NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 11:43 pm
Austin Title IX Lawyers: A Helpful Guide
Hey there! If you’ve experienced sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination as a student or employee at a school in Austin, you may be wondering what your options are. I’m here to walk you through how an Austin Title IX lawyer can help.
What Exactly is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that says schools and universities can’t discriminate based on sex. This includes sexual harassment and violence. The law applies to any school that gets federal money, which is pretty much all of them these days.#1Now, most schools have their own Title IX office to handle complaints. But you also have the right to hire your own lawyer, which is where I come in! Here’s a quick rundown of how I can help:
Investigating Your Complaint
If you want to make a formal complaint against another student or a school employee, I can dig into the details for you. I’ll interview witnesses, gather evidence, and build a solid case.
Advising You of Your Rights
A lot of people don’t realize all the protections Title IX gives them. I can walk you through your options, like:
- Reporting to the school or the police#(https://www.victimrights.org/sites/default/files/VictimRights_TitleIX.pdf)
- Getting counseling, medical care, or other support#(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-know-rights-201306-title-ix.pdf)
- Having temporary accommodations like a dorm room change or leave from work#(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-know-rights-201306-title-ix.pdf)
- Appealing if you don’t agree with the school’s decision#(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-know-rights-201306-title-ix.pdf)
And more. I’ll make sure you understand all your options.
Communicating With the School
I can take on communicating with the school for you. Whether it’s emails, phone calls, or meetings, I’ll handle it so you don’t have to.
Attending Hearings and Meetings
If there are any hearings about your complaint, like with the school board, I can attend so you have someone in your corner.
Negotiating a Settlement
If the school messes up or violates Title IX, I may be able to negotiate a settlement. This could include money damages or getting the school to take action against the harasser.
Filing a Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights
I can also help you file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if the school doesn’t protect your rights. This can lead to the school getting fined or losing funding.#(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html)
Potential Legal Action
In some cases, we may need to sue the school or harasser in court over Title IX issues or other things like negligence. I’ll advise you if I think that’s the best way forward.
If anyone tries to threaten or punish you for speaking up, I’ve got your back. We can take action against retaliation.#(https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-title-ix-coordinators-guide-201504.pdf)
Pushing for Discipline Against the Harasser
A big priority is making sure the person who hurt you faces consequences from the school – whether it’s suspension, expulsion, firing, etc. I’ll fight to make that happen.
Recovering Financial Damages
If you lost tuition, had medical bills, or other monetary costs because of the school’s actions, I may be able to get compensation through a settlement or lawsuit.So in a nutshell, I’m here to walk with you through the process, protect your rights, and help you get justice. I know Title IX inside and out, so you can feel confident with me in your corner.
Key Texas Laws Related to Title IX
In addition to federal law, Texas has some of its own rules about sexual harassment in schools that I can help with:
- Texas Education Code Chapter 51: Prohibits sex discrimination and sets discipline procedures#(https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ED/htm/ED.51.htm)
- Texas Education Code Chapter 37: Requires sexual harassment policies and reporting of educator misconduct#(https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm)
- Texas Education Code Chapter 21: Governs student discipline and placement in disciplinary programs#(https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm)
I stay up-to-date on all of these state laws and how they interact with Title IX.
Key Title IX Court Cases
There have been some major court cases that shaped how Title IX is applied when it comes to sexual harassment:
- Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools (1992): This Supreme Court case said schools can be sued for money damages for teacher harassment of a student.#(https://www.oyez.org/cases/1991/90-918)
- Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999): The Supreme Court ruled that schools can be sued for money damages if they ignore student-on-student harassment that creates a “hostile environment.”#(https://www.oyez.org/cases/1998/97-843)
- Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1998): This case said schools are only liable for teacher harassment if an official who can take action has actual notice of it.#(https://www.oyez.org/cases/1997/96-1866)
I stay on top of cases like these so I can argue effectively on your behalf if we need to take legal action against your school. The details really matter!
What Schools Often Argue in Title IX Cases
If a Title IX lawsuit is filed, schools tend to make certain arguments to defend themselves. As your lawyer, I’m ready to counter them:
- “We took reasonable steps to respond.” Schools will claim they weren’t “deliberately indifferent.” I’ll scrutinize their actions to prove otherwise.
- “We didn’t know about the harassment.” Schools will say they had no “actual knowledge.” I’ll look for any evidence that they did.
- “It wasn’t severe or pervasive.” Schools will argue the harassment didn’t create a “hostile environment.” I’ll explain why it meets that standard.
- “You didn’t use our reporting process.” Schools will claim you failed to take advantage of their grievance procedures. I’ll outline the reasons why.
You can trust me to take on the school’s lawyers and beat these arguments. I’ve done it many times before.
Is Settling Your Title IX Case a Good Idea?
If we get to the point of legal action against your school, settling out of court is one option to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons:Pros:
- It’s faster and more private than going to trial#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- You avoid the stress and uncertainty of a trial#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- We may be able to negotiate settlement terms that work for you#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- You may get compensation faster than waiting for a trial verdict#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- You give up the chance of getting a bigger verdict at trial#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- The settlement may seem “hush money” even if that’s not your goal#(https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/settling-lawsuits-faq.html)
- You don’t get a definitive court ruling saying the school violated the law
I’ll go over the pros and cons if settlement seems like the best way forward. The choice is always up to you!
How Do I Find the Right Austin Title IX Lawyer?
If you need an attorney to help stand up for your Title IX rights, here are my tips:
- Look for someone with specific Title IX and education law experience. This area can be complex!
- Ask if they’ve represented students from your school before. Familiarity helps.
- Make sure they explain their strategy clearly and you’re on the same page.
- Go with someone who makes you feel supported and empowered!
- Avoid lawyers who overpromise or pressure you to sue right away.
- Be clear on what they charge – hourly, flat fee, contingency fee, etc.
- Hire someone as outraged by sexual violence in schools as you are. You need a fighter in your corner!
Don’t let fear or intimidation stop you from asserting your rights. An Austin Title IX lawyer can help you take back control. I offer free consultations, so reach out and let’s talk confidentially about how I can help.
Other Austin Title IX Resources
In addition to private lawyers, here are some other Austin organizations that support Title IX rights and survivors:
- SAFE Austin: Counseling and advocacy for sexual assault survivors
- Austin ISD Title IX Office: Handles AISD student and employee complaints
- University of Texas Title IX Office: Handles UT Austin student complaints
- Texas Association Against Sexual Assault: Statewide coalition of rape crisis centers
- Know Your IX: National Title IX rights resource
Reaching out for help takes courage, but you don’t have to go it alone. I’m here to support you, and so are others. You deserve justice.