Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in federally funded colleges and universities. Since the majority of institutions in the country are funded by the government in some capacity, most schools are required to abide by Title IX regulations.
Sexual misconduct, in all of its forms, is technically gender discrimination under Title IX. This means that any actions that could possibly constitute sexual misconduct are a direct violation of Title IX, and therefore must be adjudicated by the school, according to current federal guidelines.
Unfortunately, Title IX coordinators receive a large quantity of complaints about physical and/or aggressive sexual advances on campus. And since this conduct qualifies as sexual misconduct, all involved parties must undergo what's known as the Title IX process. This process entails an investigation and depending on the school, a hearing, to ultimately determine if an accused student is “responsible” for violating school policy.
What are Physical and/or Aggressive Sexual Advances?
Sexual advances are any unwelcome gestures aimed at another person with hopes of gaining sexual favor or gratification. Although sexual advances are wrong in every aspect, when they become physical and/or aggressive, they constitute sexual harassment. Sometimes victims hesitate to report sexual advances because they can be very subtle. A perpetrator may pass it off as a joke or a sly comment, in an attempt to make a victim feel their behavior is harmless.
Some examples of sexual advances include:
- Inappropriate touching or contact
- Staring in a suggestive or offensive manner
- Questions about past sexual history
- Comments about another person's clothing, appearance, or body parts
- Sharing sexually inappropriate videos or pictures
- Lewd jokes
- Any comments about gender identity or sexual orientation
The single most important thing that you, as an accused student, should remember is that you are entitled to due process rights. In the midst of resolution, some students have reported that because of the nature of the process, pressure from the government, timing restrictions, and other factors, their rights have been infringed upon. Alas, this is not a rare phenomenon. If you have been accused of the misconduct mentioned above, you need the help of an experienced attorney who understands what it takes to protect your rights. Ensuring that the process is equitable and that your school is held accountable for unfair processes and results will make all the difference in your outcome.
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.