A lawsuit against Gwinnet County Public School Officials was filed in federal court in Atlanta on behalf of a teen who was suspended after reporting a sexual assault in 2015. The teen, who the lawsuit identifies as “Jane Doe,” accuses school officials of violating her rights under Title IX.
According to Jane Doe’s lawyers, a complaint was filed with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2015. After the complaint was received, an investigation was conducted but was never solved.
The lawsuit asks for monetary damages as well as policy and training changes in public schools. Further, the lawsuit states that school officials retaliated against Jane Doe, failed to properly investigate the incident, and failed to mitigate a hostile educational environment that was caused by a lack of proper training and policies dealing with sexual assault.
According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe was a sophomore when she was sexually assaulted by a male student who groped her, forcibly kissed her, and forced her to perform oral sex, despite Doe saying “no, stop!” and “what are you doing?” When the male student let Doe go, she fled and went to meet her mother who was picking her up from school.
Doe talked to two teachers the next day. One of the teachers took her to meet with the school resource officer, who asked her to re-enact and repeat the details of the assault multiple times. According to the lawsuit, the officer also asked questions about Doe’s clothing, whether she screamed, if she was sure she did not want oral sex, and why “she didn’t bite the male student’s penis.”
Doe was suspended while waiting for a disciplinary hearing and was suspended again after the hearing. During the hearing, the school’s attorney stated the encounter was consensual and questioned Doe’s credibility because she did not scream louder and had no physical injuries.
When Doe went back to school after her suspension, she was constantly bullied and withdrew from the school. Her family moved out of Gwinnett County to avoid hostility from the community.
Newswire Sources: AP News 11/19/18