Title IX: Sexual Misconduct

Title IX is federal legislation that sets standards on how colleges, universities, and other academic institutions handle sexual discrimination and sexual violence on campus. Specifically, the law requires any school receiving federal funding to keep in compliance with its regulations. Specifically, when someone refers to Title IX, they are referring to the statute 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a):

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

This specific passage has led to further developments in more strict policies on sexual misconduct and discrimination in colleges and universities across the nation. Schools must have certain practices in place under Title IX regulations, some of these include:

  • Clear and Speedy Measures for Sexual Misconduct Allegations
  • Schools Must Designate Personnel to Handle Sexual Violence
  • Standard of Evidence in Title IX Hearings Should be "More Likely Than Not" or "Preponderance of Evidence"
  • Both Parties Should Have Access to the Same Measures (Advisors, Appeals, Evidence Presentation)

Title IX regulations also take measures to protect students from any retaliation for filing a Title IX complaint as well.

Unfortunately, allegations of sexual misconduct can destroy a student's reputation and future career opportunities before criminal charges are even discussed. Many schools will try their hardest to expel or suspend students accused of sexual misconduct, in order to stay in compliance with Title IX. Your student's future may hang in the balance for something that could be just an honest mistake or an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Title IX Violations

When it comes down to disciplinary action on Title IX violations, college and universities will crack down even harder than they would on a regular code violation. An alleged Title IX violation almost always carries a potential penalty of expulsion, if the hearing committee does not rule in favor of the student. Most hearings on sexual misconduct for schools are scrutinized more strictly than a normal code violation. Some schools will even have a dedicated panel or hearing format for Title IX hearings that mirrors a standard violation process. One key factor in Title IX cases is that attorneys are almost always allowed to attend the hearings for these allegations, as everything is on the line. Because of this, it is of utmost importance to obtain legal counsel immediately when facing these allegations.

If you or your student is currently facing allegations of a Title IX violation, their future may be in jeopardy. There is no reason that a misunderstanding or mistake should ruin your chances at a career or future in academia. When the schools stack their cards against you, you will want the help of a skilled and experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

The following links provide information regarding how individual New Jersey and Pennsylvania schools handle allegations of Title IX Sexual Misconduct against students, and additional information regarding the Title IX disciplinary process in general:

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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