Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Roundup of School District Sexual Harassment Cases

Here are some updates in Title IX cases involving sexual harassment in schools:
  • A federal court ruled that bullying consisting of pulling down another boy's pants, one time in front of a girl, was not harassment "because of sex" for purposes of Title IX. Morgan v. Town of Lexington, 2015 WL 5634463 (D. Mass. Sept. 24, 2015).  
  • A principle's arguable knowledge of a volunteer teacher's "inclination to engage in inappropriate relationships with school-age boys," in combination with the school district's lack of effort to limit the teacher's access to its students, precluded summary judgment on Title IX claim. K.S. v. Detroit Public Schools, 2015 WL 5460674 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 16, 2015). 
  • School officials' failure to respond to reports of one student's sexual abuse of various other students by doing anything other than documenting the incidents and, in one case, moving the victim to another dorm room, could constitute deliberate indifference for purposes of Title IX.  BPS v. Colo. Sch. for the Deaf and Blind, 2015 WL 5444341 (D. Colo. Sept. 16, 2015).
  • Dispute as to whether or not parent had told school officials about sexual misconduct by an adult male special needs student precluded dismissal on summary judgment.  Kauhako v. State of Hawaii Bd. of Educ., 2015 WL 5312359 (D. Ha. Sept. 9, 2015).
  • School district's decision to defer to police department's investigation was not deliberately indifferent, where it continued to prevent the perpetrators from returning to school and took other steps to measure and address safety.  Doe v. Bibb County Bd. of Educ., 2015 WL 5063746 (M.D. Ga. Aug. 27, 2015).
  • A school cannot be liable under Title IX for a teacher's sexual advances on a student, where school officials acted swiftly and decisively to force the teacher's resignation upon learning of his misconduct.  Doe v. Crown Point Sch. Corp., 2105 WL 5038093 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 26, 2015).
  • Title IX claim alleging school district's failure to respond to bullying directed at the plaintiff because of his "effeminate mannerisms and way of speaking" adequately alleged discrimination on the basis of sex. J.R. v. N.Y. City Bd. of Educ., 2015 WL 5007918 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 23, 2015).