One of the federal civil rights laws that aim to guarantee equality in certain aspects of American life is Title IX. Title IX guarantees equal access to higher education, regardless of one's gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Because it is a federal law, Title IX applies to any school in Mississippi that receives federal funding of any kind—something that the vast majority of colleges and universities in the state get, typically through student loan money.
As a result, Title IX becomes implicated in any situation involving sexual harassment or sexual assault on nearly every Mississippi campus. Unfortunately, the requirements of Title IX that makes colleges and universities respond quickly and emphatically to these incidents can pressure them into wrongfully convicting students who have been accused. Appealing such a wrongful conviction can make a huge difference in your future.
Your Right to Appeal a Title IX Conviction
Thankfully, students who have been found guilty of a Title IX violation in Mississippi have a right to appeal their school's decision in a handful of circumstances. Such an appeal can challenge the determination that a violation occurred, the sanction imposed, or both.
This right is integral because the school boards and committees are poorly-designed for resolving serious accusations like sexual harassment or sexual assault. Appealing is even more important in Title IX situations because the penalties for violating Title IX's requirements can be dire, and can saddle you with a serious blemish that will make your professional future far more difficult.
Possible Grounds for an Appeal
The right to appeal a Title IX decision by your school, however, is not absolute. There have to be appropriate grounds for your appeal, or else it will not be heard by the school administration. There are four possible grounds for an appeal. These are:
- There was a procedural error during the hearing process. If mistakes were made during your Title IX hearing that went against the hearing policies of your school, and those mistakes substantially impacted the result or the issuance of the sanction, then an appeal is warranted.
- There is new evidence in the case. The discovery of new evidence—evidence that could not have been found during the initial hearing process—then you can appeal your school's decision.
- There was a violation of due process. You have a right to have your story heard in a case as serious as a Title IX charge. If this right was not taken seriously, you can appeal the outcome.
- The sanction was too severe. You can also appeal the severity of the sanction if it seems to be too high for the violation.
Joseph D. Lento: Mississippi Title IX Appeals Advisor
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline attorney who advises students who are considering appealing a Title IX outcome at their college or university. With his input and consultation, you can rest assured that you are proceeding in the correct way, maximizing your chances of success, and protecting your interests and your professional future. If you or a loved one attends or is employed at a Mississippi college or university, contact him online or at 888-535-3686.
Mississippi colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Alcorn State University
- Antonelli College Hattiesburg
- Antonelli College Jackson
- Belhaven University
- Blue Cliff College Gulfport
- Blue Mountain College
- Coahoma Community College
- Copiah Lincoln Community College
- Delta State University
- East Central Community College
- East Mississippi Community College
- Hinds Community College
- Holmes Community College
- Itawamba Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Madison
- Jackson State University
- Jones County Junior College
- Meridian Community College
- Miller Motte Technical College Gulfport
- Millsaps College
- Mississippi College
- Mississippi Delta Community College
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
- Mississippi State University
- Mississippi University for Women
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Northeast Mississippi Community College
- Northwest Mississippi Community College
- Pearl River Community College
- Rust College
- Southeastern Baptist College
- Southwest Mississippi Community College
- Tougaloo College
- University of Mississippi
- University of Phoenix Jackson Campus
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Virginia College Biloxi
- William Carey University
A Title IX finding of responsibility can change an accused student's life if not properly addressed and appealed, and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients 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 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing disciplinary cases in Mississippi and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.