You’re enjoying your time in college, studying hard, making friends, going to parties and living the dream. One day, you find yourself served with a notice saying that you’re being investigated for a Title IX violation because of an accusation of sexual harassment brought by one of your peers. Suddenly, your scholarship, your position in the school, even your career prospects are all on the line. What are you going to do now?
What is Title IX?
Title IX is an official rule established by the U.S. Department of Education. It outlines certain steps that schools have to take in sexual assault or discrimination allegations if they want to receive federal funding.
Title IX doesn’t just cover claims of misbehavior by teachers. Students can bring Title IX claims against other students. If this happens to you, you will have to undergo a thorough investigation, and you may face official proceedings.
What kind of proceedings am I going to face?
Your university is required to conduct a Title IX investigation into the allegations. However, this investigation is independent of any law enforcement investigations that may occur. Fortunately, you can hire the same attorney to represent you through both parallel proceedings.
It is important to cooperate with the university officials and law enforcement conducting your investigation, and to follow your attorney’s instructions. Don’t post anything about the allegations on social media. Don’t contact your accuser. Lastly, there is no need to withdraw from your school or quit your job while the investigations are underway.
Facing accusations of this magnitude is a huge challenge for anybody. Try not to get discouraged. Although Title IX investigations can be devastating, they don’t have to be the end of your life.