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What Do I Do If My Child Has Received a Title IX Complaint?

When a college student receives a Title IX complaint, it can be stressful for both the student and parents, who may not be aware of what this means. This federal law prohibits discrimination in Greek organizations, sports, extracurricular clubs, and other educational activities and programs. If you are wondering what to do when your child receives a Title IX complaint, you may want to consider reaching out to The Forrester Law Firm at 609-613-1513 to ensure your child’s legal rights are protected.

What Is Title IX?

According to the Federal Register, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in school activities and education programs that receive federal financial assistance. Universities and colleges that are recipients of this assistance are required to address sexual harassment in educational programs and activities as a form of sex discrimination, and promptly respond to students who claim to be sexual harassment victims. Recipients must promptly resolve sexual harassment allegations in an accurate manner under a fair and predictable grievance process providing both alleged victims and perpetrators due process protections. All of this can be very confusing and alarming for parents of college and university students. Schools are required to staff a Title IX coordinator under current Title IX regulations.

What Parents Should Tell Their College-Age Children About Title IX

Sexual harassment, date rape, and other sexual misconduct is not uncommon in colleges and universities. Sometimes the allegations are false, sometimes they are not. Regardless, a college student should never have to defend him- or herself on their own. Title IX is difficult enough for parents to decipher, let alone their children. Colleges and universities often do not mention or emphasize the importance of telling their parents they have been accused of or are a victim of sexual abuse. Be sure to tell your child that if they are sexually assaulted or have been accused of sexual assault, they must tell you.

College-age children are not capable of defending themselves against these allegations. Campuses do not typically counsel those involved and offer no assistance when it comes to kids defending themselves. When a child receives a Title IX complaint, most of the time accusations of sexual assault result in a hearing, with the accused child attempting to defend himself without the help of legal counsel. Although it is difficult for a college-age student to tell parents they have been accused of sexual assault, assure them that they MUST tell you so that you can secure the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Parents and Title IX Complaints: What to Do Now

The American Bar Association claims that sexual misconduct is a growing concern among colleges and universities in the United States, particularly since the #MeToo movement in recent years. Students are more likely to report incidents involving sexual assault, which leaves parent whose children have been accused wondering what action should be taken.

  • Consider contacting a lawyer right away. The importance of obtaining legal guidance can help you understand all of your legal rights. Seasoned New Jersey Title IX defense attorneys know the importance of mitigating the damage and providing a strong defense in from the very beginning, before an unfavorable ruling is entered. A skilled attorney will prepare you for questioning and how to respond effectively; your lawyer will also ensure that you can deliver an opening statement in a way that is confident and convincing.
  • Document every detail. From phone calls and texts to emails and documents, all forms of communication should be documented. Students should never meet with any college official alone. Be firm and insist that all verbal conversation is taped. Every little detail regarding the sexual misconduct case must be documented.
  • Know that it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. In order to protect your child's name and reputation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the university or college. No parent wants their child to be disgraced and labeled a sexual predator. Those who are branded as sex offenders have a very difficult time finding employment and housing; your child will go through life without the benefit of a college education.
  • Understand that there may be penalties and sanctions imposed. A student who is accused of sexual misconduct may be suspended, or in some cases expelled from the college or university. A student may also have their eligibility for student housing revoked or be placed on probation. This is a very difficult and emotional time; an experienced Title IX attorney at The Forrester Law Firm will help you and your child navigate what is a very complex and challenging legal situation.

Colleges and universities are required to provide students accused of sexual assault, date rape, or other sexual misconduct with a fair hearing. Although both parties have the right to representation by an attorney in that hearing, the university is not required to provide that legal representation to the student accused of a violation, and will have its own attorneys present. You should consider visiting with an experienced Title IX lawyer who will ensure the student's legal rights are protected and advocate on your behalf.

Consider Scheduling a Consultation Today

It is important for parents to know that colleges and universities do not always play by the rules. Some have destroyed evidence in the past that could have proved beneficial to an accused student. There have been instances in which colleges have done things that were improper because it was in the best interest of the college or university, or to placate an accusing student and the Department of Education (DOE).

It is completely understandable that you do not know what to do when your child receives a Title IX complaint; no parent expects to find themselves in this precarious situation. When your child is falsely accused of egregious behavior, it is normal to want to go to the college yourself and straighten everything out. This is not recommended, as it is likely tempers will flare and the entire situation made worse. Parents in this stressful situation may want to consider scheduling a consultation with a New Jersey Title IX attorney at The Forrester Law Firm, 609-613-1513.

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