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Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education

United States Supreme Court
526 U.S. 629, 119 S.Ct. 1661, 143 L.Ed.2d 839 (1999)


LaShonda was a fifth-grade student at Hubbard Elementary School. LaShonda was sexually harassed by a fellow fifth-grade student on several occasions. The classmate attempted to touch her breasts and genital area, and made vulgar statements to her. LaShonda reported the harassment to her mother (plaintiff) and the school. The harassment continued for months and was reported to several school officials. School officials were also informed that the same classmate was harassing other students as well. The school did not take any action to investigate or discipline the classmate for a period of five months. The school also did not take any action to separate LaShonda and the classmate. The school did not have a policy in place to deal with student-on-student harassment. LaShonda’s mother sued the school district, the Monroe County Board of Education (defendant), for violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 29 U.S.C. § 1681. The lawsuit sought monetary and injunctive relief. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that student-on-student harassment is not a ground for a private cause of action under Title IX. LaShonda’s mother appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed the trial court’s decision. LaShonda’s mother petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

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