Title IX: Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct Under Title IX

Title IX is the name for federal legislation detailing how colleges, universities, and other higher learning institutions handle and respond to sexual discrimination or violence on campus.  If the school receives federal funding, they are required to remain in compliance or risk having that funding pulled.  Title IX is also known as statue 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).  This statue states:

“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.”

The statue dictates certain practices that schools must have in order to be in compliance.  These include:

  • Precise and quick responses to violations
  • Specifically designated personnel to handle the cases
  • Using a “more likely than not” or “preponderance of evidence” as the standard for evidence presented
  • Both the accuser and the accused have access to the same advisors, appeals, evidence, etc.

Students who file a Title IX violation are also protected from any retaliation.

The Department of Education leans heavily on colleges to resolve any Title IX violation quickly or loose their federal funding.  Because of this pressure, schools will typically try to suspend or expel accused students swiftly in order to stay in compliance.  An honest mistake can suddenly destroy a students social, academic and future reputations and opportunities in a very short amount of time.

Violations of Title IX

The stakes are high for the university and student when a violation of Title IX occurs.  Schools will respond even more harshly than other violations of their code of conduct, and unlike other infractions, this type of misconduct always carries the threat of not only expulsion, but criminal charges as well.  The hearings will be scrutinized more closely and students will find themselves assumed guilty the moment the allegation is made known.  Some schools will even have a dedicated disciplinary panel just for Title IX violations.  Because so much is on the line, attorneys are almost always allowed to attend allegation hearings.  Even if they cannot attend, it is utterly important to seek legal counsel and properly prepare before the first hearing is ever held.

Manchester & Associates Defense

Title IX violations can place entire futures in jeopardy.  Students can be suspended, expelled, burdened with no contact orders, and even face jail time.  What may have been a misunderstanding or mistake can become part of a student’s permanent record, greatly inhibiting any academic or career future.  A skilled attorney is crucial to facing these allegations and winning.  Contact Manchester & Associates today for help if you or your student is facing Title IX violations.

The following links provide more information on Pennsylvania’s schools and the Title IX disciplinary process: