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Civil Rights – University Student Expulsion – Sexual Harassment Claim – Procedural Due Process

Civil Rights – University Student Expulsion – Sexual Harassment Claim – Procedural Due Process

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Plaintiff was expelled from defendant The Citadel for alleged sexual misconduct against a female cadet, “Roe.” Even if The Citadel’s treatment of plaintiff in the Title IX process was improper, he did not allege facts demonstrating that his sex was the but-for cause of any mistreatment.
Plaintiff contends that The Citadel displayed a so-called “‘Believe [t]he Woman’ gender bias” against him. He emphasizes the fact that women comprise the majority of complainants in university Title IX proceedings, while most respondents are men. However, these general statistics alone do not indicate discrimination or bias against men, as other reasons unrelated to bias may explain the disparity. Nor do these statistics compel the conclusion that The Citadel, in plaintiff’s particular case, engaged in sex discrimination. Indeed, plaintiff failed to allege any facts beyond these statistics that would suggest that he experienced such particularized discrimination.
We affirm the district court’s grant of defendants’ motion to dismiss.
Plaintiff takes issue with “Commander Adcock” serving as the recorder for the Commandant’s Board during the hearing because he was Roe’s “Battalion TAC Officer” during the 2018–19 school year. But he alleged nothing to suggest that the involvement of Commander Adcock—who was a non-voting Board member—biased the Board against him.
Plaintiff further impugns the Board for stopping his representative’s cross-examination of Roe about her “false memory.” But plaintiff, in the academic context, is not entitled to the same rights as a criminal defendant. We have not found a basis in the law for importing the right to cross-examination into the academic context, and we decline to do so here.
Doe v. The Citadel (Lawyers Weekly No. 003-023-23, 9 pp.) (Per Curiam) No. 22-1843. Appealed from USDC at Charleston, S.C. (David Norton, J.) Philip Byler for appellant; Dawes Cooke and John Fletcher for appellees. United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (unpublished)

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