Title IX is a civil rights gender-equity law that has been implemented and enforced in the majority of educational institutions in Rhode Island, including colleges and universities. It essentially prohibits gender-based discrimination like sexual harassment and sexual assault committed against students. It also ensures that all students are granted access to education regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
If a complaint contains pervasive sexual misconduct, a school is obligated to take immediate action for resolution. Title IX resolution procedures typically consist of several meetings, an investigation, and at times a hearing to determine whether a student is “responsible” for a violation. If a student is found responsible and feels that this decision is unfair, they have the option to appeal.
Your Right to Appeal
The appeals system in educational institution settings is intended to hold school authorities accountable for their actions. Title IX decisions are oftentimes harsh, resulting in a program dismissal, suspension, and even expulsion. Since this decision can compromise the academic and professional career of a student, it's important that it be fair. If a student feels as if their outcome was unfair or unfounded, he or she should utilize their right to appeal.
Any questions about the course of action that should be taken in your unique case should be discussed with a student defense attorney. An attorney can help you draft an appeal that is compelling and effective.
Grounds for an Appeal
Different school have different allowable grounds for a Title IX appeal, but generally speaking, the following grounds will be afforded to a student found responsible when seeking an appeal:
- Disproportionate sanction: the sanction recommended is unduly disproportionate to the severity of the alleged violation.
- New evidence available: evidence that could have backed the accused's case is now available.
- A violation of due process rights: an institution stripped a student respondent of their rights entitled under Title IX and school policy.
- Procedural error: an error was made throughout the disciplinary process that could have substantially affected the outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
Students looking to appeal will likely have to abide by strict submission guidelines. Check your school's student handbook or code of conduct to identify the specifics of your school's process. In the event that an appeal is not turned in on time or is not considered substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand.
Rhode Island Title IX Appeal Advisor
If you're a student in Rhode Island who is facing serious consequences due to a Title IX violation, retaining a student defense attorney is a must. An appeal is your last opportunity to salvage your reputation, preserve your academic record, and in some cases, continue your education at your current institution. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill and expertise to help you successfully win an appeal. Contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 for his assistance.
- Brown University
- Bryant University
- Community College of Rhode Island
- Johnson & Wales University – Providence
- Naval War College (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- New England Institute of Technology
- Providence College
- Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Roger Williams University
- Salve Regina University
- University of Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.