Does your student face charges of sexual assault? High school is already a challenging, confusing time for your student. Title IX proceedings were likely never part of the plan. You might be frantically teaching yourself about due process. You might be having conversations with your school that are scary and frustrating. You might be wondering what all of this is going to do to your child.
Sexual assault is traumatizing. Your school should treat all occasions of sexual misconduct seriously. However, false accusations of sexual assault can hurt your child, too. Their future may be on the line. You need to be proactive about protecting your child through the Title IX process, or they may receive unfair consequences.
Title IX Cases in Hawaii: Do They Really Happen?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that promises to protect your high school student from sexual harassment and sexual assault. It's easy to assume that these won't be issues for your high school student. Unfortunately, sexual misconduct happens everywhere - including in local Hawaii high schools.
One recent case detailed alleged charges of rape in a Hawaii school for deaf and blind students. In another example, one local Hawaii newspaper reported allegations of first-degree sexual assault during a high school football game. Every parent hopes that their child is safe at school. A quick perusal through the news shows that this may not necessarily be the case.
Your child also isn't safe from false accusations of misconduct. Since your school has an incentive to rush Title IX proceedings, your school may naturally side with the accuser. Your school may even steamroll your child's rights. To give your child their best chance of an uninterrupted high school experience, you need to speak with a Title IX or code of conduct attorney as early as you can.
Student Discipline Proceedings in Hawaii
If your child faces sexual assault allegations, you might be facing an investigative process and even a hearing. The specific disciplinary actions or grievance procedure your school follows will be specific to your school. You should be able to find details in your school's posted code of conduct.
The State of Hawaii Department of Education issued a chapter on student misconduct and discipline. It details the general process for sexual misconduct investigations. Depending on the severity of your child's alleged offense, the process may be as follows:
- Someone makes an official accusation of sexual assault. The accuser must submit this accusation, written or otherwise, to school staff.
- The school will assemble all relevant information to learn more about the alleged incident. They will determine the seriousness of the event and the course of adjudication.
- After this, your school will notify both the accused and the accuser that an official Title IX investigation is underway, if this is the case.
- Your school will then invite all concerned parties and representatives to a meeting. At this meeting, your school will present and discuss evidence, student files, and student histories. Your school may make a disciplinary decision at the end of this meeting.
- Finally, your school will notify you and your student of planned punitive measures. Your student will have the chance to appeal any decisions made.
Remember, just because your school must investigate all instances of sexual misconduct does not mean that they have the resources to do so fairly. Your best bet for a favorable outcome is to speak with a hard-working code of conduct and Title IX advisor about your options. Doing so will help you protect your student's rights.
What's At Stake? Your High School's Code of Conduct
Your specific school district will have its own regulations for mediating student misconduct. Your school will publish these regulations in a student code of conduct or student handbook that you should easily be able to find.
Since every district may differ slightly, your child's student handbook is a useful resource for learning about your school's specific processes. Some handbooks may have more or less information, as well. According to one Hawaii high school's student handbook, the school can dole out ‘serious discipline' for ‘school-prohibited conduct.'
The Hawaii Board of Education details specific possible consequences in your state. Their Administrative Rules concerning student misconduct detail the following punitive measures:
- In-school, immediate correction and a conference with the accused student;
- After-school detention;
- Removal of the student from school grounds;
- Receipt of individualized instruction that may relate to the student's alleged problem behaviors;
- In-school suspension;
- Interim recommendation for an alternate education setting;
- Loss of privileges, including parking, bus privileges, or participation in extracurricular activities;
- Mandatory parent-teacher conferences;
- Time in the school principal's office;
- Out-of-school suspension of one or more school days;
- Commensurate loss of academic experiences or lowered grades due to suspension;
- Mandatory Saturday school;
- Disciplinary transfer;
- A referral to an alternative education program;
- Expulsion from the school or the entire school district.
As you can see, the stakes are high. Any of these consequences could make your child's high school experience more difficult than it needs to be. Some could even destroy your child's chances of a successful future.
The earlier you speak with a code of conduct attorney, the better. Doing so may give your child their best chance of a favorable outcome.
An Experienced High School Title IX Attorney-Advisor
If you and your family require a seasoned Title IX and Code of Conduct advisor, contact Joseph D. Lento. He has years of experience handling hundreds of student discipline cases under Title IX. All over America, Joseph D. Lento has been able to protect student's rights when they face serious sexual misconduct allegations. If your case faces investigative processes or adjudication through a hearing, Joseph D. Lento will be able to help fight for your student. Call the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686; alternatively, fill out our brief online form to learn more.
Hawaii high schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your child's student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Farrington High School
- Kaimukī High School
- Kaiser High School
- Kalani High School
- McKinley High School
- Moanalua High School
- Radford High School
- Roosevelt High School
- Academy of the Pacific
- ASSETS School
- Christian Academy
- Damien Memorial School
- Hawaii Baptist Academy
- Hawaiian Mission Academy
- ʻIolani School
- Kamehameha Schools
- La Pietra (Hawaii School for Girls)
- Le Jardin Academy
- Maryknoll School
- Mid-Pacific Institute
- Myron B. Thompson Academy
- Pacific Buddhist Academy
- Punahou School
- Sacred Hearts Academy
- Andrew's Priory School
- Saint Louis School
- Saint Francis School
- Varsity International School
- Waldorf Academy
- Hawaii Technology Academy
- University Laboratory School
- ʻAiea High School
- Campbell High School
- Castle High School
- Kahuku High & Intermediate School
- Kailua High School
- Kalāheo High School
- Kapolei High School
- Leilehua High School
- Mililani High School
- Nānākuli High & Intermediate School
- Olomana High & Intermediate School
- Pearl City High School
- Waiʻanae High School
- Waialua High and Intermediate School
- Waipahu High School
- Planned East Kapolei High School
- Planned High School
- Friendship Christian School
- Hanalani Schools
- Hale O Ulu School
- Island Pacific Academy
- Lanakila Baptist High School
- Le Jardin Academy
- Niʻihau High & Elementary
- Kapaʻa High School
- Kauaʻi High School
- Waimea High School
- Island School
- Kahili Adventist School
- Kula High & Kula Intermediate School
- Molokaʻi High School
- Lānaʻi High and Elementary School
- Henry Perrine Baldwin High School
- Hāna High and Elementary School
- King Kekaulike High School
- Lahainaluna High School
- Maui High School
- Kihei Charter School Kihei
- Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus
- Maui Preparatory Academy
- Anthony High School
- Seabury Hall College Preparatory School
- Hilo High School
- Honokaʻa High & Intermediate School
- Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School
- Ke Kula o Ehunuikaimalino
- Keaʻau High School
- Kealakehe High School
- Kohala High School
- Konawaena High School
- Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
- Pāhoa High & Intermediate
- Waiakea High School
- The High School of the Pacific
- Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (HPA)
- Hualalai Academy
- Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus
- Makua Lani Christian Academy
- Parker School
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your child's Hawaii high school is handled properly and that the accused student's interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at high schools where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at high schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused student is found responsible or not responsible for Title IX charges.
Unfortunately, some parents make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct allegations and Title IX charges would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at schools throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused high school student's academic future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, 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 attorney advisor to high school students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Hawaii and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National High School Title IX Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.