Accused of Harassment in a School Setting?
Title IX provides, in pertinent part: “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.” Section 1681(a), 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in a school setting.
Once a report of a Title IX violation occurs, schools are required to take steps to ensure that the situation is addressed so as to stop further violations from occurring.
An individual accused of a Title IX violation can expect a rapid investigation and hearing process. This process is usually completed within a sixty (60) day period.
During the investigation and hearing process, the individual accused of the violation is afforded certain rights which include:
- To be provided a copy of the policies and procedures that guide the investigation and hearing process.
- To be interviewed during the investigation process.
- To be provided a copy of the complaint and allegations.
- To have the opportunity to rebut the allegations.
- To be provided a full opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence at the hearing.
Often, an individual accused of a Title IX violation will attempt to face these allegations alone, without the aid of an experienced attorney.
Often, an attorney is not engaged until after an unfavorable decision has been rendered by the school or university. Involving an attorney from the very beginning of the Title IX process is vital.
An attorney can become involved in the initial interview process, prepare a client for the interview, and help control the flow of information. An attorney can also assess if it is appropriate for his client to be involved in an interview, especially if the accusations are severe and there is a possibility of a criminal prosecution. An attorney can converse with counsel for the school and, if the circumstances find it necessary, attempt to negotiate the most favorable outcome. Finally, an attorney can organize witnesses and conduct the hearing on your behalf in an effort to rebut the Title IX claims.
Attorneys Maura B. Mundy of the Dethlefs-Pykosh Law Group and Vincent Champion of the Champion Law Office are experienced in defending individuals accused of Title IX violations.