Students from other countries travel to Mississippi to seize the benefits offered by the United States education system. In turn, these students better state colleges and universities by diversifying them and contributing a fresh, valuable perspective to these academic environments.
Federal law Title IX protects native Mississippi students just as it does for international students. This is the case with international students who are accusers, known as “complainants,” and students who have been accused, commonly referred to as “respondents.”
Sexual misconduct accusations can have serious consequences for any student accused of sexual misconduct. However, international students must be aware of how Title IX specifically impacts them.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal civil rights law that protects all college and university students from gender-based discrimination, regardless of their national origin, immigration status, or citizen status. Sexual misconduct can be constituted by the commission of many actions, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence and more. Sexual misconduct can fall under the umbrella of gender-based discrimination in accordance with this law. Therefore, under current guidelines, institutions are required to adjudicate all complaints alleging this misconduct fairly and promptly.
The Effects of Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Mississippi International Students
The experience of being a respondent in sexual misconduct cases without the additional factor of being an international student already comes with its inherent disadvantages. For example, many respondents report being treated less favorably in comparison to complainants despite the fact that Title IX endorses that the interests of these parties are to be equally catered to.
But being a respondent who happens to be an international student comes with unique issues. International students may experience feeling completely alienated, not only due to the nature of the Title IX process but as a result of being unfamiliar with certain American customs. Some international students may be uninformed about the rights they're entitled to, the obligations they're bound to, and the expectations upheld by the institution. And for international students who may not fully understand concepts like evidentiary standards and investigatory procedures entailed in Title IX hearings and processes, being accused can be a very confusing situation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Student Visas
International students have more to lose when accused of sexual misconduct than native students in the exact same predicament.
In order for international students to remain in the United States for their studies, they must acquire a student visa. This visa only remains effective when international students fulfill certain requirements. Among these requirements is the obligation to maintain a full-time course load, which is equivalent to at least 12 academic credit hours per semester. If an international student is found “responsible” for this misconduct, said student's ability to continue their education becomes compromised. A suspension or expulsion can result in an international student losing their visa.
Mississippi Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
Facing accusations of sexual misconduct has serious implications for international students. They can be suspended or expelled from college due to a “responsible” finding, which will put their student visa in jeopardy. If you're an international student who believes that you're innocent and you need legal help, it's imperative you reach out to a legal professional. Attorney Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm can help you make sense of your situation and give you options that will increase your chances of a favorable outcome - contact him today at 888-535-3686 for help.
Mississippi colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your international student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Alcorn State University
- Antonelli College Hattiesburg
- Antonelli College Jackson
- Belhaven University
- Blue Cliff College Gulfport
- Blue Mountain College
- Coahoma Community College
- Copiah Lincoln Community College
- Delta State University
- East Central Community College
- East Mississippi Community College
- Hinds Community College
- Holmes Community College
- Itawamba Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Madison
- Jackson State University
- Jones County Junior College
- Meridian Community College
- Miller Motte Technical College Gulfport
- Millsaps College
- Mississippi College
- Mississippi Delta Community College
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
- Mississippi State University
- Mississippi University for Women
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Northeast Mississippi Community College
- Northwest Mississippi Community College
- Pearl River Community College
- Rust College
- Southeastern Baptist College
- Southwest Mississippi Community College
- Tougaloo College
- University of Mississippi
- University of Phoenix Jackson Campus
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Virginia College Biloxi
- William Carey University
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; international students in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal, or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For international students who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, some international students, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out. Title IX cases can be won, but international students and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.
Fighting passionately for the future of international students at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an international student's academic and professional future and Visa 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 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 to international students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Mississippi and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.