Do I Need To Confirm The School’s Record And Document Everything?
Respondents need to make sure that the record of evidence compiled in the Title IX investigation is accurate and complete. Whether or not the school provides the final report for review before the hearing, that respondent need to be proactive in confirming the record before a decision is made. That way they can see if any evidence has been omitted or not fully represented. They can also see if there is bias against them. This way they can object to the material being presented before the hearing happens.
If the student does not review the record and object to any omissions, they are placing themselves in a precarious situation. The report will be made final and will be reviewed. Then the respondent can place their defense in jeopardy because a decision was made on inaccurate or missing information.
What if the school does not listen to the respondent’s objections? It is still important to have those objections recorded because it can open the doors for an appeal. If the case finds the respondent guilty, then they can appeal based on missing or inaccurate information. Even so, an appeal is not the best sought action in a Title IX proceeding. It is almost always best to try to achieve a favorable result at the first hearing.
Finally, a respondent should request all the required deadlines and procedures in writing. It is best for the advisor to initiate this contact and request the materials because any questions later can be traced to correspondence between the advisor and the school. Once these deadlines and procedures are made known, the respondent and their advisor can use it to make sure the school is abiding by Title IX policies. If they aren’t, concerns must be expressed through writing, preferably through the advisor, so there is written proof of communication and the date it happened.