School Hearings / Title IX

Charlotte Title IX Lawyers

Trouble at School? Our Dependable Attorneys Can Help

Not all accusations of misconduct end up in a court of law. A student in high school or college may find themselves the subject of an internal investigation that could result in a disciplinary hearing. These hearings are governed by state law and use procedural rules that are difficult to navigate without representation. The outcome may have a serious impact on a student’s future. The rules of evidence are more relaxed and the standard of proof is lower in these hearings than in a criminal court.

Students are frequently accused of acts like:

  • Fighting
  • Possessing guns or drugs on school grounds
  • Theft
  • Academic misconduct
  • Inappropriate behavior towards staff or fellow students

The decision makers who control the fate of the student during these procedures are often employees of the school or university system, and arguably may bring biases to the table that aren’t present in a courtroom. At the end of the hearing, the student faces sanctions including a permanent disciplinary record, a long-term suspension, or even expulsion.

If you or your child has been given notice of a disciplinary hearing, that notice will include information that you have the right to legal counsel. Being proactive in these situations is especially important, since sometimes the hearing dates are set in a window that does not allow for thorough investigation. If you have a hearing date already, you can request a continuance to move the hearing date so that Jetton and Meredith can help you. Our attorneys have experience guiding students through these hearings and we will fight hard for you!

Title IX Investigation at School? We Can Help You, Both Complainants and Respondents.

When a student at a public or private high school, college, university, or any educational institution receiving any Federal funds is accused of discrimination on the basis of sex, they may be investigated pursuant to Title IX. Title IX is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in schools, which includes sexual harassment or sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

Title IX investigations normally begin when a student or employee is accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence by another student or employee of the school. Each school has a designated Title IX Coordinator pursuant to federal law whose job it is to address these concerns. Once an initial accusation is made, the accusing party will meet with the coordinator and have an opportunity to make a formal complaint of sexual discrimination under Title IX. That will launch an investigation into the incident in question. The accusing party also has an opportunity to file an informal complaint which will not result in further investigation.

Title IX requires schools to be proactive about sexual harassment and sexual violence. Even if a student or his or her parent does not want to file a formal complaint or does not request that the school take any action on the student’s behalf, if a school knows or reasonably should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence, it must promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. That will involve starting an investigation against the alleged perpetrator of the sexual misconduct even if the accusing party insists on an informal complaint.

It is important to note that both the victims of sexual violence (or Complainants) as well as those accused of it (or Respondents) are entitled to legal representation during the Title IX process. Here at Jetton and Meredith, we can help you during this difficult time, whether you were the victim of a life-altering sexual assault or accused of false sexual misconduct and want to clear your name. We are here to make sure that you are treated fairly by your school and given the support you need. Whether it is navigating a no contact order, gathering evidence and witnesses, preparing for testimony during a hearing, or helping draft summary statements or responses, we have the experience it takes to assist you. If the case proceeds all the way to a formal hearing, that can take 1 to 3 full days of testimony to resolve. You will need an attorney by your side, fighting for your interests.

Whether you are facing a school disciplinary hearing or are the Complainant or Respondent in a Title IX Complaint, contact our experienced lawyers call (704) 931-5535 to schedule an appointment with one of our School Hearing/Title IX lawyers in Charlotte.

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