Although dialogue surrounding Title IX and sexual misconduct tends to focus on higher education, cases among K-12 students are still occurring. In fact, in recent years there's been an increase in K-12 students reporting and being accused of sexual misconduct in high schools, middle schools, and even at the elementary school level. Much like college and university students, accusations of committing such misconduct may lead to disciplinary action, ranging in severity from the loss of the right to participate in extracurricular activities to expulsion.
Accused students, whether they be high school aged or adults in college, face the possibility of acquiring criminal charges. Allegations of sexual misconduct will undoubtedly trigger a school investigation due to current federal guidelines. But these cases may lead to criminal accusations on top of school processes. When simultaneous investigations transpire for one student, it isn't uncommon for the juvenile court to dismiss the charge, while the school district imposes disciplinary action or vice versa. Either way, a mark on a student's record or the creation of a juvenile record could jeopardize their plans to go to college, enter certain professions, or even enlist in the military.
As high schools kids undergo their school's process to adjudicate sexual misconduct, it becomes apparent that there are also some fundamental differences between the outcomes of high school investigations in comparison to college investigations. In K-12 cases involving minors, mandatory reporting laws require officials to report to government officials about potential child abuse.
In higher education environments, college students are granted wide discretion on whether or not to report accusations to law enforcement. Juvenile accusers and their parents, on the other hand, don't have a choice. In accordance with state and federal laws, schools with knowledge of an incident must report it to child protection authorities. As a result, some students have been removed from their homes and sent to group homes or juvenile detention centers.
With all that is at stake for high school students, the need for professional advice is great and arguably greater than college students. Given their age and maturity, they are much less prepared to respond to these accusations effectively and tell their side of the story eloquently. Although most of my clientele are university level students and faculty, they too need someone to teach them how to navigate their school's processes and advocate for a fair process and result.
Nationwide Title IX Attorney
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. 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.