Title IX Lessons from Euphoria: Part One

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

The show Euphoria premiered on HBO on June 16, 2019, and since then, the world has been captivated by the storyline, costumes, and simplistic makeup choices for the actors. It is heralded as showcasing how life is for students across the country and how prevalent sexual activity and expression, drug usage, and physical abuse are. So, what happens when these actions are conducted in the real world? Do high schools punish these actions when they uncover them?

Title IX

In the United States, Title IX is a federal regulation that instructs federally funded schools on how to handle sexual misconduct cases on campus. Under Title IX, actions that constitute discrimination on the basis of sex are outlawed, including sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or sexual violence (like rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion). Some schools extrapolate on this to include stalking and sexual exploitation. The goal of the regulations is to provide stronger due process protections for both the victim and the alleged defendant student.

Title IX and Euphoria

There are several “main” characters in Euphoria and several tough scenes to watch them endure each episode. One such instance occurs in the very first episode, when a male character, McKay, shows off nude photos of another student, Cassie. What's worse is that Cassie is definitely under the age of 18 in the photos, making them child pornography and considered a form of sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.

The UN Refugee Agency has defined sexual harassment as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offense or humiliation.” Sharing nude photos of a girl you are in a romantic relationship with to a room full of other individuals, all who know this girl, would fall under sexual harassment, at the very least.

If someone reported this kind of behavior to the school either student attended, the school would have to follow the Title IX regulation's stipulations (provided the school does what it is obligated to do, which is unfortunately not always the case without professional help and oversight). Initially, the school would conduct an investigation into the allegation, search for and interview witnesses, and gather relevant evidence. Once the investigation is complete, K-12 schools would generally determine responsibility based on the investigation report rather than at a formal hearing, and at colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions, students will be informed of a time and date for a formal hearing, which must take place for responsibility to be determined. Who oversees this hearing will depend on the individual schools, but most of the time, it is a committee of impartial faculty and staff.

During the investigation and hearing if one is to take place, both students will be given the same opportunity to work with an attorney-advisor who will help them prepare for interviews and any other steps that would take place during the course of the investigation, and if a hearing is to take place, to present evidence and question parties and witnesses on their behalf.

How a Title IX Attorney-Advisor Can Help

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years helping students across the country who have found themselves accused of a Title IX violation or another act of sexual misconduct. Attorney Lento and his expert team will work tirelessly to prevent you from undergoing any unnecessary consequences or changes to your education. For instance, did you know that students who are found responsible for sexual misconduct most often are suspended or expelled?

Suspensions and expulsions live on your transcript forever and will need to be explained on future applications. In almost all cases, they could affect your ability to get into college or graduate school later on life. Attorney Lento is a skilled Title IX attorney-advisor who will create a strategic defense on your behalf, guaranteeing you the best possible outcome for your case. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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