Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that condemns discrimination on the “basis of sex” committed by and/or against students that attend federally funded colleges and universities. The majority of higher education institutions in the country are funded by the government in some capacity, which means that most colleges and universities in the nation are obligated to comply with Title IX regulations.
In recent years, it's been determined that sexual misconduct - in all of its variations - is technically sex discrimination. This means that actions that constitute sexual misconduct are a direct violation of Title IX, and therefore must be adjudicated by the school, according to current guidelines.
Offensive touching is a common form of sexual misconduct that Title IX coordinators receive complaints of on campus. In the event that a complaint is filed alleging offensive touching, the accused student and the accuser will undergo what's known as the Title IX process to ultimately come up with a finding. This process entails an investigation and possibly a hearing where the institution will determine, based on the evidence gathered, if the accused is “responsible” for violation Title IX.
What Is Offensive Touching?
The concept of what is “offensive” may be subjective, but under most school policy, it is defined straightforward and simply. Generally, a touch is offensive when it is sexual, unwanted and done in an offensive or harmful way. The requirement for offensive touching is also pretty easily met. It does not have to cause or intend to cause pain or injury, and it doesn't even have to be forceful. Physical contact with something connected to a victim - such as clothing - could also constitute offensive touching at most schools. Groping, fondling, a smack on the butt, are all examples of physical contact that could constitute the violation of offensive touching.
Throughout the Title IX process, it's important that accused students remember that they have due process rights. Although most schools are expected to thoroughly follow their own policy, sometimes pressure from the Education Department, timing restrictions, and other factors may lead to an unfair process and result. This is why accused students need the help of an attorney advisor to ensure that the process stays equitable and that the school is held accountable if it deviates from federal rules.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.