High School title ix advisor Massachusetts

High School title ix advisor Massachusetts

Understanding Title IX and Massachusetts State Law

Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that aims to promote gender equity in athletics, employment, admission, and financial aid decisions at federally funded schools. The law, enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination based on sex. Originally designed to improve gender equality at K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, Title IX has evolved to include cases of sexual harassment, assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and bullying.

At Spodek Law Group, we understand the importance of upholding the rights of Massachusetts high school students under Title IX regulations and state law. If a school is aware of or should have known about harassment or assault that falls under Title IX, it has a legal obligation to investigate the incident and remediate the situation if necessary.

Massachusetts law covers student discipline and procedures, and while it doesn’t specifically address Title IX investigations, it still affects how high schools handle and investigate Title IX student claims. If a student is charged with a felony, the high school principal may suspend the student under Massachusetts law and provide written notice of the charges, the reason for suspension, and appeal rights. In case of a conviction, the principal can expel the student and offer the same appeal rights to the superintendent.

A school principal may also suspend or expel a student for violating the school code of conduct or for reasons other than a felony charge or conviction. The same statute directs schools to develop rules and regulations outlining the procedures to follow, which Massachusetts high schools often use to resolve Title IX complaints.

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New Title IX Regulations for Massachusetts High Schools

Under the newly issued Title IX regulations, Massachusetts high schools must internally address sexual assault cases, whether or not law enforcement pursues charges or investigates. If a student makes a Title IX claim, the school must notify the parents of all students involved in the incident, as well as any evidence the school is gathering. The accused student must have ten days to respond to the allegations.

If a school issues punishment for a Title IX sexual assault, it must notify the victim in writing. All schools must keep written records of Title IX actions for at least seven years, and the Title IX incident investigator cannot also determine whether the student is responsible. This delineation allows for a more neutral decider but may also necessitate that some Massachusetts school systems hire additional Title IX staff.

Whenever any district employee learns of a potential sexual harassment or assault incident, the high school must investigate the claim, regardless of who reports it. Even bus drivers and office staff may have reporting obligations under Title IX.

Massachusetts high schools must investigate possible Title IX incidents that happen off-campus if the event is associated with school, including athletic events, field trips, conferences, and music competitions.

Schools must provide various accessible options for reporting sexual harassment, including writing, verbally, via email, or via phone reports. Anyone can report a possible Title IX incident, including parents, students, sexual assault survivors, friends, and bystanders.

The final regulations the DOE issued removed some of the more controversial measures for K-12 schools, including live hearings and cross-examination of witnesses. The new regulations went into effect on August 14, 2020.

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Keeping Massachusetts High Schools Accountable

Compliance with Title IX regulations, state law, and local regulations can be challenging to follow. At Spodek Law Group, we understand the importance of ensuring every student’s due process rights. If you or your child face a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding, or even criminal charges, you must consult an experienced Title IX and student rights attorney or advisor.

Experienced Title IX and Students Rights Attorney

At Spodek Law Group, we are committed to protecting the rights of students and ensuring they receive a fair and just investigation and hearing process. Attorney Todd Spodek is well-versed in student rights law and federal Title IX laws and regulations. He has resolved hundreds of Title IX cases at schools across the country through negotiation, investigation, and hearings.

If you or your child is facing a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding, you need an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights. Attorney Lento has a deep understanding of Title IX regulations and state law and will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.

Massachusetts High Schools We Serve

At Spodek Law Group, we are proud to serve students at Massachusetts high schools across the state. Some of the districts we serve include, but are not limited to:

  • Boston Public Schools
  • Cambridge Public Schools
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • Springfield Public Schools
  • Lynn Public Schools

Don’t Wait – Contact Us Today

It is critical to make sure that the Title IX investigation at your child’s Massachusetts high school is handled correctly and that the accused student’s interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. Waiting to take action can result in severe consequences for the accused student.

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If you or your child is facing a Title IX investigation or disciplinary proceeding, contact Spodek Law Group today. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process and advocate for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Todd Spodek.

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