What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that provides the following:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Basically, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the premise of sex committed by or against students, staff, and faculty in federally funded institutions. The vast majority of colleges and universities - both private and public - receive some portion of financial assistance from the government. Therefore, most higher education institutions are required to comply with Title IX. Compliance with Title IX entails that schools investigate, reprimand and carry out disciplinary action against people who are found responsible for exhibiting gender-based discrimination.
Title IX's applicability extends to a wide range of areas, and it justifies disciplinary action in a variety of cases. Some of these cases involve intercollegiate sports, employee and student opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and bullying. However, in recent years, the law has been referenced in a much more complicated and sensitive area: sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct encompasses various acts and behaviors, including sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, or sexual coercion
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
Title IX's applicability in sexual misconduct cases has been hotly debated. Many people have questioned if schools are properly equipped to handle these cases, as they are inherently intricate and unique. Despite the concerns of the public, schools are, by law, obligated to handle reports of sexual misconduct, which is considered gender-based discrimination under Title IX. The Department of Education has explicitly expressed that if schools do not handle sexual misconduct cases to its liking, they could be in violation of Title IX.
Although most people expect schools to play by the rules (especially their own rules), this does not always happen. Unfortunately, schools have been caught doing inappropriate things to either appease an accuser and the DOE or because it may be in the best interest of the institutions. In previous cases, schools have destroyed evidence that could benefit respondents and have refused to allow respondents access to resources they are entitled to. Once it is proven that schools are not playing fair, they could be sued or face the ultimate repercussion of losing funding from the federal government.
Knowledgeable attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients who are facing unjust or unfair Title IX charges and feel as if their rights have been violated. His clientele includes:
Student defendants: Students who have been accused of sexual misconduct or any other related violations of a school's code of conduct will need the help of an attorney to guide them through Title IX's complex processes.
College and university employees: Professors, coaches, faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants etc. may have been notified of allegations and want to retain an attorney to protect their rights.
New Jersey Title IX Attorney
If you are a student or an employee of a college or university and are facing sexual misconduct allegations or related violations of your school's code of conduct, it is crucial you consult with an attorney. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience successfully representing people who have been in your shoes. Contact him today for help.
The following links provide information regarding how individual New Jersey colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault and Title IX sexual misconduct against accused students (New Jersey Title IX campus disciplinary cases generally follow a similar process for both accused students and accused employees depending on the college or university involved):