Author: Michael P. McKeon

DOES TRANSGENDER BATHROOM USE CREATE A SEXUALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT? OCR AND THE DECATUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

In a worst-case scenario, the mother of a kindergarten student in the Decatur, Georgia Public Schools has claimed that a “gender fluid” student sexually assaulted her daughter while using the girls bathroom at the students’ elementary school. Decatur had implemented a policy permitting students to use the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify…

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TITLE IX STUDENT DISCIPLINARY CODES DEEMED CONTRACTS IN JOHN DOE V. THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Words are not written in a vacuum, and they can bind the party that wrote them, regardless of whether that was the author’s intent. That was the lesson The George Washington University [“GW” or “University”] recently learned in John Doe v. The George Washington University, in which the United States District Court for the District…

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CROSS-EXAMINATION IN TITLE IX DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS DEEMED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT IN DOE V. BAUM

In an extremely important decision for students accused of sexual misconduct, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held in John Doe v. David H. Baum, et al. that when a Title IX student disciplinary proceeding comes down to a credibility determination, the accused student has a constitutional right under the…

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THE ELEMENTS OF TITLE IX LIABILITY IN FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION V. UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON AND K.T. V. CULVER-STOCKTON COLLEGE

Two recent federal court cases delineate the requisite elements of a Title IX deliberate indifference claim brought by students against educational entities. In Feminist Majority Foundation v. University of Mary Washington, the plaintiffs – consisting of the national Feminist Majority Foundation [“FMF”], Feminists United on Campus, an FMF affiliate, and five executive board members of…

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LIMITING TITLE IX LIABILITY IN DOE V. THE CITADEL

A decision issued by the Court of Appeals of South Carolina underscores the limitations of college and university liability under Title IX. In John Doe v. The Citadel, the court declined to extend standing to sue under Title IX to an individual who had no relationship to the educational institution but had been sexually assaulted…

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UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: COACHES, CONCUSSIONS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN MANN V. PALMERTON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit may have coaches checking with their lawyer before deciding whether to allow an injured player to go back into a game or practice. In an alarming decision for public secondary schools, colleges, and universities, the Third Circuit held in Mann v.…

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Doe v. Brown University: Non-Students and the Limits of Title IX Liability

In a case that raises a number of interesting questions, a federal judge in Rhode Island recently held that a student at one school could not bring a Title IX action against another school following her sexual assault by some of the latter school’s students. In Jane Doe v. Brown University, the court granted Brown…

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BAD IDEA: ATTORNEY’S FEES AND THE HIGH COST OF IGNORING STAY PUT IN M.R. & J.R. V. RIDLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit calls to mind an automobile repair chain’s erstwhile slogan: “Pay me now, or pay me later,” although in this case, the more applicable variation would be:  “Pay now, or really, really pay later.”  In M.R. & J.R. v. Ridley School District,…

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CLEAR AND CONVINCING: DOE V. JACKSON, DEVOS, AND THE FUTURE OF CAMPUS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS

  On September 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, announced that the United States Department of Education intended to revisit the “Dear Colleague” letter that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, or “OCR,” issued on April 4, 2011. Although over the years OCR has issued a number of these often draconian Dear Colleague…

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Doggone: False Statements and Free Speech in Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College

Sometimes, the motivation for chronicling a court decision is not because it is particularly groundbreaking; rather, it can simply be a confluence of peculiar facts and a reiteration of relevant legal principles.  That is certainly true with Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College, a case arising out of the United States District Court for the…

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