Patsy L. TRAUTVETTER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
John B. QUICK, Individually and as Principal of Hymera Elementary School; Northeast School Corporation; Richard D. Walters, Individually and as Superintendent of the Northeast School Corporation; Donald R. Tinchner, Individually and as Assistant Superintendent of the Northeast School Corporation; Board of Trustees of Northeast Corporation; and Howard Turner, James Case, Ronald Hughes, Ronald Frye, and Larry Reynolds, All Individually and in their capacities as Members of the Board of Trustees of the Northeast School District, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 88-3232.
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.
Argued June 6, 1989.
Decided October 12, 1990.
As Amended November 1, 1990

Pasty Trautvetter was a school teacher who accused John B. Quick, principal, of sexual harassment which violated her rights. Trautvetter stated that Quick made several attempts to pursue a relationship with her. Each time she turned him down. They started becoming friendlier and eventually their relationship become sexual. Trautvetter informed the superintendent about their relationship. After an internal investigation the school board said that both adults were consensually involved. The plaintiff, Patsy L. Trautvetter, brought suit against the defendants on accounts that they had sexually discriminated against her which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the court case, //Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson//, The court stated, "the harassment `must be sufficiently severe or pervasive "to alter the conditions of [the victim's] employment and create an abusive working environment."”

After members of the school board conducted an investigation, they found that relationship between Quick and Trautvetter was consensual. Witnesses stated that instead of shying away from Quick, Trautvetter pursued the relationship. They did not believe that Ms. Trautvetter had supported her allegations with any colorable evidence of a conspiracy or meeting of the minds among the various defendants to deprive her of any constitutional rights. Therefore, the court of appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of Ms. Trautvetter's complaint.

Implication to Teaching:
Considering that John Quick was Pasty Trautvetter’s authority, makes the situation complicated. When Quick would make an attempt to ask Trautvetter on a date or make a sexual comment to her, Trautvetter stated that she laughed it off. She should have been honest with Quick from the beginning and announced what was or was not appropriate. It is not uncommon for a married couple who are both teachers to work in the same school system. Their relationship had to begin somewhere. Relationships between co-workers can be tricky. There is a thin line of what is appropriate and what is not and it should be established from the start.

Quiz Question:
T/F: Harassment must be sufficiently severe of pervasive in order to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment.

Briana Collier
Lindsey Little