What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Essentially, the federal civil rights law prohibits gender-based discriminatory acts committed by or against students, staff, or faculty in federally funded institutions. Because of its versatility, Title IX has been broadly applied to a number of predicaments in order to specifically maintain a more equitable atmosphere for colleges and universities. For example, Title IX's enforcement has leveled the playing field for women who wish to pursue intercollegiate sports by providing scholarships for women athletes as they are granted to men athletes. This law has also condemned the mistreatment of pregnant women on college campuses. But in recent times, Title IX has been recurrently referenced for an entirely different reason that has sparked conversation across the country: sexual assault.
Title IX and Sexual Assault
Under Title IX, sexual misconduct in all of its forms - sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape - is considered gender-based discrimination. Schools in compliance with the federal law are obligated to handle reported cases of sexual misconduct. This means that schools use Title IX's processes to investigate, reprimand and even assist in convicting students who are found to be guilty of crimes of this nature. In the event that a school happens to mismanage a case or an accuser feels as if their report was disregarded by an institution, schools face repercussions of losing federal funding or being forced to pay damages to a student that claims they have been abandoned by the school. With these potential threats looming over school authorities heads, they have gone from one extreme by sweeping cases under the rug, to another, by hastily and aggressively approaching these cases in a way that disadvantages the accused.
The Benefits of Choosing an Attorney as Your Title IX Advisor
Both the accused and an accuser are permitted by federal law to select any individual to be their advisor. The role of an advisor is crucial. This person will accompany a student through the processes and help them represent themselves in a hearing. For an accused student, an advisor could make all the difference in experiencing a favorable case outcome.
If you have been accused of sexual assault and still have not chosen an advisor, here are a few reasons why you should select an attorney to occupy this role:
Although you are able to choose anyone to be your attorney, it is important that you make sure your advisor is someone you can trust. While school appointed advisors may seem like a good choice at first, it's important to remember that they are employed by the school and could have the incentive to disclose information you've confided in them. An attorney, however, is solely interested in protecting your rights and ensuring that you have the opportunity to adequately defend yourself.
It is expected of schools to play by the rules, especially their own, but this isn't always the case. You may not be aware that your rights are being violated or that you are being let out of the loop. Nevertheless, an attorney who is well-versed in Title IX law and the state and federal laws that govern it will be able to identify any instances of unfair behavior and mistreatment.
Experienced South Dakota Title IX Advisor
If you attend a South Dakota university or college and have been accused of sexual misconduct, you should immediately consult with a professional who is dedicated to protecting your interests. Joseph D. Lento has experience consulting and helping students just like you. Contact him today.
South Dakota 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:
- Augustana College
- Black Hills State University
- Colorado Technical University Sioux Falls
- Dakota State University
- Dakota Wesleyan University
- Globe University Sioux Falls
- Kilian Community College
- Lake Area Technical Institute
- Mitchell Technical Institute
- Mount Marty College
- National American University Ellsworth AFB Extension
- National American University Rapid City
- National American University Sioux Falls
- Northern State University
- Oglala Lakota College
- Presentation College
- Sinte Gleska University
- Sisseton Wahpeton College
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- South Dakota State University
- Southeast Technical Institute
- University of Sioux Falls
- University of South Dakota
- Western Dakota Technical Institute
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, 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 South Dakota and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.