Texas Student Commits Suicide After School Disciplinary Allegation Leads to Kangaroo Court

Two weeks ago in the national news we learned that a student at the University of Texas at Arlington (“UTA”), Thomas Klocke, committed suicide after the school ignored its own school disciplinary policies and punished him in violation of his Title IX rights for allegedly harassing a gay student in class.  A conspiracy between the unnamed complaining student at the school, UTA’s Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and the school’s associate director of academic integrity to go behind the back of the school’s Title IX coordinator in order to punish Klocke left him hopeless enough that he took his life last year.  Without his Title IX rights, the Mr. Klocke was denied an investigation and hearing prior to charges being brought and was not permitted the opportunity to present witnesses in his defense – or even to go back to the class and speak to his classmates to determine if any of them witnessed the allegations against him, allegations which were later determined by UTA to be unfounded.  Now the estate of the deceased student is suing UTA for violating his Title IX rights – and the reality that American colleges and universities are overly progressive and protective of so-called marginalized members of society, i.e., women and members of the LBGTQ community, has come to the forefront.  For these reasons, students who are accused of misconduct at college need to hire the best school disciplinary attorney they can find, whether they attend NYU, Columbia, Fordham, the SUNY schools, UConn, Yale, Rutgers or any school across the country.  The stakes could not be higher and the prejudice against students could not be greater in today’s politically-correct academic climate. 

No Investigation, No Due Process, No Justice 

The facts of this case are particularly troubling: the gay student accused Klocke of typing “gays should die” into the search bar of his laptop browser during a class.  When the gay student then typed into his own computer, “I’m gay,” Klocke then purportedly called the gay student a “faggot” and that he should consider killing himself.  Klocke’s version was different: he claimed that after the gay student called him “beautiful,” Klocke then typed into his web browser, “Stop, I’m straight.”  The gay student replied, “I’m gay” and then kept looking at Klocke, who eventually got up and moved his seat.  According to the lawsuit, after the class ended, the gay student went to the school’s Vice President of Student Affairs and dean of students – whom he knew – and the dean helped the student prepare a complaint which circumvented the school’s normal Title IX process for such complaints.  The dean then assigned the case to the school’s associate director of academic integrity who issued an order preventing Klocke from having contact with his accuser or attending the class again – which included having any contact with any member of the class directly or through another.  Later, the director of academic integrity prevented Klocke’s father, an attorney, from attending a meeting about the case and fashioned a penalty without following any of the school’s normal procedures – and without any witnesses being called for either side, which meant no corroboration of the complaint was ever presented, a complaint later deemed unfounded.  Soon after Klocke received his penalty – placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of his academic career at UTA – he took his life, despite having no prior history of mental health issues.

Fight Back Against Politically Correct and Unfair University Administrators 

Sadly, the playing field is not level if you are a student accused of misconduct at a university today – and the results can be life altering.  As noted in the lawsuit against UTA, today’s universities seek “prestige and publicity by portraying themselves as leaders in curtailing sexual harassment, sexual violence, and aggressive behavior on campus.”  Consequently, they “have a vested interest in enacting swift and harsh punishment (usually against males) who are merely accused of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or aggressive behavior, in order to preserve the appearance of their leadership.”  It is imperative, therefore, that students accused of misconduct and violating the school’s code of conduct (and their parents) do not hesitate to hire the strongest school discipline attorney they can find to enforce their rights.  College administrators are not often happy to see us involved, representing the accused students during the process but in the end we have helped dozens of students avoid life altering suspensions and expulsions: students charged with hazing or sexual assault or just being investigated for this misconduct.  By investigating the claims and preparing the students for their testimony, we can tilt the playing field ever so slightly back to level and help young students avoid the life altering and crushing penalties than can be meted out by an overzealous and politically correct, progressive academic institution.  Just in the past year we have prevented discipline (and related criminal charges) from being imposed at NYU, Columbia and other New York schools.  In addition, we have reduced potential suspensions and expulsions to suspended sentences, for students who were months away from graduation and off to the workforce, thus saving their jobs.  Had these students not had top school disciplinary counsel they could have been suspended or worse.

Call the top New York school disciplinary hearings and investigations attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman today to discuss your case today.  We combine lawyers with the top reputations and skills in the criminal defense world with the knowledge of how to handle school disciplinary actions – two areas of law that often overlap and require intensive investigations and ferocious advocacy.  Your children’s future — and lives — could be at stake.