College Park Title IX Academic Penalties
Students accused of violating Title IX provisions in College Park may not be certain how the outcome of the proceedings will affect their future. Unfortunately, without a crystal ball, no one can predict the full impact of any penalties assessed or even the consequences caused by the investigation itself.
However, accused students may take steps to reduce the effect of College Park Title IX academic penalties, including consulting with an experienced attorney. Students who understand how to protect their rights during a Title IX investigation may be better prepared to face the consequences.
Overview of Title IX Policies
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating against students on the basis of sex. The anti-discrimination provision has been interpreted to include a prohibition against sexual harassment, which includes various forms of sexual abuse and misconduct.
In order to fully comply with Title IX requirements as interpreted over the years, schools must establish policies and procedures for preventing sexual abuse and addressing allegations of sexual abuse. College Park Title IX academic penalties are part of that policy scheme.
Title IX Academic Penalties vs. Criminal Penalties
The U.S. Department of Education does not require schools to provide the same rights to those accused of a Title IX violation as individuals have when they are prosecuted for a violation of criminal law. Many criminal violations carry the potential for imprisonment. By contrast, schools do not have the authority to incarcerate students judged to have violated Title IX.
Because the penalties that schools may assess are not considered as dire as the imprisonment that may be ordered by government law enforcement agencies, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights finds it permissible for schools to set lower standards for protecting the rights of accused students. Individual schools establish the academic penalties applicable to students they determine to have violated their Title IX policies.
Academic Penalties in College Park
Under the University of Maryland College Park Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures guide, potential sanctions for Title IX violations vary depending on whether the party judged to be responsible for the violation is an employee of the school or a student. Employees found responsible face disciplinary action which could be as minor as a reprimand or as severe as termination of employment.
College Park Title IX academic penalties will be assessed against students based on the nature and circumstances involved with the violation. Potential sanctions include:
- Suspension from the University
- Expulsion from the University
- Removal from University housing
- Community service requirements
- Participation in sexual misconduct education programming
Any of these disciplinary actions are likely to appear on a student’s record. Evidence of Title IX sanctions may interfere with employment opportunities, further education, scholarships, housing, loans, and even volunteer opportunities and personal relationships. The effects of academic penalties may negatively impact a student’s future as much or more than criminal penalties would.
Fighting the Imposition of College Park Title IX Academic Penalties
Though schools are under pressure to come down hard on perceived Title IX offenders, accused students do have rights and opportunities to fight the allegations against them. It is in a student’s best interests to take advantage of every available opportunity. Often students find it helpful to work with an experienced Title IX defense attorney who understands how to create the best defensive strategy within the College Park system. For instance, an attorney could provide advice about answering questions in a manner that avoids self-incrimination.
Students have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft report of a Title IX investigation, and to submit a written response to the final report. These written responses become part of the record considered during adjudication, and a knowledgeable attorney could help with creating a response that addresses the most important factors supporting a student’s defense.
In addition, students found to be responsible for a violation have the chance to submit a Mitigation Statement describing factors that should be considered when assessing College Park Title IX academic penalties. Assistance from an experienced advocate could help the student present the mitigating factors in the most effective manner to help reach a positive outcome.