What Is Title IX?
Title IX was first passed in 1972 by the federal government. This landmark piece of legislation mandated that all schools receiving any government funding are prohibited from discriminating against students or employees based on gender. An important outcome of Title IX was the increase in the ability of women to participate and compete in collegiate athletics. When Title IX was passed in 1972, 170,000 men were student-athletes compared to only 30,000 women. This figure has almost evened out since the enactment of Title IX, with both men and women now having over 200,000 student-athletes competing in college sports. Title IX does not just stand for female athletics. Title IX seeks to ensure that no sex discrimination takes place in schools without penalty. If someone has been discriminated against or harmed because of their gender at a Title IX school, then they can file a Title IX claim.
What Types of Claims Are Title IX Claims?
As discussed above, Title IX seeks to protect people at schools from unfair treatment based on gender. This protection also includes acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment. A claim can be filed with a college or university if there is a Title IX violation alleged. Once a claim is filed with a school, the school is required to investigate and determine if a violation took place. If the school finds that a violation took place, then the school will determine punishment. Title IX investigations are not criminal investigations that involve the police. They are investigations to determine if school rules related to Title IX have been violated. It is possible for criminal charges to be authorized if the violation is criminal in nature, but the cases would progress separately.
Who Can Face a Title IX Claim?
Anyone who is associated with a school that receives federal funding can face a Title IX claim. This includes individuals who are students, parents, teachers, teacher's assistants, research assistants, school employees, and applicants. A finding of responsibility related to a Title IX violation can be devastating for anyone's career and livelihood. If a student assistant or research assistant is found responsible for violating Title IX, then it can result in the loss of their ability to receive their degree. A professor or administrator found in violation of Title IX can lose their jobs and make it very difficult to be employed elsewhere. Make sure you have an experienced hand helping you if you are facing a Title IX claim.
Title IX Grievance Process Overview
The enforcement of the provisions of Title IX has changed as different presidents have been elected over the years. Currently, any school that receives a Title IX claim must investigate that claim and make a determination if Title IX was violated. The Title IX grievance process includes the following:
- The accusations are delivered in writing to all parties
- The parties are given a chance to hire an attorney
- The parties are given a chance to present and review all evidence
- A trained Title IX investigator will oversee the investigation
- Written consent is necessary to review any medical records
- Written consent is necessary to seek any informal resolutions
- Anyone accused of a Title IX violation is presumed innocent
- Schools can decide whether to use a preponderance legal standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard
- The investigator and decision-maker cannot be the same person
- Live hearings must be conducted by the school and must allow the cross-examination of any witnesses
- K-12 schools are not required to hold live hearings but must allow for questions and answers to be delivered in writing
- Anyone claiming sexual assault is protected by state rape-shield laws
- Any decisions must be in writing and be delivered to the parties
- All decisions must include a written explanation
- The parties have the right to appeal decisions made
The Title IX grievance process can be complicated and intimidating; make sure that you understand the rules and process if you plan to defend yourself successfully.
How an Attorney-Advisor Helps
If you are facing a Title IX grievance case at your Indiana college or university, then an attorney-advisor can help you in various ways, including:
- Separation: It can be intimidating to directly deal with any investigators or the school without help. Having an attorney can offer some separation between you and the school so you can properly present your case and any statements.
- Investigation: An attorney can conduct an independent investigation which can result in additional evidence to help you. An independent investigation can include scene visits, witness interviews, and forensic analysis to help build your case.
- Negotiation: Many cases are resolved through negotiation. An experienced attorney-advisor can help you make that deal. A successful negotiation can settle your case, as well as any other pending claims, and set a prearranged sanction. If your case is resolved through negotiation, it will likely take less time to complete than going through a full hearing.
- Representation: It can be very difficult to properly represent yourself if you do not have experience in these cases. Having an experienced hand represent you can help ensure that you are fully informed on the law and process whenever you make any decisions related to your case.
If you have questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm!
Why Hiring Lento Law Is the Right Choice
If you have questions about a Title IX violation allegation at a school in Indiana, then it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney-advisor. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has helped college employees across the country with various legal issues. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help you with your case.