Title IX Still Applies to Off-Campus Conduct that Impacts StudentsNovember 25, 2015 – Articles Campus Legal Advisor
Reprinted with permission from Campus Legal Advisor. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.
We often advise clients who are understandably uncertain in the face of the litigation frenzy surrounding Title IX sexual harassment cases to abide by the Golden Rule of protecting a student’s safety above all else. That doesn’t mean you ignore other people’s rights, but if it comes down to protecting a student you legitimately believe is in danger versus potentially violating someone’s rights, you protect the student.
A case in point is Yeasin v. University of Kansas, No. 113,098, 9/25/2015. In this case, Navid Yeasin, a male student, was charged by police with criminal restraint, battery and criminal deprivation of property against another student, his ex-girlfriend, in an off-campus incident. A local court issued a final order of protection from abuse directing Yeasin to have no contact with the female student for one year.
As a preliminary matter, based on its consideration of the restraining order, the university also issued a nocontact order that prohibited Yeasin from having any contact (physical, verbal, electronic or written) with the female student, and informed Yeasin that any violation could result in expulsion. Despite the no-contact order, Yeasin sent a series of demeaning tweets that the university believed violated the no-contact order. The tweets continued even after a warning by the university. The university believed Yeasin’s behavior was escalating.
The university completed its investigation of the female student’s complaint and found that Yeasin had violated the university’s sexual harassment policy, citing both the off-campus incident and the tweets that continued despite the no-contact order and the university’s warning to stop.
This article was also featured in the January 2016, issue of Student Affairs Today.