Student-on-student bullying has garnered significant media attention in recent years, and the disputes are now finding their way in to the Federal courts. On August 27, 2014 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the immunity arguments of a school district and its administrative employees. The Court of Appeals has allowed a §1983 claim to go forward based upon alleged violations of a student’s constitutional right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff alleged that the bullying was based upon her gender and religion, and that the administrators violated her constitutional rights by failing to address the problem. The defendants were entitled to immunity for claims based upon substantive due process, but not under an equal protection analysis. The case is captioned Shively, et al. v. Green Local School Dist. Bd. Of Ed. Click here to view the full opinion.
Sutter O’Connell Co. represents public entities and employees in a variety of capacities, including defense of §1983 claims. For more information, contact Jim Popson.