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Henkle v. Gregory

United States District Court for the District of Nevada
150 F. Supp. 2d 1067 (2001)


Facts

Derek Henkle (plaintiff) was a student at Galena High School (Galena). Henkle appeared on a local television program and discussed being gay. Subsequently, Henkle was harassed at Galena. Henkle was called derogatory names by fellow students, and Henkle even had a lasso tied around his neck while students threatened to drag him behind a truck. Similar incidents occurred, including a metal object being thrown at Henkle while Henkle was reporting some of the harassment to the school’s discipline office. Principal Gregory (defendant) was made aware of the harassment, along with other school administrators, but school officials did not investigate or take disciplinary action against any of the harassers. Henkle suffered an emotional breakdown and requested to transfer schools. Henkle was transferred to Washoe High School. Principal Floyd (defendant) called Henkle derogatory names and told Henkle not to talk about his sexual orientation. Henkle again requested a transfer due to the lack of educational opportunities at Washoe. Henkle was then transferred to Wooster High School, where he was again harassed. Henkle was punched in the face by another student at Wooster during one of the harassment incidents. Henkle was then placed into an adult-education program, which precluded Henkle from obtaining a high school diploma. Henkle sued Gregory and other school officials for violating his First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and retaliating against him after exercising his First Amendment rights. Gregory and the other school officials filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McQuaid, J.)

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