The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program was first established by the U.S. Army in the provisions of the National Defense Act of 1916. Across the country, there are now roughly 1,700 post-secondary institutions that have ROTC programs for the branches of the military. Students that have committed to enter these programs must comply with the written rules and requirements of both their school and the military.
A potentially serious allegation that a student could face is a violation of federal Title IX guidelines, which pertain to sexual discrimination. In addition to potentially being suspended or dismissed from the school, ROTC students may also face program disenrollment for breaching their military contracts. Students who are facing such significant ramifications must promptly seek assistance from an attorney that is well-versed in this specific realm of legal practice.
What is Title IX?
Implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education, Title IX requires that all schools establish and maintain written guidelines related to handling accusations of sexually-based discrimination. Institutions that fail to comply will risk losing eligibility for federal education funding. Each school must designate a Title IX Coordinator that facilitates the process of investigating, making a ruling, and potentially imposing sanctions and penalties.
These violations may occur in many ways. An example is when someone is excluded from participation or denied benefits based on their gender or sexual orientation. Title IX prohibits sexual harassment such as acts that promote stereotypes or involve unwanted sexual advances. Harassment may occur violently in incidents including sexual assault.
Process and Standards of Evidence
The majority of schools conduct a hearing where the parties may issue statements and hear witness testimony. An accused student can have an attorney accompany them to all proceedings in an advisory role. Most schools will evaluate alleged violations based on whether they are proven by a preponderance of the evidence standard. In Title IX actions, schools may also opt to use a clear and convincing evidentiary standard.
Possible ROTC Disenrollment
ROTC students that have committed a Title IX violation will then enter the disenrollment process. U.S. Code §2005 outlines the potential adverse consequences including the following:
- Revocation of eligibility for receiving an officer commission
- An obligation to repay the government for financial benefits received such as tuition and scholarships
- An order to complete “active enlisted service” in their branch of the military
How Your Attorney May Assist You
Your attorney will be a tremendous asset in your preparation. It is critical that you are prepared to confidently issue statements and effectively respond to questions. He or she will analyze the strength of the evidence to potentially identify weaknesses or inconsistencies. Your attorney will ensure that you are afforded due process and that you are treated fairly.
Legal Representation for ROTC Students Facing Disenrollment for Violating Title IX
ROTC students that are the subject of disciplinary action may have their long-term plans abruptly shattered. Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned attorney that will aggressively protect your rights and seek a positive outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Pennsylvania colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during sexual misconduct investigations (and also hearings and appeals) include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in italics either have Army, Navy, and/or ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE
- LEHIGH CARBON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
- LUZERNE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
- NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
- PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
- PENN STATE - ABINGTON; ALTOONA; BERKS; BRANDYWINE; ERIE, THE BEHREND COLLEGE; HAZELTON; HARRISBURG; LEHIGH VALLEY; MONT ALTO, WILKES-BARRE; WORTHINGTON
- WILSON COLLEGE
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 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 a ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career are 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 ROTC students facing sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings, and disciplinary cases in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.