Since the advent of the #MeToo movement, many young men who are students in public schools and at colleges and universities have been accused of sexual assault. Not all of these accusations are true, yet such students may face severe sanctions, or punishments, when facing what’s known as a Title IX legal action by the school.
Such sanctions may be standardized to some degree, given the federal law known as Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funds. Under Title IX, sexual harassment and assault are considered forms of sexual discrimination, and schools can investigate via Title IX procedures.
What are Title IX sanctions?
For examples of Title IX sanctions, look no further than the Sexual Misconduct Policy at Houston’s Rice University, as well as its Code of Student Conduct, where Rice lists the “appropriate” sanctions if a student is found to have violated the university’s code.
If a student is accused of sexual assault under Title IX, school officials handle an investigation “in-house.” These Title IX procedures exist beyond the criminal justice system, but accused students can—and should—get a Houston Title IX defense lawyer to represent them and protect their legal rights.
Possible Title IX sanctions and punishments
As for possible sanctions if a student is found by the university’s investigative body to have violated Rice’s Code of Student Conduct in a Title IX case, they include:
- Expulsion. This means the student is permanently separated from the university.
- Disciplinary suspension. This sanction means the student is temporarily suspended and must leave the university for a specified time. Suspended students cannot attend class or live on campus, cannot participate in student activities on or off campus, and cannot use Rice facilities such as the student center, playing fields and computer labs.
Re-admission after the specified term for suspension is not automatic and could be denied if the terms of the suspension were violated. When re-admission is allowed, there may be additional requirements “to ensure the safety, success and well-being of the student.”
- Loss or suspension of privileges. This means the student is prohibited from attending certain functions, public parties or private gatherings on- or off-campus where alcohol is served; prohibited from consuming alcohol on campus; and prohibited from being on campus under the influence of alcohol.
- Disciplinary probation. This sanction involves barring the student from hosting private gatherings, serving alcohol at parties or being a candidate for or holding elective or appointed office in any university organization during the term of the probation. That term can be a specific period of time or could be indefinite.
- Written reprimand
- Fines or equivalent work penalty. Fines may be imposed and paid to the college, or an equivalent work penalty may be imposed.
- Restitution. To provide recompense, or compensation, a student may be ordered to pay restitution in money or in kind to the university, or to an individual for a loss caused by the student found in violation.
- Required community service work or assignment. This means a student must engage in service to the community, an agency, an institution or the university, or participate in special educational programs.
- Mandatory educational session/counseling. A student may be required to complete an educational or counseling program.
- Mandatory written apology. A student may be required to write a letter of apology, subject to approval.
- Discretionary sanctions. More sanctions may be added in the form of educational activities, work assignments or community service.
According to the university’s code, if a student fails to abide by or fulfill any or all such sanctions, the student could be subjected to further proceedings and additional sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.
Get a Title IX defense lawyer in Texas
As you can see, independently of any possible criminal proceedings after an accusation of sexual assault, a student can face severe sanctions from his or her own university or school in a Title IX case.
However, Title IX procedures allow such students to engage a legal representative to protect their legal rights. That means they can get a Title IX defense lawyer in Houston or other cities in Southeast Texas, including Sugarland, Conroe and The Woodlands.
If you need such help, you’ve come to the right place. The Neal Davis Law Firm has years of experience protecting the legal rights of students accused of sexual misconduct.
Don’t be railroaded by a school’s overly aggressive Title IX procedures which fail to take into account Americans’ long standing legal right to due process. Contact us now at the phone number or email displayed on this page to arrange a private and confidential consultation for your Title IX case.