Title IX Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Issues
- Case Results
- List of Schools
Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings
Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.
Large private university
Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation
We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.
Small private college
Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed
Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.
Midsized private collegeSee More Case Results
I was introduced to Attorney Duffy by my criminal defense attorney because I was fighting both a criminal charge and a conduct code violations charge. Felice's office responded right away and she and I met by Zoom video. She and her team were respectful, professional and super knowledgeable. They made everything clear and easily understandable. They knew exactly what questions to ask the school officials to get them to focus on the facts that supported my case. I was incredibly well prepared. I knew what I was going to say before I went in to my interviews and how to react to the many questions that would have tripped me up. I got probation, which was definitely the best possible outcome and I couldn’t have gotten that without Attorney Duffy’s help.
“When your kid is accused of a serious conduct code violation at his college, you quickly learn that there’s a whole different set of rules in place than in the real world. There are no legal standards, no assurances of a “fair trial.” You're presumed guilty and you have to backtrack and prove why you’re NOT guilty. We pretty quickly realized that we needed strong legal representation and guidance. Our son was completely falsely accused and we were ready to dig in to clear his name.
Felice's truly unique background and deep experience with navigating the school’s process was amazing. She made it clear that our son was the client, not us (his parents). She worked with him extensively and earned his total trust. He felt empowered that he had the right person in his corner to defend him. Felice gave our whole family a sense a calm and confidence.
Thanks to incredibly hard work by Felice and her team, our son was found “not responsible” (meaning innocent of any wrongdoing). The outcome was everything we could have hoped for.
I have already recommended Felice to a friend who’s son was caught up in a serious, very complicated conduct code charge, and I will continue to recommend her to any student or parent without reservation.”
Parent of a private college senior
“I selected the firm after doing extensive research trying to locate an attorney that specializes in sexual assault cases on university campuses. Late one night I emailed her for a consult just to see what she had to say. By 6:30am the next morning she had already emailed me back leaving her information for me to call her. I was impressed by her promptness and early morning response. Our criminal attorney informed our family that this simply wasn’t his specialty and strongly recommended we hire someone who really understood how university disciplinary systems work.
In our culture, we are not often trusting and it took a huge step of faith to consider someone we didn’t know (much less one from out of state) to defend our son.
Based on her collegiate athletic background I felt that she would have a better understanding of our case as our son is a D1 athlete. Based on that and her professional accomplishments I felt like she was driven and determined and she clearly had the ability to understand the laws associated with Title IX.
Bottom line is that our son was found 100% not responsible (meaning not guilty) of the extremely serious charges that were brought against him by a female student.
Felice Duffy and her team were professional, focused, responsive and did a great job throughout the entire stressful ordeal. When we think about how badly and unfairly our son might have been treated by the school, we truly count our blessings that we found Ms. Duffy.”
Parent of a College Sophomore, OhioSee More Client Testimonials
Colleges We Serve
Here are just some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Bowling Green State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Dartmouth College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Mississippi University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kansas
- University of Mass. Med. School
- University of Miami
- University of Missouri
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Texas
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University at St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Wheaton College
- Yale University
On April 29, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education issued official guidance which makes clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX. Specifically, the guidance states that “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation.”
The Evolution of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Protection
The OCR guidance was developed, in part, in response to courts and federal agencies that were making clear that transgender and gender nonconforming individual (people who do not conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity) are covered under laws that protect people from discrimination based on sex. In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled, in a case brought by Transgender Law Center, that transgender people are protected from discrimination in the workplace under Title VII, the parallel federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in employment. In 2013, the OCR and U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division settled a lawsuit brought by a transgender student against the Arcadia Unified School District for denying him access to the same facilities and activities as other boys. The settlement referenced the EEOC ruling. The April 2014 guidance from the OCR makes it clear that under federal law schools cannot exclude transgender students from the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in school.
Title IX Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Student Protection
The National Center for Transgender Equality outlines the Title IX protection afforded to transgender and gender non-conforming students as follows:
- You have the right not to be bullied or harassed because you are transgender or gender non-conforming. If school administrators become aware of bullying or harassment they must take action to end it.
- You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender identity or expression or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
- You have the right to present yourself in a way that is consistent with your gender identity, so long as you follow rules for how to dress that apply to all students.
- You have the right to use restrooms and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate restrooms.
- You have the right to privacy concerning your transgender status and gender transition. Any such information kept in school records must be kept private and not shared without your permission.
- You have the right to join or start a Gay-Straight Alliance or Pride Alliance, and to have your group treated like other student groups.
Contact a National Title IX Attorney
If you or someone close to you has experienced bullying or discrimination, you can start by bringing your concerns to school and district officials. Before you speak to school personnel, however, consider speaking to the attorneys at Duffy Law who have extensive experience with Title IX actions. Duffy Law attorneys can review the specifics of your case and help you decide the manner in which to proceed that best protects your rights. Call today at 203-946-2000.
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