Doe v. Edgewood Independent School District, No. 19-50737 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the school district in an action brought by a student, alleging Title IX and constitutional claims stemming from her abuse by two school employees who were later criminally prosecuted.
Under the Supreme Court's decision in Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, a school district is not liable under Title IX for teacher-on-student harassment unless the district, among other things, had "actual notice" of the misconduct and was "deliberately indifferent" to it. The court held that the school peace officer is not an "appropriate person" for purposes of Title IX. The court also held that the school district did not have knowledge of prior acts of sexual harassment that provided actual knowledge of a risk of substantial harm under Title IX. Finally, the court held that the school district does not have municipal liability under 42 U.S.C. 1983.