Sexual Violence and Harassment in Maryland Schools

Sexual violence and harassment are a major issue in colleges and universities throughout Maryland. This is such a problem that federal law requires the vast majority of schools to establish investigative and disciplinary procedures to punish students convicted of these acts. Schools can act upon receiving minimal evidence and can issue punishment on a much lower burden of proof than criminal courts.

Sexual violence and harassment can take on many forms. All of them are apparent violations of Title IX and can jeopardize not just your academic future but your very freedom. It is critical that you understand what these terms mean under the law so that you can take appropriate steps to protect yourself. Reach out to a seasoned Title IX lawyer today.

Sexual Harassment and Title IX

Title IX is a wide-ranging piece of legislation. Originally written to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex committed by school administrations, more recent amendments now aim to protect all students from sex discrimination committed by students as well as school administrators.

As a result, it is not a violation of Title IX for any student to sexually harass another based on their sex. This can take on a form that involves a criminal act, or others that simply make a student’s life unnecessarily complicated or uncomfortable.

Criminal sexual harassment acts are those that break Maryland’s criminal code. For instance, Md. Code §3-802 says that it is illegal for any person to place another in reasonable fear for their safety. Known as stalking, a student may commit this act if they repeatedly ask another student out on a date after facing rejection or show up unannounced at another student’s home.

Other instances of sexual harassment are not necessarily criminal but may violate a school’s code of conduct. Intentionally excluding a student from a study group because of their sex is a prime example here. An attorney could help students to understand sexual harassment and Title IX in Maryland schools.

Sexual Violence on Campus

Sexual violence has been a constant problem in society for decades. It is only now that many people feel that they can freely speak about their experiences. Sexual violence includes any act of violence committed against another person that is motivated by their sex. This does not need to include any form of sex act but can simply involve an attack motivated by the alleged victim’s sex.

For instance, an assault is in and of itself not an act of sexual violence. But if a defendant is alleged to have attacked another person because that person is a man, this may count as an incident of sexual violence.

Additionally, the wide variety of violent acts that involve sex are also included. Sexual battery, sexual abuse, and rape are all clear examples of sexual violence that may occur in Maryland schools.

In addition to defendants facing potential academic penalties for these activities, schools must report these incidents to the police. As a result, most students facing accusations of sexual violence at school can also expect to face simultaneous criminal charges in a Maryland court.

Sexual Violence and Harassment Allegations in Maryland Schools Could Affect Your Education and Freedom

Sexual violence and harassment are the two categories of apparent offenses that could lead to a school Title IX investigation. Federal law requires schools to investigate these allegations and the penalties for a guilty finding may be extreme. Schools can act upon minimal evidence and can convict based only on whether it was more likely than not that an offense occurred.

Any penalty issued by a school is in addition to any potential criminal penalties. Instances of sexual violence are certainly criminal matters, and many allegations of sexual harassment may constitute stalking under the law.

As a result, it is essential that you understand these concepts and how they interact with Title IX laws. If you have any questions regarding sexual violence and harassment in Maryland schools, reahc out to an attorney. A lawyer could help to explain these key concepts and to mold a defense designed to protect your future.