What is Title IX?
Essentially, Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded higher education institutions. This law enforces the equal treatment of every college student regardless of whether they are a man, woman, or are gay, lesbian or transgender. The vast majority of educational institutions in the nation - both public or private - receive some form of federal funding. Therefore, almost all schools in the Philadelphia area are required to comply with Title IX.
Even though Title IX has commonly been applied to intercollegiate sports equity issues throughout the years, it's applicability extends to a wide range of other areas in college settings. Students or college employees who may need to retain an attorney may be involved in the following cases:
- Sexual misconduct and harassment
- Sexual violence, including, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, or sexual coercion
- Unjust school policies
- Employment discrimination
- Student and employee opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related programs and fields
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
In recent years, Title IX's applicability in sexual misconduct cases has been hotly debated. Under the law, sexual misconduct in all of its forms - sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault, etc. - is considered gender-based discrimination. This means that schools are obligated to investigate and carry out disciplinary actions against perpetrators of sexual misconduct on college and university campuses. What separates this type of conduct from the remaining code of conduct violations is the pressure that is put on higher education institutions when they specifically handle these cases. The Department of Education has explicitly laid out its expectations in regard to how schools are to mitigate instances of alleged sexual misconduct. If schools fail to live up to these standards, they may be in violation of Title IX.
Being in violation of Title IX entails that a college or university repair the issue they caused. Unfortunately, schools have been caught doing a number of acts that severely disadvantage respondents, like destroying evidence that could potentially be beneficial to respondents or refusing to allow a respondent access to resources they are entitled to in the midst of Title IX processes. The ultimate repercussion that schools face for doing these deeds is losing funding from the federal government.
Knowledgeable attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients who are facing unfair or unjust Title IX charges and feel that their rights may have been violated. His clientele consists of:
Student defendants: students who have been accused of sexual misconduct or other violations of their college or university's code of conduct will need an attorney to help them through Title IX's intricate processes.
College and university employees: Faculty, coaches, professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, etc., may have been notified of allegations and retain an attorney to protect their rights.
Pennsylvania Title IX Attorney
If you are a student or an employee of a higher education institution and are facing a violation of your school's code of conduct, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento is well-versed in Title IX's complex processes and has extensive experience successfully representing people who have been in this debacle before. Contact him today for assistance.
The following links provide information regarding how individual Pennsylvania colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault and Title IX sexual misconduct against accused students (Pennsylvania Title IX campus disciplinary cases generally follow a similar process for both accused students and accused employees depending on the college or university involved):