Law Office of Michelle Ball Discipline,Federal Laws,sex and gender,sexual misconduct Title IX Can Force Students Out Of Public School A Long Time

Title IX Can Force Students Out Of Public School A Long Time

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Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

Receiving a sexual harassment complaint or sexual violence allegation can have significant consequences for elementary, middle or high school students. If such a complaint is lodged under Title IX (aka “title nine”), a public school student may be held out of school prior to or in the middle of a school suspension or expulsion process.

Black and white lithograph of female teen with sleeve over half her face
Students sexually harassed may file a complaint against another student

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law which essentially protects students (and others) from sexual harassment and discrimination based on sex.

Title IX is very broad and covers issues from discrimination in sports to inappropriate sexual touching to stalking, and many more. Unwelcome sexual conduct, date rape, domestic violence, and sexual battery are also covered under Title IX.

Examples of Title IX Issues

Some examples of what student actions could possibly be reported as sexual harassment under Title IX, resulting in a complaint (and student discipline) in a public school, could be as follows:

  • A student touches another student’s private parts without their consent
  • A student makes sexual jokes, teases, or takes other actions that create a hostile environment at school
  • A student sends sexual pictures
  • A student exposes themselves on campus
  • A student posts degrading sexual references about a student on a school group or chat
  • Sexual bullying, online or off
  • A student shares sexual items at school
  • A student grabs a student’s bottom, thigh or body part
  • Sexual leering or vulgar gestures
  • Unwanted sexual acts
  • Use your imagination…
Two teens close to each other about to kiss
What is “consensual” seeming, may actually not be, and can end in an emergency exclusion from school.

Emergency Removals Under Title IX

Title IX has a provision regarding emergency removals of students from school who are alleged to have sexually harassed. Title IX supersedes state law, including California law, on expulsion hearing timelines and rights.

The Title IX code section 34 CFR 106.44(c) states:

Emergency removal.

Nothing in this part precludes a recipient from removing a respondent from the recipient’s education program or activity on an emergency basis, provided that the recipient undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal, and provides the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. This provision may not be construed to modify any rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

So, per this law, the requirements for an emergency Title IX student removal are:

  1. Allegation of sexual harassment
  2. Individual safety and risk analysis
  3. Determination an immediate threat to physical safety exists
  4. From sexual harassment
  5. Removal justified based on above
  6. Notice of decision
  7. Opportunity to challenge the emergency removal immediately after
Boy sitting down with hand on face, black and white photo
A long school exclusion can harm an accused student, who may be innocent.

How Long Can a Student Be Kept Out of School Under Title IX?

It is unclear how long a public school student may be kept out on a title IX emergency removal, but presumably until any Title IX process is complete (at least).

AFTER the Title IX process is concluded, regular state discipline processes (e.g. expulsion processes) can start. Of course, schools will then have a thick Title IX report to support their discipline actions.

During the Title IX investigation, schools may place a student on an emergency removal at another school while it proceeds.

A student conceivably could be out of school many months waiting for a Title IX plus school expulsion process to conclude. This may be great for the accuser and terrible for the accused.

Lawyer for students, Michelle Ball, assists with school Title IX investigations, issues, and punishments. Her attorney office is located in Sacramento, California and she can practice throughout the state, in Santa Monica, Loomis, Vallejo, Sonora, and many other California locales.