About one year ago- around the time when most colleges and universities were letting out for spring break 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took the country by storm. Higher learning institutions closed their doors, sending students home for a semester of remote learning. Travel restrictions and social distancing requirements meant that spring break 2020 was not the social scene of years past. The natural result of social distancing was a sharp decline in Title IX complaints. The post-spring break “red zone” didn’t occur.
What is a Red Zone?
A “red zone” is a time frame during which many students at colleges and universities are gathering socially, leading to an increase in sexual assault allegations. With COVID shutting down most public gatherings in 2020, there were almost no red zones due. However, as COVID wanes in 2021, there is an expected rise in Title IX allegations as the red zone trend picks up where it left off.
Changes to Title IX
In May of last year, the Department of Education released new regulations for Title IX. However, the Title IX new regulations took a back seat. Managing COVID became the primary focus of colleges and universities. Now that institutions are better equipped to manage COVID, the focus has turned back to the new Title IX regulations and the effect that they have on those accused. Here are a few of the key takeaways from the new regulations that will be especially relevant during the “red zone” of spring break.
Improved Hearings and Investigations – Colleges and universities are now required to hold live hearings giving attorneys the ability to cross-examine parties and witnesses.
Presumption of Innocence – The new Title IX regulations emphasize the presumption of innocence, requiring that all parties are given information regarding the allegations as well as access to evidence.
Equal Support for Complainants and Respondents – During the Title IX process, schools are required to support both the complainant and the respondent equally. This includes academic accommodations, counseling services, campus escorts, changes in housing and/or class assignments..
Title IX Allegations – Spring Break and Beyond
The “red zone” of spring break is not the only time when Title IX allegations will occur. We predict a surge in sexual assault complaints once all students return to campus this fall. Students are craving social interaction and may engage in excessive drinking as a result of months of being stuck at home with their parents. Binge drinking often leads to hookups giving rise to Title IX complaints. It is imperative that schools stay vigilant in enforcing Title IX and providing resources to students so that those involved in either side of an allegation are supported.
For Legal Assistance, Speak with a Title IX Attorney Today
If you are seeking assistance with the Title IX process, you do not have to feel isolated. The attorneys at KJK defend and advise students facing campus misconduct allegations, ensuring that those involved receive due process.