Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Appeals Court Affirms Dimissal of Cyber Harassment Case

Here is a brief update on a cyber-harassment case we first blogged about last June. The plaintiff was a ninth grader when she received three harassing emails that were sent from another student's school email account. The student who owned the email account in question denied sending them, and the school could not prove that he had. The plaintiff sued, arguing that the school's inability to identify and discipline the sender amounted to deliberate indifference. But the district court dismissed, and recently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that dismissal. Both courts reasoned that three emails did not satisfy the element of "severe and pervasive" harassment that is necessary for liability to attach.

Decision: R.S. v. Bd. of Educ. of the Hasting-on-Hudson Union Free Sch. Dist., 2010 WL 1407359 (2d Cir. Apr. 9, 2010)