What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the premise of gender perpetrated by or against students, staff, and faculty in federally funded institutions. Since the vast majority of higher education institutions receive some form of financial support from the government, most schools are required to comply with Title IX.
Title IX's applicability extends to a number of areas in collegiate settings. This federal law has been attributed to leveling the playing field when it comes to a number of gender-related issues on campus. Title IX has is known for its contributions in expanding sporting options and paralleling scholarships offered to women in comparison to men. People also reference the law as it serves as a justification to create guidelines pertaining to the treatment of pregnant college students and new moms on campus. However, in recent times, Title IX has been mentioned for an entirely different and controversial issue: sexual misconduct on college campuses.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
Under Title IX, sexual misconduct in all its forms - sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc. - is considered gender-based discrimination if it is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offense” that it creates a hostile environment for an accuser. Courts have concluded that acts that fall under the definitions of all the types of sexual misconduct meet this standard.
Schools that are in compliance with Title IX are required to handle sexual misconduct cases. Therefore, they are bestowed the responsibility of investigating complaints and conducting grievance and disciplinary processes. In the midst of these processes, many respondents from a variety of schools have felt slighted and disadvantages by their institution. The Department of Education puts immense pressure on schools to handle sexual misconduct cases promptly and appropriately. If a school fails to do so, they could be denied federal funding. As a result, schools have no incentive to treat accused students fairly.
The Advantages of Choosing an Attorney as your Title IX Advisor
Accused students are permitted to choose anyone they would like to be their advisor. Selecting an attorney would be a wise decision for students who value the preservation of their rights during school grievance and disciplinary processes. An attorney has legal expertise and skill that would be very useful to respondents. Here are a few advantages of choosing an attorney as your advisor:
Confidentiality: It's important for most respondents to know that the information that is disclosed to a Title IX advisor is confidential. At any moment, any person who is not an attorney can relay this information to the school to use against you during a disciplinary action or even in a criminal trial. However, with a legal professional, you won't have to worry about this happening. You and an attorney have a mutual interest: ensuring that your rights are protected.
Preparation: An attorney can help you prepare for a hearing by helping you draft your statement, find and interview witnesses, and come up with cross-examination questions. After all, they do these things for a living.
Pennsylvania Title IX Advisor
If you attend a Pennsylvania college or university and are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, it is crucial you consult with an attorney. Skilled legal professional and Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help. Contact him today.
Pennsylvania 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:
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future 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 and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact Pennsylvania Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.