Title IX policies specifically protect at-risk parties from sexual harassment and discrimination in educational environments. Universities are perhaps the best-known institutions to interact with Title IX policies, but K-12 and graduate environments alike benefit from the oversights of these policies.
How can you benefit from a Title IX policy, though? Moreover, if you’ve fallen victim to sexual harassment or discrimination at the hands of an educational authority, how do Title IX policies allow you to take action? Let’s break down Title IX’s usability so that in the face of unwarranted and even traumatic mistreatment, you can hold an offending party accountable for their actions.
What Behavior Does Title IX Specifically Ban?
Title IX policies stem from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The language in this title specifically phrases your protection from sexual harassment as follows:
“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[.]”
This specifically means that if you fall victim to harassment in the form of exclusion, denied benefits, and/or discrimination while pursuing your education based on your sex, you may have the right to take legal action against the offending party.
“Sex” refers to a person’s biological sex and gender. The definition of the term has since expanded to further protect vulnerable parties from harassment and/or discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Notably, you can also invoke Title IX protections if you find yourself contending with another party’s unwanted sexual advancements or harassment.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Does Title IX Solely Protect Women and Minority Students?
Title IX policies do not solely protect women and minorities. Anyone who finds themselves the victim of unwanted sexual attention and/or misconduct has the right to pursue civil action as permitted by these policies. Your school should make Title IX resources available to everyone and should not move to deny any parties access to the tools they need to recover.
If you find that your efforts to pursue action under Title IX policies have been hindered because of your gender and/or sexuality, bring your concerns to the attention of an attorney. Our team can assess the bias brought against you. In some cases, we can take action both against the party that sexually harassed you and the party who tried to prevent your recovery.
Are Schools Required to Have Title IX Procedures in Place?
Educational institutions throughout the United States must have Title IX procedures in place to protect applicable parties from sexual aggression and/or misconduct. If you find that your institution doesn’t have the appropriate policies in place after an incident with another party, you may have the right to bring that lack of protection to an attorney’s attention.
An institution that doesn’t make an effort to protect vulnerable parties from sexual misconduct can be as liable for a victim’s losses as the person who violated federal Title IX policies in the first place.
What Can Authority Figures Do If You Go to Them With Evidence of a Title IX Violation?
Authority figures at your institution must take immediate action after you report a Title IX violation. Any authority figure who fails to act when you report sexual harassment or similar mistreatment can later be held accountable for delaying your case.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Can Schools Retaliate Against Title IX Reports?
No educational institution nor related body has the right to take retaliatory action against someone who brings Title IX violations to the authorities’ attention. In fact, institutions that attempt to retaliate against a reporting body can face legal consequences for their misconduct.
Retaliation in the face of a Title IX report can include:
- Dismissal from your job
- Expulsion or suspension from an educational program
- Revocation of grant funding and/or related scholarships
- Industry blackballing
Should you find yourself contending with an instance of retaliation, you can discuss alleged instances of retaliation with an attorney. Our team can determine whether or not the behavior in question qualifies as retaliation and, if so, what steps you can take in response.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Do You Have to Meet With the Offending Party Upon Pursuing Action Under Title IX Policies?
Neither representatives of your educational institution nor members of an attending legal committee have the right to demand that, upon your pursuit of legal action against another party, you seek out mediation instead of a trial. Mediation would require you to communicate with the party who allegedly harmed you either in person or via a go-between.
The rules that deny certain parties the right to prioritize mediation over a trial are designed to protect you. Empathetic parties understand that in the face of Title IX violations, seeing the person who allegedly did you harm can trigger PTSD relapses and even impede Title IX legal proceedings.
If you find yourself being coerced into seeing the party who violated your rights under Title IX, tell the authorities and an attorney as soon as possible. Our team can step in and ensure that other parties involved in your case respect your right to recovery.
Are There Benefits to Bringing a Title IX Attorney Onto Your Case?
Collaborating with an attorney during Title IX proceedings makes this process significantly less stressful. When you know you can turn to an experienced lawyer with your questions about your case or concerns about an at-fault party, it’s easier to feel safer as proceedings progress. Our attorneys can specifically contribute to your case by:
- Communicating with applicable parties on your behalf
- Protecting you from unnecessary contact with threatening or intimidating parties
- Researching Title IX precedent and applying it to your case
- Keeping you on top of relevant filing deadlines
- Representing you before legal authorities and academic representatives
At the same time, we understand that you might be concerned about the financial burden of bringing an experienced attorney onto your case. We understand how financial stress can discourage you from seeking out the help you need. You can discuss your financial situation with our team before we take your case in a free case consultation.
Learn More About Title IX and Your Right to Action
Title IX policies are designed to protect at-risk parties from mistreatment and sexual harassment. In the face of harassment and/or assault, you have the right to bring your concerns regarding a Title IX violation forward both to your applicable institution and to an attorney.
Our Title IX attorneys can even help you present your concerns to applicable authority members to better spearhead action against that offending party.
For more information about Title IX and how White Law PLLC can help you address Title IX violations, contact our firm. You can reach us by using our online contact form or by calling our office. We are prepared to help you combat the mistreatment you’ve suffered.
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