Lipscomb University
  • L'Ecole Culinaire
  • Martin Methodist College
  • Maryville College
  • Memphis College of Art
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Miller Motte Technical College Chattanooga
  • Miller Motte Technical College Clarksville
  • Miller Motte Technical College Madison
  • Milligan College
  • Motlow State Community College
  • Nashville State Community College
  • National College of Business and Technology Nashville
  • Northeast State Community College
  • Nossi College of Art
  • O'More College of Design
  • Pellissippi State Community College
  • Remington College Memphis Campus
  • Remington College Nashville Campus
  • Rhodes College
  • Roane State Community College
  • Sewanee The University of the South
  • South College
  • Southern Adventist University
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Technological University
  • Tennessee Temple University
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College
  • The Art Institute of Tennessee Nashville
  • The University of Tennessee
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • The University of Tennessee Martin
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Tusculum College
  • Union University
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Phoenix Chattanooga Campus
  • University of Phoenix Knoxville
  • University of Phoenix Memphis Campus
  • University of Phoenix Nashville Campus
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vatterott Career College Memphis Appling Farms
  • Vatterott Career College Memphis Dividend Drive
  • Victory University
  • Virginia College School of Business and Health
  • Visible Music College
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Walters State Community College
  • Watkins College of Art Design & Film
  • William Moore College of Technology
  • Williamson Christian 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 Tennessee 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.