Title IX Investigations at Blinn College, Texas

March 12, 2024 | By Shane Phelps Law
Title IX Investigations at Blinn College, Texas

A Title IX violation can upend anyone's world. Overnight, even a student at a relatively small community college like Blinn College might face disciplinary action and damaging consequences that could ripple out and affect their future. Our Title IX lawyers in Texas at Shane Phelps Law, however, can protect the rights of those students and ensure fair treatment and due process under the law.

Understanding Title IX on College Campuses

Title IX was enacted in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments. It states, "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."

Undeniably, one of the most critical aspects of Title IX lies in its implications for sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus — issues that have gained significant public attention. Title IX requires colleges to take necessary measures to prevent sexual misconduct, respond promptly when it occurs, and minimize its effects on victims and their academic progress. However, the consequences for students accused of Title IX violations can also be far-reaching and cause lifelong harm.

What Conduct Is Prohibited by Title IX at Blinn College?

Stop Discrimination

Blinn College prohibits discrimination based on sex in any of its educational programs and activities. This prohibition extends to admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, housing, athletics, employment, and virtually all other areas of college life.

To ensure prompt and effective redress for any alleged violations, Blinn College has set up reporting procedures. The college expects all employees who witness or receive information about potential sexual harassment or other Title IX violations to report such incidents promptly.

Such violations might include:

•    Sexual harassment

•    Sexual assault

•    Dating violence

•    Stalking

•    Any other gender-based discrimination that limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from a school's educational programs or activities.

Title IX also applies to all areas of education, including admissions, financial aid, academic matters, career services, counseling, medical services, and all other programs and activities available to students at the school.

Facing any of these allegations can have serious repercussions on a student's academic and personal life, so it is critical to consult knowledgeable legal representation to ensure your rights are upheld and protected.

Title IX Coordinators

Blinn College has an office devoted to Title IX compliance and complaints, with a manager, coordinator, and investigator whose responsibilities include overseeing the college’s response to Title IX reports and complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints.

The Title IX Hearing and Decision

After the review period, investigators conduct any necessary further investigations. Once complete, they compile a final investigative report. A hearing examiner then holds a hearing where they listen to evidence and testimony from the Title IX investigator, the complainant, and any witnesses they choose to bring. The Respondent also has the opportunity to present evidence and testimony if they choose to participate.

Title IX Hearing and Decision

Respondents have the right to an advisor, who can be an attorney. At Shane Phelps Law, we strongly recommend having an experienced Title IX attorney by your side during this process. Your attorney can question witnesses directly, including the complainant, but cannot speak on your behalf during the hearing.

A finding of responsibility after a Title IX investigation and hearing can have severe consequences, often leading to suspension or expulsion.

Moreover, Title IX allegations can trigger criminal prosecution. Law enforcement often conducts parallel investigations, which can lead to criminal charges. They have the power to subpoena your entire Title IX investigation file, including your statements, evidence like text messages, and even recordings of the hearing. The prosecutor can use these materials against you in a criminal case.

Facing Title IX allegations at Blinn College? Secure legal representation immediately. Contact a skilled attorney who combines expertise in both Title IX proceedings and criminal defense law. At Shane Phelps Law, our Title IX attorneys possess extensive experience navigating both these legal areas. Whether you choose us or another competent attorney, act quickly and seek legal counsel upon receiving a Title IX investigation notice.

Following the hearing, the hearing examiner informs all parties involved of the decision. This includes whether the process found the respondent in violation of the Code of Conduct and any resulting disciplinary actions. Both the complainant and respondent may appeal the decision if they identify procedural errors, new evidence came to light, or they deem the sanctions excessive or disproportionate.

How Long Do Title IX Investigations Take?

Navigating a Title IX investigation is a complex process. It's crucial to remember that no two cases are exactly alike; each is influenced by its unique circumstances and considerations. As such, the length of time a Title IX investigation takes can vary significantly.

Title IX Investigations

Typically, under guidance from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, colleges and universities aim to complete a Title IX investigation and hearing within a 60-day timeframe. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. The complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, and the specific procedures utilized by the institution can cause this timeframe to be extended.

In some instances, due to holidays, academic breaks, or other special circumstances, an investigation may take longer. It's vital to remain patient and stay in regular contact with your legal counsel during this period to remain informed about the progress of your case.

Contact a Texas Title IX Lawyer Today to Learn More About Your Rights

Shane Phelps, Title IX Lawyer, TX
Shane Phelps, Title IX Lawyer, TX

At Shane Phelps Law, we understand the gravity of Title IX accusations and are committed to guiding you through this challenging time. Our experienced team understands the nuances of Title IX policies, the investigative process, and how to effectively defend against these allegations.

Contact the experienced College Station criminal defense attorneys today at (979) 775-4100 for a free consultation to discuss your potential case. We're here to provide the personalized attention and rigorous defense you need in a climate where accusations alone can feel like a verdict.