Title IX of the Education Code prohibits any form of discrimination in schools because of a student’s sex. This includes creating codes of conduct and investigating violations of those codes committed by students.
The most prominent examples of these violations are instances of sexual violence and harassment. These instances are certainly Title IX violations and may even violate the Commonwealth’s criminal law. Because of this, it is imperative to understand what these terms mean in order to avoid any future incidents or to mount a proper defense in case of a current accusation.
An accomplished student defense attorney could help you to understand the definitions of sexual violence and harassment in Fairfax schools. This includes both the definitions in codes of conduct and the Commonwealth’s criminal laws.
The policy defines sexual assault as any sexual contact that occurs without affirmative consent. This includes any intentional sexual touching with any object or body part. In addition, this involves any intentional touching of the genitals, breasts, or buttocks without consent. Similar rules prohibit any form of sexual exploitation or violence direct at another person because of their gender.
It is also prohibited to participate in any form of sexual harassment. This includes any type of discrimination that occurs when verbal, physical, electronic or other conduct based on an individual’s gender interferes with that individual’s academic experience or threatens their safety.
Many of the alleged violations of sexual harassment policies are also criminal acts. For example, VA Code §18.2-427 states that it is illegal for any person to use obscene, vulgar, profane, or lewd language towards another person with the intent to intimidate or harass that person.
Further, VA Code §18.2-67.4 prohibits sexual battery. This involves touching another person with the intent to gain sexual gratification without that person’s consent. Similar laws prohibit sexual assault and rape.
The similarities between the school’s definitions of these acts and those of the Commonwealth are clear. Going further, the school has the obligation to report any alleged criminal activity that occurs on their property or that affects their students to local law enforcement. In this way, sexual violence and harassment in Fairfax schools can be both an educational and criminal matter.
Any student in Fairfax’s schools has the obligation to follow their school’s rules concerning proper conduct. This includes the responsibility to refrain from any harassment or violence based on the gender of the alleged target.
Similarly, all people must follow the laws of the Commonwealth. These laws prohibit the same acts of violence and harassment as those created by the school. As a result, an allegation of sexual violence or harassment could lead to simultaneous criminal and administrative cases.
An attorney could help you to understand what is required of you under both Commonwealth laws and your school’s codes. They can also help if you are currently facing accusations involving any sort of sexual misconduct. Contact an attorney today as the time to act to prevent your future may be running short.
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