Served as the sole presenter at training workshops for Title IX investigators at the college and K-12 levels, helping administrators to become trauma-informed and approach cases involving sexual assault and intimate partner violence in an appropriate and equitable manner.
Melissa M. Carleton
Melissa Carleton advises educational entities in a variety of areas, including student conduct, student affairs, special education/disability disputes, student confidentiality, policies, contracts, and employment matters. Melissa particularly enjoys working on collaborative matters between educational entities, including territory transfer agreements, grant partnerships and College Credit Plus arrangements.
Title IX is a hot topic in Melissa’s practice for universities, colleges, and K-12 school districts. She works with clients on complying thoughtfully with the mandates of Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA or Campus SaVe) and the Clery Act, and implementing guidance and regulations. Melissa is available to conduct Title IX investigations and to review investigative reports prepared by other investigators. Melissa trains administrators, staff members, and investigators using real-world examples to help learn how to navigate the trickiest areas of compliance with regard to sexual misconduct. More information on Melissa’s investigator training can be found in our Title IX Resource Center.
- Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
- Member, National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys
- Member, Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
- Speaker, "FERPA, Confidentiality, and the Student Conduct Process," Association for Student Conduct
- Speaker, “Title IX Investigator Training,” Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, October 2016
- Speaker, “Protecting Our Kids: Interim Measures for K-12,” ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference, October 2016
- Speaker, “What Can You Say? Tricky Issues with FERPA and Title IX/VAWA,” ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference, October 2016
- Speaker, “Trauma-Informed Implications in Special Education and Disability Harassment Investigations,” State Support Team 11, October 2016
- Speaker, “Title IX Investigator Training,” School District, September 2016
- Speaker, “FERPA for Special Educators,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, September 2016
- Speaker, “Transgendered Students, Bullying, and Trauma-Informed Investigations,” Central Ohio Special Education Administrators, September 2016
- Speaker, “Title IX Investigator Training,” Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education, July 2016
- Speaker, “Title IX Investigator Training Two-Day Workshop,” Various Colleges, July 2016
- Speaker, “The Win-Win Agreement,” May 2016
- Speaker, Title IX Investigator Training Workshops for K-12 and higher education, various locations, May 2016
- Speaker, “Title IX: What School Employees Need To Know,” school district in-service, May 2016
- Speaker, “The Win-Win Agreement,” April 2016
- Speaker, Title IX Investigation presentation for college board of trustees, April 2016
- Speaker, “Title IX: What You Need To Know”, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, March 2016
- Speaker, “Being Trauma-Informed: The First Interview in a Title IX Case,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, February 2016
- Speaker, “Introduction to Title IX Investigations,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, February 2016
- Speaker, “Introduction to Title IX Report Writing,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, February 2016
- Speaker, “Ten Tips on Title IX,” Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, February 2016
- Speaker, Title IX Investigative Training Workshop, January 2016
- Speaker, Title IX Investigator/Adjudicator Training, January 2016
- Speaker, “College Credit Plus – Making It Work,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, October 2015
- Speaker, “Fines and Federal Funding: Title IX and Clery Act Compliance for Adult Education Programs,” Ohio Association of Career Technical Education, July 2015
- Speaker, "Public Records for Private Universities," Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, July 2015
- Member, Admissions Committee, Columbus Bar Association
- Participant, Columbus Bar Association Barrister Leadership Program, 2012
- Member, Columbus Bar Association
- University of Pennsylvania (J.D., 2009), James Wilson Scholar; Associate Editor, Journal of Constitutional Law
- The Ohio State University (Bachelor of Music Education, magna cum laude, 2002), School of Music Undergraduate Outstanding Achievement Award
What you missed this summer: School district administrator edition
Discriminating on the basis of gender-identity violates Title IX: The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Dear Colleague Letter on the civil rights of transgender students
Won motion for summary judgment on a claim brought by a student disciplinary respondent against a college in a case involving allegations of sexual assault.
Prepared and revised Title IX policies and procedures to comply with changing guidance.
Revised student handbooks, athletic handbooks, extracurricular policies and drug testing policies for numerous school districts.
Negotiated a settlement among school district parties to an annexation agreement regarding billing issues.
Drafted College Credit Plus agreements on behalf of both school districts and colleges to establish advanced standing programs.
Successfully defended a school district in a teacher non-renewal appeal that involved the waiver of evaluation rights.
Drafted a unique school district-hospital agreement to provide educational opportunities to high school students.
Negotiated a successful resolution in a special education due process request and suspension appeal relating to drug possession on school grounds.
Successfully defended a school district in charges by a former student relating to sexual abuse by a former teacher.
Successfully represented a school district in federal court against claims of bullying, disability discrimination under ADA and Section 504, and sexual harassment under Title IX.
Obtained a favorable decision in a $40 million lawsuit filed on behalf of three large metropolitan school districts against the Ohio Department of Education claiming that ODE misapplied the statutory school foundation funding formula to the detriment of the school districts.
Melissa loves genealogy, reading, art projects that do not require any skill or talent, and listening to classic rock — especially Queen. In her spare time, she volunteers to support early childhood education efforts in her community. Melissa lives with her husband, also an attorney, and their two children in Upper Arlington, Ohio.