Sexual Violence and Harassment in Washington DC Schools

Allegations of sexual violence and harassment in Washington DC schools are serious matters, and schools take these allegations extremely seriously. If you are facing accusations of sexual violence and harassment from a school disciplinary committee or conduct board, a criminal court, or both, you may face serious penalties if you incur a guilty finding or a conviction. A knowledgeable student defense lawyer could assist you with both your school hearing and at any criminal hearings that take place in court.

Defining Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault

One of the primary purposes of federal Title IX law is to combat sexual harassment and violence in schools across the country, including at all colleges and universities in Washington DC. Under the Title IX statute, sexual violence entails sexual acts of a physical nature which one person commits against another without first obtaining the alleged victim’s consent, or in a situation where the alleged victim was not capable of giving consent at the time.

Sexual harassment, on the other hand, is a broader term which includes sexual violence as part of its definition. Under the Title IX statute, sexual harassment can include requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct that has a sexual nature.

Sex-based harassment could also include verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, hostility, or intimidation. This is true even if the actions are not sexual in nature.

School Responsibilities under Title IX

Schools in Washington DC have numerous responsibilities when it comes to allegations of sexual violence and harassment and Title IX compliance. Those responsibilities include:

  • Responding promptly and efficiently to all allegations of sexual violence and harassment which surface at the school, including addressing all the effects of the alleged sexual harassment or violence
  • Undertaking a prompt and efficient investigation into the allegations of sexual violence and assault and taking all of the necessary and reasonable steps to rectify the situation and prevent the problem from recurring in the future

Even when an alleged victim of sexual violence or harassment files criminal charges against the accused, the school must still undertake the required investigation under Title IX.

Required School Procedures

Title IX prescribes various procedures to safeguard against allegations of sexual violence and harassment in Washington DC schools. First, every school must have a policy against sex discrimination in place, and school officials must ensure they distribute copies of the policy to all students, faculty, and administrators.

In addition to having a policy in place, every school must have a Title IX coordinator who can ensure that the school fulfills its duties and remains compliant with Title IX at all times. Schools must also notify all their employees and students of the name, title, and contact information for the Title IX coordinator on campus. Finally, all schools must have policies and procedures in place for students to file a complaint regarding sexual violence and harassment in a Washington DC school.

Learn More About Sexual Violence and Harassment in DC Schools

Being found guilty of a sexual violence and harassment in Washington DC schools could result in suspension or expulsion for the accused student, along with a notation on the student’s transcript. Someone convicted of this offense could also have a difficult time finding employment in the future or pursuing future education elsewhere.

If you are facing Title IX charges at your school, a dedicated student defense lawyer could help contest the charge(s) against you and work to minimize the potential consequences of a guilty finding or criminal conviction. Call today to learn more.