The Oregon District Court ruled last week that I can proceed to trial with a bullying case. In this case, I represent a young African American-Hatian girl who was relentlessly bullied and discriminated against at school due to her race. Despite repeatedly telling school teachers and the principal that other kids were harassing and teasing her, the school did not take reasonable steps to end the harassment. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that makes the school district liable for failing to protect my client from the racially hostile environment.
In declining to dismiss the Title VI claim, the court held, “Plaintiff has produced evidence from which a [jury] could conclude that offensive behavior was perpetuated by a large number of students, that the District responded with mild discipline and was aware that its responses were ineffective and that certain students who were disciplined repeated their conduct. . . . a [jury] could conclude that the District was ‘deliberately indifferent’ to student-on-student racial harassment at Kraxberger [Middle School.]”.
I look forward to taking this case to trial and receiving a jury verdict that sends the message to all schools that bullying, especially racial bullying, will not be tolerated.