Title IX laws and procedures impact thousands of students and their families nationwide. The laws help protect students from discrimination as they pursue their education, including sex discrimination and harassment.
Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made amendments to the previous Title IX laws last May to offer better protections for those accused of campus sexual assault. Some, however, argue that the amendments make it harder for victims to speak out and discourages them from reporting sexual harassment to campus officials.
To improve the enforcement of Title IX laws, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a four-day virtual hearing starting June 7. OCR encourages public participation during the hearing, especially students, parents, staff members, and administrators. Members of the public wishing to participate in the hearing can register online and make live comments during the hearing.
The OCR plans to address Title IX laws, school responsibility, sexual violence, and gender discrimination that affect students participating in the process. Ultimately, the discussions aim to gather public opinion regarding Title IX to create new actions that fulfill new Executive Orders by President Biden.
Why Amendments Matter in Title IX Cases
With thousands of sexual assault cases that happen on and off-campus to students every year, college administrations must enforce Federal Title IX processes to investigate the matter. However, there are also multiple instances where the accused is innocent but lost placement, time, and reputation due to false accusations.
Sexual assault cases are sensitive matters that call for quick action in a school or college setting. Some schools immediately place the accused under administrative leave if they deem the student a threat. In the past, attorney advisors could not cross-examine accusers, and the benefit of the doubt goes to the victim. Accused students did not receive proper due process, denying them the right to defend themselves against baseless allegations.
Convictions of campus sexual assault ruin the lives of the accused, even with a lack of evidence or the mere spread of rumors. With amendments to the law, people charged with violating Title IX laws received more rights and a better chance of defense, especially when innocent.
The OCR is asking for public participation to understand the grievances that people have involving the process and what they believe can make it more efficient and transparent. Moreover, by addressing the need to add protections for gender discrimination, fewer students are victims to loopholes in the laws that place them at a disadvantage.
The Role of a Title IX Attorney
Whether the issue was a mistake or a baseless allegation, attorney Joseph D. Lento helps students defend themselves against accusations that harm their reputation and future.
If you or a family member face allegations of campus sexual assault, don't wait until it's too late to take action. Call the Lento Law Firm today for expert consultation at 888-535-3686.