10 Sep 23

Texas Title IX Lawyers

| by

Last Updated on: 13th September 2023, 10:17 pm

Understanding Title IX Defense in Texas

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities. It applies to most schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding. Title IX covers many areas like admissions, financial aid, academics, housing, athletics, and more.

Sometimes students get accused of violating Title IX policies on sexual misconduct. This can happen through a school’s disciplinary process. When this happens, the student has a right to defend themselves. There are certain defenses students can use in these cases.

Common Defenses in Title IX Cases

Here are some common defenses used by students accused of Title IX violations in Texas:

  • No violation occurred – The student did not actually violate school policy or Title IX. They are innocent of the charges.
  • Unfair process – The school did not follow proper procedures when investigating or adjudicating the case. This can mean violations of due process rights.
  • Consent – The student claims the sexual activity was consensual, so no policy violation occurred.
  • Retaliation – The charges are retaliation against the student for some other reason.
  • Selective enforcement – The school enforces policies differently for different students, like athletes.

The specific defenses used will depend on the details of each case. The student’s lawyer will decide the best defense after reviewing the charges and evidence.

Proving Innocence

One of the main goals of any defense is proving the student did not actually violate school policies or Title IX. This requires looking closely at the evidence and allegations. Some questions to consider:

  • Are there witnesses who can confirm the student’s version of events?
  • Is there physical evidence that contradicts the charges?
  • Are there text messages, emails, or social media posts that show consent?
  • Does the timeline of events match up with the allegations?

If the evidence shows the student did not do what they are accused of, the charges should be dismissed.

Questioning the Investigation

Many Title IX defenses focus on potential problems with how the school investigated the case. Schools must follow certain procedures required by Title IX regulations. If the school does not follow proper process, the case could get dismissed.

Here are some common investigation problems that could support a defense:

  • Denying the student access to evidence or the investigation report
  • Not allowing the student to cross-examine witnesses at a hearing
  • Having investigators or adjudicators with conflicts of interest or bias
  • Failing to provide the student with adequate notice of the allegations
  • Not following the school’s own policies and procedures

If any of these procedural errors occurred, the school violated the student’s due process rights. This means the outcome of the disciplinary process is invalid.

Using Consent as a Defense

In sexual misconduct cases, the student often claims the sexual activity was consensual. This is an important defense because consent negates any policy violation. Students use consent defenses by:

  • Pointing to flirty texts or conversations showing mutual interest
  • Providing witnesses who can confirm seeing them together or hearing about the encounter
  • Citing subsequent interactions after the alleged incident that suggest everything was normal

If the student can show the totality of evidence indicates consent, the charges should fail.

Claiming Retaliation

Sometimes Title IX charges come after a student was involved in another dispute. For example, an ex-partner makes an accusation after a bad breakup. Or an athlete gets charged after complaining about their coach. These situations can form the basis of a retaliation defense.

To prove retaliation, the student needs evidence the charges were motivated by something other than seeking justice. This can include:

  • Records of the dispute that triggered the charges
  • Emails or texts showing ulterior motives
  • Statements from others aware of the retaliation motives
  • Evidence the allegations only emerged after the separate dispute

If the student can show the charges were brought as retaliation, they can get dismissed.

Claiming Selective Enforcement

Schools sometimes enforce Title IX policies unevenly across students. A good defense is showing the school treats certain students, like star athletes, more favorably.

To prove selective enforcement, the student needs evidence of the school’s bias, such as:

  • Records showing similar cases involving athletes had different outcomes
  • Policies or unwritten rules that give athletes extra leeway
  • Statements from officials showing preferential treatment

This defense argues the school is applying its policies in a discriminatory way.

Getting Evidence for Defenses

Building an effective defense requires gathering supporting evidence. Students have a right to access the school’s Title IX investigation records. Their lawyer can also collect more evidence by:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Requesting relevant documents and communications
  • Consulting experts to analyze evidence
  • Issuing subpoenas to compel access to records

Thorough investigation and preparation is key to raising strong defenses.