Recently, there has been a drawn-out squabble over the Title IX coverage at a private North Carolina high school. Three former students have argued that the school failed to address sexual harassment allegations while receiving federal funding. In doing so, the school may have violated those students' civil rights.
Historically, as a private school with much of its own capital, the school has not been under a legal obligation to follow Title IX. However, due to the school's recent acceptance of a Paycheck Protection Program loan during the pandemic, the plaintiffs in the case are arguing that the school did accept federal funding and the associated obligation.
Why is this a big deal? Why doesn't the school simply pay the amount requested in the suit and move on?
Title IX Funding Provides Strong Motive for Schools to Pursue Alleged Offenders
The thing is, it's about far more than just one lawsuit. Title IX, a federal rights law first established as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, creates a clear link between the way schools handle sexual misconduct cases and the funding they get from the government. According to the U.S. Department of Education, schools that receive federal funding must follow Title IX — which involves prompt responses to any allegations of sexual misconduct.
If a school fails to follow Title IX's governance (e.g., by failing to address sexual misconduct allegations in a timely manner), their federal funding could be lost in a flash.
And that funding can be a large chunk of money to say goodbye to. Certainly an amount of money worth fighting for. According to the New York Times, private schools across were able to cash in on PPP funding dramatically, often to the tune of millions of dollars.
There are schools that would do a lot to remain eligible for that kind of money. If your school is handling your case poorly in an effort to protect their finances, you need to be able to do something about it.
Rely on Attorney Joseph D. Lento for Support When Your School is Pursuing Allegations Aggressively
If you're involved in a tense Title IX case, you should be aware of the reasons why your school might be pursuing your case so aggressively. Since your actions could affect your school's funding, your school might be prepared to steamroll over your rights when adjudicating your sexual misconduct infraction. Your school may also take an ever-changing, confusing stance on the way it treats you and your civil rights, depending on whether it received money from the government in a given year. This can make it very hard to work towards the compensation or successful outcome that is rightfully yours.
At the Lento Law Firm, we won't stand for that kind of injustice. The fact that your school could stand to lose money shouldn't increase the scrutiny you're under — or the life-changing sanctions your school may make you face.
To learn more about your rights and to work towards a strong defense, call National Title IX Attorney Joseph D. Lento at 888-535-3686 or contact the Lento Law Firm online.