Are you aware that more than 20,000 students are now participating in ROTC programs at U.S. colleges and universities? These students accept a military service obligation in exchange for scholarships and other forms of assistance. Maryland is home to several post-secondary institutions that offer programs for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard. Students enrolled at other schools that do not offer ROTC programs are also able to access this curriculum through institutional partnership agreements.
About Title IX
Educational institutions in the U.S. are tasked with Title IX compliance to maintain eligibility for federal funding. Title IX was a civil rights amendment established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education to stop sexually-based discrimination. Institutions each designate a Title IX Coordinator who creates and maintains documented procedures for investigating and impartially ruling on these matters.
Violations may include precluding or otherwise obstructing someone's participation in programs or access to benefits based on their gender or sexual identity. Sexual harassment is a violation that may involve promoting false stereotypes or making unwanted sexual advances.
Acts of physical violence such as sexual assault are deemed as harassment and also may have criminal ramifications. These are associated with victims that have not granted consent to participate in sexual activity or are incapable of giving consent due to age, incapacitation or cognitive deficiency.
Parties to these actions may choose an advisor that will act in a support role. Retaining legal representation that is well-versed in these matters should occur promptly once allegations are made. This timing is important to ensure you are adequately prepared to issue clear statements and effectively respond to questions. Your student rights attorney may also potentially enter discussions to negotiate a favorable resolution.
Title IX and ROTC Disenrollment
A “preponderance of the evidence” standard is most commonly employed to prove allegations. If the accusations are proven, the student is likely to be suspended or expelled from the school. Students in an ROTC program will subsequently face the process of disenrollment for breaching their military contracts.
Disenrollment results in the loss of eligibility to become a commissioned officer. The student also may be obligated to repay all the benefits they have received and be compelled to serve in active duty. The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have specific provisions that relate to the disenrollment process. Your attorney will be crucial for protecting your right to due process and advocating for your best interests.
Universal Aspects of the ROTC Disenrollment Process
- Inquiries and rulings are overseen by a “board of officers or investigating officer”
- Students have a right to “appear personally before the board or officer”
- All orders for monetary reimbursement or obligations to complete active-duty service are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Military Department
Experienced Defense Advisor in for ROTC Students in Maryland
ROTC students may have their plans quickly disrupted by allegations of a Title IX violation. Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned defense attorney that will build an effective strategy of defense in these matters. Please contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Maryland colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in bold have Army, Navy, and/or Air Force ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- Anne Arundel Community College (GMC)
- Bowie State University
- Capitol Technology University
- Coppin State University
- Frostburg State University
- Goucher College
- Hood College
- Johns Hopkins University
- Loyola University Maryland
- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
- Maryland University of Integrative Health
- McDaniel College
- Morgan State University
- Mount St. Mary's University
- Notre Dame of Maryland University
- Prince George's Community College
- St. John's College
- St. Mary's College of Maryland
- Salisbury University
- Stevenson University
- Towson University
- United States Naval Academy (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- University of Baltimore
- University of Maryland, Baltimore
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- University of Maryland, College Park
- University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
- University of Maryland, University College
- University of Maryland, Biotechnology Institute
- University of Maryland, Environmental Science
- USM Hagerstown
- Universities at Shady Grove
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; ROTC 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 ROTC 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 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 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 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 ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career is at stake. 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, New Jersey, 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 advisor to students facing sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings,and disciplinary cases in Maryland and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.