Unified School District No. 259 in Witchita, Kansas, will pay $45,000 to two high school students in settlement of their claims that the District was deliberately indifferent to ongoing instances of sexual harassment by a male classmate. According to the complaint, the male student called them and approached them to make rude, violent, and sexually suggestive comments, that on various occaisions he exposed himself to the girls and attempted to make her touch him, and that he was physically abusive of them. At one point they received a protective order from the police. But, they alleged, school officials were dismissive of their attempts to report this harassment on a daily basis. According to the District, it settled to avoid litigation costs, not as an admission of liability. The District disputed some of the girls' claims that they reported harassment and characterized the girls' relationship with the boy as friendly, suggesting that some of the alleged harassment was actually consensual. However, the District reports that it has changed its sexual harassment policies and appointed a staff member to coordinate Title IX matters.
Case is: Doe v. Unified School District No. 259, 05-CV-1151-JTM
Complaint: 2005 WL 2453748 (D. Kan., Aug. 30, 2005)