Title IX: Protecting Your Rights and Pursuing Positive Outcomes
Title IX is an educational amendment that aims to eliminate sex or gender-based acts of discrimination in school settings such as admissions, athletic participation, academic programs, and others. The implementation of Title IX started in 1972 under the U.S. Department of Education, while its current guidance and enforcement fall under the responsibility of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). It prohibits any forms of discrimination that obstruct entry or harm equal access.
Moreover, it also addresses serious violent acts committed against unwilling victims like sexual assault. Sexual harassment towards someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is also not tolerated.
Each school has a designated Title IX Coordinator who oversees the administration’s policies on this matter. When a complaint arises, an investigation follows through promptly, fairly and equitably. If the investigation states that the allegations have merit, all parties involved should attend a hearing where they will be entitled to due process.
Federal guidelines indicate that all parties can choose an advisor who will provide support and assistance throughout the process. In line with this, respondents facing allegations under Title IX are encouraged to consult experienced attorneys to act as their advocates. If proven guilty of violating Title IX provisions sanctions may include suspension or expulsion from school.
In recent years, there has been a shift towards protecting both complainants and respondent’s rights with more focus on offering live hearings with cross-examinations available for witnesses in response to complaints about procedures and protections afforded to respondends specifically were heavily criticized.
Due Process Clause Principles
The Fourteenth Amendment ensures due process when depriving individuals of life, liberty or property. Due process is not static but malleable based on time place and circumstance so that it may apply protections accordingly.
Supreme Court Addresses Due Process in Scholastic Disciplinary Actions
Goss v Lopez was a watershed case where high school students were suspended without being afforded adequate opportunity to challenge accusations leveled against them. The court ruled that the students were entitled to public education and therefore required some formal opportunity to review evidence presented at their hearing, in light of the fourteenth amendment’s Due Process Clause.
Types of Due Process Violations in Title IX Actions
Allegations of unfairness have been consistently leveled against the Title IX procedure by respondent students accused of instances relating to sexual misconduct. Accusers referenced a failure of sufficient notice and being unable to confront opposing witnesses or address allegations. In these cases, discipline seems especially arbitrary as there are guidelines for impartial decision-making regarding disciplinary measures taken like those under Title IX.
Many Courts have noted that these proceedings don’t aim to emulate criminal justice ones and thus respondents should not expect mirroring rights with their disciplinary hearings. Nonetheless, multiple claims about due process violations have been denied except when witnesses provided flawed testimony, and the respondent was not allowed to challenge it.
Importance of Having an Experienced Attorney-Adviser
A student that violates Title IX might face plenty of challenges beyond immediate suspension or dismissal from studies. Disciplinary misconduct will get documented in a student’s record and transcript hence hinder admission into a different educational academy; everything must be done right going forward. Prompt consultation with legal representatives knowledgeable about Title IX guidelines comes highly recommended.
Having an attorney as legal representation during this often grueling process affords respondents several benefits:
1) Professional attorneys can re-examine evidence presented by complainants- assessing its credibility
2) Effective interpretation of a school’s procedures ensues with continued advocacy for clients’ rights
3) Negotiations alongside administrators at key points allow a better chance of amicable resolution
4) Attorneys ensure respondents are prepared appropriately to issue confident statements and answer questions correctly during hearings.
Todd Spodek is one of the best options available for people looking for quality assistance in dealing with issues related to Title IX. He specializes in navigating complex systems such as academic institutions ; his availability is only a phone call away. Call their office today on 212-300-5196 for further inquiries or a preliminary legal consultation regarding Title IX actions.
The following table displays some Due Process Violations that may be frequently observed in Title IX hearings, which respondents might face.
Due Process Violation examples:
| Due Processes violation | Explanation |
| — | — |
| Failure to offer notice in advance | Allegations occur without informing the respondent party beforehand of the allegations levied against them. |
| Having no opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. | Respondents’ counsel unable to question witnesses giving evidence contra-client due how questions can pose extra strains on sexual assault complainants. |
| Decisions determined by partial parties | The constituting parts of the hearing are biased, prejudicial or influenced unfairly |
Having access to such a table would have been very useful in outlining and guiding readers through some of the topics rumoured to be major pain points during sentencing hearings and discuss issues related to conduct proceedings at universities where typically consider certain rights granted those accused under both Due Process law and Title IX law