Title IX of the Education Amendments mandates sex equality within federally funded colleges and universities. Since the vast majority of higher education institutions in the country are funded by the government in some capacity, most colleges and universities are obligated to comply with Title IX regulations.
As of late, 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 resolved by the school according to current guidelines.
Stalking 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 stalking, the accused student and accuser will undergo what's known as the Title IX process to ultimately come up with a finding. This process entails an investigation and a potential hearing where the institution will determine, with the evidence collected, if the accused is found “responsible” for violating Title IX.
What Constitutes Stalking?
Stalking is defined as harassment or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. There are two ways a person can stalk: physically or through the internet.
Physical stalking occurs when a person intentionally engages in conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or should reasonably know that it is likely to cause fear to another. Physical stalking can be accomplished by following a victim home, repeatedly calling them, sending numerous text messages to them, or vandalizing their property.
Cyberstalking is similar behavior through the use of the internet or electronic means. Just because cyberstalking doesn't involve physical contact, doesn't mean it's not dangerous in the eyes of administrators. It will be penalized just as harshly as physical stalking. An experienced internet user can find a victim's personal information like their address, phone number, or place of business to locate their whereabouts. Which means that cyberstalking can lead to physical stalking in some cases.
Throughout the Title IX process, it's important for accused students to remember that they are entitled due process rights. Although most schools are expected to thoroughly follow policy, sometimes factors like pressure from the Education Department and timing restrictions may lead to an unfair process and result. This is why accused students need the assistance 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.