Doe v. Washington Public Schools
This is a civil rights case brought by an Oklahoma middle school student subjected to three sexual assaults by his male peers in an 18-month period, almost daily verbal harassment and bullying, and threats of physical harm and death in Washington Public Schools that went unchecked by officials with authority to stop it.
Central to the case is the superintendent and school principal’s refusal to recognize that forcible digital penetration of a student’s rectum is sexual assault–regardless of whether the victim is male or female. Instead, they treated this conduct as normal “horseplay” between boys or, at worst, “accidental” touching.
Although the boy and his parents reported these incidents to the school principal and district superintendent, school officials were dismissive of the problem. The complaint alleges Title IX and equal protection violations by the school district, as well as equal protection violations by both the superintendent and school principal.
Public Justice and the Denton Law Firm filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on March 26, 2018. The school district filed a motion to dismiss. On June 11, 2018, the court denied the bulk of the district’s motion, permitting the student to proceed with his Title IX and equal protection claims against the district, as well as his equal protection claims against the individually-named superintendent and principal.
- Adele Kimmel
Nathan Richter of The Denton Law Firm