Santiago v. Commonwealth of PR, No. 10-1449 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A six-year-old boy, with profound hearing impairment, was furnished with transportation to and from school as part of his individualized education program. The school district contracts with a private company for bus service. The boy alleged sexual abuse by a bus driver. The family sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681-1688. The district court ruled in favor of the defendants. The First Circuit affirmed. The Section 1983 claim was properly rejected because transportation to and from school is not an exclusive state function; defendants did not act under color of state law. The Title IX claim failed because it is not clear that the "appropriate person," with the authority to take disciplinary action against the bus driver, actually knew about the alleged harassment and exhibited deliberate indifference toward it.