The Dear Colleague Letter

"Education has long been recognized as the great equalizer in America. [...] The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students' right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime."

In one of its well-known "Dear Colleague" letters, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Dept. of Education reminded colleges and universities of their responsibility under Title IX to investigate and take action against sexual misconduct.

The letter (available here in PDF format) specifically describes what colleges and universities are required to do regarding sexual violence among students.

Definition of Sexual Violence

  • Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability.

(Click here for more on the definition of consent.)

Acts of Sexual Violence Prohibited by Title IX

According to the Dear Colleague letter, "All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX." In addition, many schools' policies include the taking of pictures or video of sexual acts without consent as acts of sexual misconduct subject to disciplinary action.

School Requirements under Title IX

In the Dear Colleague letter, the OCR writes that it is the responsibility of colleges and universities to "take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence."

In a separate Dear Colleague letter (available here in PDF format), the OCR reminds schools that they must invest school employees, called Title IX Coordinators, with the power to conduct investigations and take disciplinary action against students who are accused of assault, coercion, or other sexual misconduct.

Contact Roberts Law Group, PLLC

The U.S. Dept. of Education and its Office for Civil Rights - which enforces the law under Title IX - has made clear that sexual misconduct and sexual violence will not be tolerated on college campuses.

This means that any accusation - whether it has merit or not - is very likely to lead to an investigation and disciplinary action against the student who has been accused. For a free consultation on your Title IX case, call 866-630-2389. We are located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and defend students against Title IX investigations throughout the state.

North Carolina vs. O.S.
Charge: First Degree Forcible Rape and First Degree Kidnapping
Facing: 26 - 33 years in prison
Result: Dismissed

Case involved allegations of forcible rape at gun point. We were able to gather evidence to attack the accuser's credibility and discredit her story. The prosecution dismissed the charges.

Read more results