You worked tirelessly to make sure your student's academic future is secured. The tedious application college application process, numerous parent-teacher conferences, and the encouraging nudges to your son or daughter to work hard are all worth it when you see them off to college.
As you patiently wait for the day they walk across the graduation stage, you receive a phone call that changes everything. In a panic, your college student tells you that they're under a Title IX investigation for sexual misconduct. At that moment, all the blood, sweat, and tears that you and your child sacrificed to get there is on the line. Now what?
Whether your first impulse is to reprimand them or to provide words of comfort, it's always important to step back and consider how your college student may be feeling. Your child is likely scared of what's to come and embarrassed that they have to disclose details of their sex life to you. They're also probably saddened that they're burdening you with these allegations, but they're reaching out cause they need your help.
If you've recently discovered that your college student has been accused of sexual misconduct, you may not completely understand the process or how to get involved. We'll give you a quick rundown of the Title IX resolution process in your child's school, and a few pointers to consider along the way.
The Title IX Process
Title IX is a federal law that requires federally funded colleges and universities to adjudicate sexual misconduct complaints on campus. According to federal guidelines, here's how the process is generally carried out in your student's school:
1. Interim measures
Once an institution receives notification of a complaint, its main priority becomes protecting an alleged victim and the campus community from potential retaliation. One of the methods of protection endorsed by schools is the enactment of interim measures. These measures are intended to minimize the interactions between people responding to allegations (respondents) and all other parties listed in a complaint. The extent of restrictiveness these measures may induce depends on the unique circumstances of each case. Respondents have been subject to drastic disruptions in their student life by having to obey measures like housing reassignments, changes in their work or class schedules, limited access to certain areas of campus, or an outright suspension in response to a complaint.
2. An investigation or hearing
In colleges, the Title IX matter will be resolved with either an investigation or hearing.
Institutions that resolve matters by means of an investigation will have one carried out by an objective party or firm. All parties listed in the complaint will be thoroughly interviewed. Based on the facts collected through these interviews and the collection of evidence, the investigator will release a finding that dictates whether or not a respondent is “responsible” or “not responsible” for violating Title IX.
Schools that resolve matters via hearing do things much differently. A hearing panel comprised of students or staff will listen to witness accounts, statements, and the presentation during a hearing. Based on what they gather, they will deliberate and come up with a determination.
It's important for you to identify how your student's school resolves these matters.
An appeal is a request for a panel or investigator to reconsider their decision based on an error made at some point during the process. Your college student is afforded the right to appeal a final decision if he or she feels a determination or sanction was unjustified or unwarranted.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
Your involvement in these matters can make all the difference in the outcome. The Title IX process is flawed and isn't guaranteed to be fair for respondents. Making the decision to retain an attorney will maximize your student's chances of an equitable process. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped numerous students across the nation navigate the system by preparing them for hearing, investigations, and teaching them how to adequately defend themselves. He can also contact the school's attorney to sort out special arrangements, initiate negotiations and more. He's helped many student respondents come out on top and he can do the same for your child. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.