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National School Associations Seek to Limit School's Liability for Peer Harassment

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the American Association of School Administrators and the Georgia School Boards Association filed an amicus brief arguing that schools are not liable for student-to-student harassment under Title IX.

The amicus brief was filed in response to a case in which a Georgia girl was sexually harassed by another student, reported that harassment to a teacher, and then sued the school district for $500,000 under Title IX, alleging that the school failed to stop the sexual harassment.

NSBA Executive Director Anne Bryant argued that schools should not be held liable for Title IX violations in cases of peer-to-peer sexual harassment unless it can be proven that the school discriminated against the complainant based on gender. "Congress did not pass Title IX to review student disciplinary actions in schools. Title IX is implicated if, and only if, the student discipline is administered in a manner that discriminates on the basis of gender."

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case this spring.

Media Resources: U.S. Newsire