Emily Stone
Ashley Collins
Court Case 3

Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education
United States Supreme Court
Argued January 12, 1999 Decided May 24, 1999

Background: LaShonda Monroe, a fifth grader at a public elementary school, accuses the school of being complacent and allowing her to be a victim of sexual harassment over a five month period. The family brought suit against the school, citing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Federal District Court dismissed the case, finding that student on student harassment does not fall under Title IX, which prohibits a student from being “excluded from participation in, be[ing] denied the benefits of, or be[ing] subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Decision and Rationale: Davis was granted certiorari and the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, holding that because there is an implied right to education in Title IX, the indifference to allegations of sexual harassment are seen as a hindrance of this right. The courts found that the school board did, in fact, act with extreme indifference. None of Davis' claims had been investigated. The Supreme Court went on to reference the Spending Clause of Title IX that states recipient schools who do not comply to the amendments will face legal action.
Impact on Teaching: Teachers and administration alike, are impacted by cases such as this. These cases remind educators (and future educators) that allegations of sexual harassment, or any kind of mistreatment, should not be handled lightly or ignored. Student on student harassment is especially tricky because often we, as teachers, are not present to witness said behavior. There are also cases of complete fabrication. However, seldom will students report fabrications over and over again. Teachers should keep an eye out for situations like this in a classroom setting. No harassment case should be taken less seriously than another.

Quiz Question: Which of the following cases should be reported immediately?
a) Notes being passed between a boy and girl
b) Boy pulling girls hair
c) An attempt at inappropriate physical contact
d) All of the above