Understanding Title IX: Protecting against Gender-Based Discrimination
If you’re pursuing higher education, you have the right to learn in an environment that’s free from gender-based discrimination. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that provides this protection. At Spodek Law Group, we understand the importance of providing a safe and equitable learning environment, and Attorney Todd Spodek has the experience necessary to handle any Title IX related legal situation.
What is Title IX?
Title IX 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 subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This law provides multiple protections for individuals, including protections against gender-based discrimination, harassment, and assault.
What Does Title IX Cover?
Title IX covers any educational program, and it provides protection from any form of gender-based discrimination. At Spodek Law Group, we understand that Title IX violations go beyond gender-based discrimination and include Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Sex Harassment, Sexual Violence/Non-consent, and Stalking. Our experienced legal team can help you navigate any Title IX related issue you may face.
Reporting a Title IX Issue
If you feel that you are a victim of a Title IX related crime, contacting the police is encouraged. However, if you wish to file a complaint with the college, contact the Title IX Coordinator. We encourage you to take advantage of the support system provided by the Counseling, Student Health, and Athletic Training professionals. They provide a free and safe environment to talk about your concerns without filing a complaint regarding Title IX. It’s important to note that any Title IX issue reported to designated college employees below also constitutes notice and will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator:
Deans (of academic programs and of students)
College Title IX Coordinator and Designees
Housing/Residence Life Staff to include: Directors, Managers, Assistant Directors, Community Coordinators, Senior Residence Hall Advisors, Residence Hall Advisors
Coaches and Assistant Coaches
Campus Security: 402-375-7216
Will My Report be Confidential?
At Spodek Law Group, we understand the privacy concerns inherent in allegations of sexual violence or sex harassment. If the alleged victim requests confidentiality, asks that the report not be pursued, or declines to participate in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding, the college will document the request. The college will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to reports consistent with such a request, if possible. However, it’s important to evaluate the request and weigh it against the college’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.
How Will the College Respond to My Report?
The college has a responsibility to respond to reports of sexual violence or sex harassment and attend to the needs of all students involved. At Spodek Law Group, we understand that the college will take reports of sexual violence and sex harassment with the utmost seriousness. The student(s) involved will be promptly referred to the appropriate persons or resources for assistance. The college will also ensure that the individual charged with committing such violence or harassment is treated fairly. Individuals are presumed innocent unless proven responsible and will also be referred to appropriate services for assistance. We urge you to review our reporting policies and procedures section for more information on the step-by-step investigation process.
Available Remedies During an Investigation
At Spodek Law Group, we understand that waiting for an investigation to conclude can be a difficult and stressful time. The college will take reasonable steps to provide an equitable and safe environment, should they be necessary, during the investigation. These possible remedies include:
No Contact Orders between individuals
Changes in academic arrangements
Changes in living arrangements
Changes to work schedules
List of supportive resources available within the college and outside support organizations
Consequences for a Title IX Violation
At Spodek Law Group, we understand that consequences for Title IX violations can vary depending on whether the alleged perpetrator is a student or employee. If a student is found responsible for a Title IX violation, they will be referred through the student code of conduct process printed in the Wayne State Student Handbook that is consistent with Nebraska State College System policy 3100 and 3200. If the alleged perpetrator is an employee, other board policies or collective bargaining agreements will determine the due process steps and disciplinary consequences. During the impartial investigation process, both parties will have an opportunity to receive periodic updates and present witnesses and other evidence, as necessary. The complaining party will have a right to know the outcome, including sanctions of the responding party.
How Long Will an Investigation Take?
At Spodek Law Group, we understand that Title IX investigations can be complex or straightforward, which can create variations with the timeline. However, the college is committed to a complete and impartial investigation of reports of Title IX related issues. The college will strive to conclude an investigation within 60 calendar days from when the College has received official notice from a complaining party and an investigation is formally launched.
Protection Against Retaliation
At Spodek Law Group, we understand that retaliation for filing a report is a concern for many individuals. However, Title IX prohibits retaliation for reporting parties and any individuals participating in an investigation. The college will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs. If you believe you are experiencing retaliation for filing a report, please contact the Title IX coordinator immediately.
In conclusion, Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek have the experience necessary to handle any Title IX related legal situation. Title IX protects individuals from any form of gender-based discrimination and provides multiple protections for individuals to work to provide a safe and equitable learning environment. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a Title IX related crime, contact the Title IX Coordinator to obtain information about the investigation process and ensure you have the necessary support. Remember, at Spodek Law Group, we are committed to helping individuals navigate any Title IX related issue they may face with professionalism, empathy, and a deep understanding of the law.