Jauquet v. Green Bay Area Catholic Education, Inc., No. 20-2803 (7th Cir. 2021)

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Justia Opinion Summary

Before the arrival of the pandemic in 2020 “Student A” was experiencing an exceedingly difficult eighth-grade year at Notre Dame of De Pere Catholic Middle School. Her classmate, “Student B,” repeatedly and inappropriately targeted Student A with sexually suggestive harassment beginning in 2019. Student A’s mother filed suit on behalf of herself and her daughter, alleging Title IX violations by the school's operator (GRACE), with breach of contract and negligence claims under Wisconsin state law.

The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the Title IX claim. GRACE is subject to Title IX and had actual knowledge of the harassment but GRACE was not deliberately indifferent to the harassment. GRACE responded promptly and the complaint did not allege that the bullying persisted beyond January 2020, Student B was suspended for several days in December 2019. School officials offered to change Student A’s seat in class and facilitated an apology from Student B; the response was not “clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.” While it is possible that a school’s dress code, culture, and response to bullying could exclude a student from educational benefits on the basis of her sex, the Plaintiffs did not plead facts to support an inference that GRACE excluded Student A because of her sex.

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In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 20 2803 MICHELLE JAUQUET, individually and as legal guardian of “Student A,” her minor child, Plainti Appellant, v. GREEN BAY AREA CATHOLIC EDUCATION, INC., Defendant Appellee. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 1:20 cv 00647 — William C. Griesbach, Judge. ____________________ ARGUED FEBRUARY 12, 2021 — DECIDED MAY 7, 2021 ____________________ Before RIPPLE, HAMILTON, and ST. EVE, Circuit Judges. ST. EVE, Circuit Judge. Before the arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, Plainti Michelle Jauquet’s daughter, “Student A,” was already experiencing an exceed ingly di cult eighth grade year at Notre Dame of De Pere Catholic Middle School in Wisconsin. One of her classmates, “Student B,” repeatedly and inappropriately targeted Student 2 No. 20 2803 A with sexually suggestive harassment beginning in the fall of 2019 and continuing into the spring of 2020. As a result of this bullying, Jauquet brought this suit on behalf of herself and her daughter, alleging Title IX violations by the operator of the students’ school, Defendant Green Bay Area Catholic Education, Inc. (“GRACE”), as well as breach of contract and negligence claims under Wisconsin state law. The district court dismissed Plainti s’ Title IX claim with prejudice for failing to state a claim and declined to continue exercising supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. This ap peal followed. For the reasons explained below, we a rm the district court’s dismissal order. I. Background Over the course of several months between 2019 and 2020, Student B subjected Student A to vile and o ensive bullying, both in school and online. As described in the complaint, Stu dent B began harassing Student A on a weekend school trip in September 2019. During that trip, Student B repeatedly called Student A a “slut” and a “skinny bitch” and encour aged other classmates to do the same. On other occasions, Stu dent B ridiculed Student A for her weight and appearance, in cluding by telling other classmates in a group chat on Snap chat (an app known for its ability to send disappearing mes sages1) that Student A “would be hot” if she “weren’t 50 pounds.” 1 See United States v. Kushmaul, 984 F.3d 1359, 1361 n.3 (11th Cir. 2021) (“Snapchat is a camera application for smartphones that allows users to, among other things, send disappearing images to other Snapchat users.”) No. 20 2803 3 Student A and her mother did not initially report this har assment to school o cials, as Student A feared retaliation from Student B and his friends. Jauquet, however, requested a meeting with the school principal, Molly Mares, when Jau quet discovered sexually suggestive and vulgar posts on Stu dent B’s Instagram account, another social networking ser vice.2 Though these particular posts were not targeted at her daughter, Jauquet was concerned by the graphic nature of the posts. Jauquet also learned that Student B had texted a picture exposing his naked genitalia to a female student at another school; the photo made its way back to students at Notre Dame, who then widely shared the picture. When Jauquet met with Mares in December 2019, Mares agreed that the posts and shared images were unacceptable. After Jauquet’s meeting with Mares, Student B escalated his cruel and vicious campaign against Student A. Days be fore their winter vacation, Student B told his classmates that they should “buy [Student A] a rope and teach her to use it,” insinuating that the girl should hang herself. These comments caused Student A to experience “serious emotional distress” and she emailed her mother in the middle of the school day for help. Mares met with Jauquet and Student B’s parents that same day. The complaint alleges that Mares “coached” Stu dent B into giving a “rote” apology to Student A. Mares also suspended Student B for three days, which fell on the final three days before winter vacation. (citing Create a Snap, Snapchat, https://support.snapchat.com/en US/a/capture a snap). 2 Dancel v. Groupon, Inc., 949 F.3d 999, 1002 (7th Cir. 2019). 4 No. 20 2803 Unsatisfied with the lack of “any protective or restorative measures or other victim services” for Student A, Jauquet met with the President of GRACE, Kim Desotell, and the school’s police liaison the next day. When the police liaison denied that she had jurisdiction over the matter, Jauquet filed a com plaint with the Brown County Sheri ’s O ce, and the Sher i ’s O ce issued a juvenile citation to Student B. Frustrated by what Student A’s family saw as an inade quate response from Notre Dame and GRACE, Student A’s grandfather sent multiple emails to school and diocese lead ership about the situation. Jauquet also threatened to pull Stu dent A and her sister from the school. Desotell responded by forwarding the necessary transfer paperwork to Jauquet. Ultimately, Student A and her sister remained at Notre Dame, and their mother continued to press Desotell to take stronger measures to protect her daughter from bullying at the school. In response, Desotell sent an email to all eighth grade boys explaining that the school would not tolerate bul lying. Desotell further o ered to move Student A’s seat away from Student B’s. Desotell maintained that GRACE had not o ered victim services to Student A, because Student A did not appear to need them—she had said that she was doing “okay for now” during a meeting. So at Jauquet’s urging, Des otell met with Student A again, which the complaint acknowl edges was “helpful” to some degree. The complaint also al leges, however, that Desotell used the meeting to criticize the Jauquet family and Ms. Jauquet in particular for “coach[ing] her daughter to be more emotional.” Beyond the allegations about the interactions between Stu dent A and Student B, the complaint also explains that this bullying was part of a pattern of behavior for Student B. Two No. 20 2803 5 years prior, Student B had bullied another male student using anti LGBTQ slurs. In another example, Student B referred to a student su ering from cancer as “the hunchback of Notre Dame.” The complaint also describes school policies and practices that Plainti s believe foster a “boys will be boys” atmosphere at the school. The complaint accuses GRACE of “cultural tol erance of improper and in some cases illegal male sexual be havior under the traditional mantra ‘boys will be boys.’” The complaint suggests the school imposes a more restrictive dress code on girls than boys as evidence of the school accom modating “rape culture” whereby “male students are not ex pected to bear responsibility for controlling sexual arousal or keeping their sexual behaviors within accepted moral or legal boundaries.” In addition, the complaint alleges that the school tolerates both poor academic performance and “obscene, dis respectful, and disruptive behaviors” from boys that it does not tolerate from girls. This situation “emboldens students like [Student B] to escalate harassing behaviors, including sexual ones.” The district court dismissed Plainti s’ Title IX claim find ing that the complaint “fail[ed] to allege the school was delib erately indi erent to the alleged harassment” and that the “al legations [were] too vague and indefinite to state a claim for sexual discrimination or harassment on the part of the school.” On appeal, Plainti s challenge the district court’s dis missal of their complaint for two reasons. First, they argue that the district court improperly narrowed their claim of di rect discrimination by Notre Dame. Second, they argue that the district court’s ruling on Plainti s’ indirect discrimination claim was contrary to the facts pled in the complaint. 6 No. 20 2803 II. Discussion We review a district court’s dismissal of a complaint de novo, and the decision to dismiss a claim with prejudice for an abuse of discretion. Haywood v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, 887 F.3d 329, 333, 335 (7th Cir. 2018). The Court may af firm on any ground supported by the record. Id.; see also Sand ers v. Venture Stores, Inc., 56 F.3d 771, 773 (7th Cir. 1995). In reviewing a motion to dismiss based on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court “construe[s] all allegations and any reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plainti .” Dix v. Edelman Fin. Servs., LLC, 978 F.3d 507, 512 (7th Cir. 2020) (per curiam). “[W]hile a complaint does not need ‘detailed factual allegations’ to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, it must allege su cient facts ‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Id. at 512–13 (quoting League of Women Voters of Chicago v. City of Chicago, 757 F.3d 722, 724 (7th Cir. 2014); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). At the motion to dismiss stage, plainti s must set forth “adequate factual detail to lift [their] claims from mere speculative possibility to plausibility.” Schillinger v. Kiley, 954 F.3d 990, 994 (7th Cir. 2020) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A. Whether the district court correctly dismissed Plainti s’ Title IX claims Title IX provides that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). “The Supreme Court has in terpreted Title IX to provide individual plainti s with an No. 20 2803 7 implied private right of action to pursue claims of gender dis crimination in federal court and has recognized a number of claims that constitute discrimination.” Doe v. Columbia Coll. Chicago, 933 F.3d 849, 854 (7th Cir. 2019) (citing Cannon v. Univ. of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 689 (1979)). A plainti may allege a “direct” or “institutional” Title IX violation by pleading facts to show that the school itself dis criminated against a person on the basis of their sex. See id. A plainti may also pursue a theory of “indirect” discrimination by way of student on student harassment that is so severe that the harassment functionally excludes a student from school activities on the basis of sex. See Davis Next Friend La Shonda D. v. Monroe County Bd. of Ed., 526 U.S. 629 (1999). The district court reviewed Plainti s’ complaint for both of these theories of Title IX discrimination and found that Plainti s had not alleged facts to support either theory. 1. Indirect Sex Discrimination In Davis, the Supreme Court held that victims of stu dent on student harassment could sue their school for dam ages if the school had been deliberately indi erent to severe and pervasive harassment of which the school had actual knowledge. 526 U.S. at 648. “[R]ecipients [of federal funding] may be liable for their deliberate indi erence to known acts of peer sexual harassment.” Id. But, “[k]eeping in mind how thoughtless and even cruel children can be to one another, the Supreme Court has interpreted both Title VI and Title IX to impose a demanding standard for holding schools and school o cials legally responsible for one student’s mistreatment of another.” Doe v. Galster, 768 F.3d 611, 613–14 (7th Cir. 2014); see also Columbia Coll. Chicago, 933 F.3d at 857 (noting that de liberate indi erence is a “high bar”). First, the school or school 8 No. 20 2803 o cials must have had actual knowledge of sex based harass ment. Galster, 768 F.3d at 613–14. Second, the harassment must have been “so severe, pervasive, and objectively o en sive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.” Id. (quoting Davis, 526 U.S. at 650). Third, the school must have been deliberately indi erent to the harassment. Davis, 526 U.S. at 648. “To ensure that school administrators continue to enjoy the flexibility they require in making disci plinary decisions, the school will not be held liable unless its response to harassment is clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.” Johnson v. Ne. School Corp., 972 F.3d 905, 911–12 (7th Cir. 2020) (internal quotations omitted) (cit ing Davis, 526 U.S. at 648); Gabrielle M. v. Park Forest Chicago Heights, Ill. Sch. Dist. 163, 315 F.3d 817, 824–25 (7th Cir. 2003) (school’s response to sexualized bullying of victim student was not clearly unreasonable “in light of each of the immedi ate disciplinary and preventative steps the school district [took] in response to [the bully’s] conduct[.]”). The Supreme Court has cautioned that the cause of action for indirect Title IX claims is limited. Allowing these kinds of suits “does not mean that recipients [of federal funds] can avoid liability only by purging their schools of actionable peer harassment or that administrators must engage in particular disciplinary action.” Davis, 526 U.S. at 648. Moreover, victims of harassment do not have a “Title IX right to make particular remedial demands. … In fact, as we have previously noted, courts should refrain from second guessing the disciplinary decisions made by school administrators.” Id. (citing New Jer sey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 342–43 n.9 (1985)); Gabrielle M., 315 F.3d at 825 (same). No. 20 2803 9 Here, the parties agree that deliberate indi erence is the only issue in dispute. GRACE has conceded that it is subject to Title IX, and GRACE does not contest that it had actual knowledge of the harassment. In its motion to dismiss, GRACE argued that the harassment of Student A did not rise to the level of “depriv[ing her] of access to the educational opportunities [and] benefits provided by the school.” Galster, 768 F.3d at 614. GRACE, however, has correctly abandoned that line of argument on appeal; we agree with Plainti s that the cruel bullying was severe and pervasive. See id. at 613–14. GRACE now agrees that “‘[d]eliberate indi erence’ is the [only] element at issue in this appeal.” Although we condemn Student B’s behavior, we agree with the district court that GRACE was not deliberately indif ferent to Student A’s harassment. The school responded promptly to Plainti s’ bullying complaints, and the complaint does not contain any allegations that the bullying persisted beyond early January 2020, even though plainti s did not file their complaint until April. See Gabrielle M., 315 F.3d at 825 (school district did not act with deliberate indi erence as a matter of law where the district promptly disciplined a school bully). “This is not a situation where the school ‘learned of a problem and did nothing.’” Johnson, 972 F.3d at 912 (quoting Rost ex rel. K.C. v. Steamboat Springs RE–2 Sch. Dist., 511 F.3d 1114, 1122 (10th Cir. 2008)). In this case, school o cials sus pended the primary perpetrator, Student B, for several days in December 2019. In addition, Plainti s met with school o cials several times, including once for the express purpose of allowing Student A to voice her concerns as a victim of bully ing. School o cials o ered to change her seat in class and fa cilitated an apology from Student B. These acts all demon strate that the school was not deliberately indi erent to 10 No. 20 2803 Student A’s harassment; the school’s response to the harass ment was not “clearly unreasonable in light of the known the circumstances.” Johnson, 972 F.3d at 911–12; Gabrielle M., 315 F.3d at 825. Plainti s do not believe that the school took su cient ac tion. But even if the school’s response to the harassment was not as fulsome as a parent would want for her child, “[a] neg ligent response is not unreasonable, and therefore will not subject a school to liability [under Title IX].” Johnson, 972 F.3d at 911–12. Here, Plainti s seem particularly upset that Stu dent B was not outright expelled and that Principal Mares “coached” him into issuing an apology to Student A. But, Da vis makes clear that Title IX liability does not give victims li cense to demand particular remedial actions from the school. See Davis, 526 U.S. at 648. In Davis, the Supreme Court specifically warned courts not to intrude upon the educational decisions made by school of ficials. 526 U.S. at 648. And this Court has recently empha sized this point: [W]e will not second guess a school’s disciplinary de cisions—even a school’s decision not to impose any disciplinary measures—so long as those decisions are not clearly unreasonable. Indeed, judges “make poor vice principals.” And in appropriate cases, courts can “identify a response as not ‘clearly unreasonable’ as a matter of law.” Johnson, 972 F.3d at 912 (citing Davis, 526 U.S. at 648–49; Stiles ex rel. D.S. v. Grainger Cty., Tenn., 819 F.3d 834, 849 (6th Cir. 2016); Estate of Lance v. Lewisville Indep. Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 982, No. 20 2803 11 996 (5th Cir. 2014)); see also Karasek v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 956 F.3d 1093, 1105 (9th Cir. 2020). Here, the district court followed this guidance in dismiss ing Plainti s’ Title IX claim for student on student harass ment. Although we recognize that Student B’s inappropriate and unacceptable comments made the challenging years of junior high even more stressful for Student A, the school quickly disciplined Student B and his bullying stopped. While it is understandable that Jauquet would have preferred the school to take even more decisive action in punishing Student B for his behavior, Title IX does not require a school to satisfy a victim’s parent’s remedial requests. 2. Direct Sex Discrimination The district court also analyzed whether Plainti s had al leged a claim for Title IX discrimination perpetrated directly by GRACE but found that Plainti s’ “allegations are too vague and indefinite to state a claim for sexual discrimination or harassment on the part of the school.” Cf. Columbia Coll. Chicago, 933 F.3d at 856 (plainti failed to allege “facts that could lead to a reasonable inference that [the defendant school] denied him an educational benefit because of his sex.”). Plainti s contend that the school culture at Notre Dame fosters an environment that discriminates against female stu dents on the basis of their sex. According to the complaint, GRACE generally permits “gender discriminatory policies and practices that, in addition to their direct impacts on Plain ti ’s daughter, also support sexual bullying and allow it to flourish.” To support these allegations of direct sex discrimi nation, Plainti s point to Notre Dame’s dress code, which 12 No. 20 2803 Plainti s maintain is more restrictive of girls’ clothing; to the higher academic standards that are girls are held to compared to boys at GRACE; and to GRACE’s tolerance of a high level “obscene, disrespectful, and disruptive behavior[]” from boys that it would not tolerate from girls. At oral argument, Plain ti s also pointed to Student A’s experience at Notre Dame as further support for their allegations of discriminatory policies and practices. “A [direct] Title IX discrimination claim requires a plain ti allege (1) the educational institution received federal fund ing, (2) plainti was excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of an educational program, and (3) the educa tional institution in question discriminated against plainti based on gender.” Columbia Coll. Chicago, 933 F.3d at 854 (cit ing Doe v. Purdue Univ., 928 F.3d 652, 657 (7th Cir. 2019)). Here, the parties do not dispute that GRACE receives fed eral funding and is subject to Title IX’s requirements. With re gard to the second element of exclusion from participation in or denial of the benefits of an educational program, the com plaint does not specify what program or benefit Student A was not able to access because of the dress code or the di er ences in the school’s expectations for students. In fact, the complaint repeatedly emphasizes that Student A is an honor roll student and does not suggest her academic status changed as a result of the practices and policies alleged. While it is possible as a general matter that a school’s dress code, cul ture, and response to bullying could exclude a student from educational benefits on the basis of her sex, Plainti s have not pled facts in this case to support an inference that GRACE ex cluded Student A because of her sex. The facts alleged in the complaint do not support a reasonable inference that this No. 20 2803 13 particular plainti was excluded from the benefits of an edu cational program. See Schillinger, 954 F.3d at 994. Even if Plainti s were able to satisfy the second element of a direct Title IX claim, the complaint also fails to allege facts to support the contention that GRACE discriminated against Student A on the basis of her sex. At the motion to dismiss stage, plainti s must set forth “adequate factual detail to lift [her] claims from mere speculative possibility to plausibility.” Id. (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In Columbia College, the district court dismissed a male plainti ’s Title IX claims for failing to state a claim, where he alleged that his college deprived him of access to his educa tion through its handling of a female student’s accusation of sexual assault against him and we a rmed. 933 F.3d at 854– 55. There, the plainti accused the school of discriminating against him through its process for handling sexual assault allegations after the school suspended the plainti for one year following a formal disciplinary hearing, during which the plainti was given an opportunity to present exculpatory evidence. Id. at 853. In addition, the plainti charged that the school fostered an “anti male” campus culture through the school’s approval of various campus events that showed its commitment to preventing and remedying sexual violence. Id. at 855. But we found that “there [was] no way to plausibly infer that Columbia’s investigation or adjudication was tainted by an anti male bias. [The plainti ] fail[ed] to allege particularized facts that could lead to a reasonable inference that [the school] denied him an educational benefit because of his sex.” Id. at 856. Here too, Plainti s’ allegations of GRACE’s direct sex dis crimination are too vague and conclusory to state a claim for 14 No. 20 2803 relief as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 because there are insu cient facts to “draw [a] reasonable inference that the defendant is liable” for Title IX sex discrimination. Schillinger, 954 F.3d at 994. Although Student B bullied Stu dent A based on her sex, the complaint contains no facts to support a reasonable inference that the school’s response was impacted by Student A’s sex, or, more to the point, that GRACE denied her an educational benefit through its han dling of Student B’s bullying based on Student A’s sex. See Columbia Coll. Chicago, 933 F.3d at 856. “A plainti cannot rely on [] generalized allegations alone, … but must combine them with facts particular to [her] case to survive a motion to dis miss.” Id. at 855. Plainti s’ complaint contains several other allegations of direct discrimination that are not supported by any facts. For example, the complaint alleges that the school discriminates against female students by imposing a more restrictive dress code on girls than on boys. But the complaint does not even say what the dress code is. We have previously recognized that a dress code can form the basis of a Title IX violation, but the mere existence of a dress code, by itself, is not evidence of discrimination. See Hayden ex rel. A.H. v. Greensburg Cmty. Sch. Corp., 743 F.3d 569 (7th Cir. 2014). In Hayden, we reversed the district court’s dismissal of a plainti ’s Title IX claim that was based on a haircut policy requiring male basketball players to wear short hair. Id. at 572. There, we found that the school did intentionally discriminate against boys by virtue of the short hair policy. Id. at 583. Hayden, however, does not stand for the proposition that di erences in dress codes necessarily violate Title IX. See id. at 584 (Manion, J., concurring in part and dis senting in part). “[D]i ering grooming standards are not dis crimination if they are comparable.” Id. (collecting cases). No. 20 2803 15 Here, the complaint did not specify what aspects of the dress code are more restrictive for girls than for boys, either in the policy or its enforcement. There are thus no facts from which we can draw a reasonable inference that the dress code dis criminates against female students. See Schillinger, 954 F.3d at 994. The complaint is similarly devoid of factual support for its allegations that GRACE holds female students to higher standards of academic performance and behavior than male students. And the complaint does not contain facts to permit a reasonable inference that Student A was denied access to educational benefits because she was allegedly held to a higher standard of academic performance. Without any fac tual support to show that female students are treated di er ently than male students on account of their sex, the com plaint’s conclusory allegations are insu cient to survive a motion to dismiss. “Title IX requires a systemic, substantial disparity that amounts to a denial of equal opportunity before finding a violation of the statute.” Parker v. Franklin Cty. Cmty. Sch. Corp., 667 F.3d 910, 922 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Davis, 526 U.S. at 650). Plainti s have not pled such a case here. B. Whether the district court abused its discretion in dis missing Plainti s’ Title IX claims with prejudice and state law claims without prejudice The district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Plainti s’ Title IX claims with prejudice. “We will not reverse a district court’s decision [to dismiss a complaint with preju dice], when the court provides a reasonable explanation for why it denied the proposed amendment.” Gonzalez Koeneke v. West, 791 F.3d 801, 808 (7th Cir. 2015). 16 No. 20 2803 Here, Plainti s made no e ort to amend their complaint or to add any specifics to the complaint, which the district court described as “vague and indefinite.” Plainti s also did not seek reconsideration by the district court, seek leave to file an amended complaint, or otherwise request an opportunity to cure the deficiencies of their complaint. On appeal and at the district court, they have not shown or argued that the complaint could be cured with additional facts that could support a Title IX claim. Indeed, even at oral argument, Plain ti s’ counsel asserted that the complaint as drafted was su cient. Under these circumstances, it was not an abuse of dis cretion to dismiss the Title IX claim with prejudice. Although leave to amend is ordinarily “freely given,” we have “recog nized, on many occasions, that a district court does not abuse its discretion by denying a motion for leave to amend when the plainti fails to establish that the proposed amendment would cure the deficiencies identified in the earlier com plaint.” Id. at 807. In this case, Plainti s never even requested leave to amend their complaint or for reconsideration before appealing the district court’s order. As a result, they have not demonstrated how they could cure the complaint’s deficien cies, so dismissal with prejudice was not unreasonable. “A district court does not ‘abuse its discretion by failing to order, sua sponte, an amendment to [the complaint] that [the plain ti ] never requested.’” Chaidez v. Ford Motor Co., 937 F.3d 998, 1008 (7th Cir. 2019) (quoting Wagner v. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc., 840 F.3d 355, 359 (7th Cir. 2016)). Without a federal claim in the case, the district court ap propriately dismissed Plainti s’ state law claims without prej udice, thereby relinquishing subject matter jurisdiction over the remaining claims. See O’Brien v. Vill. of Lincolnshire, 955 F.3d 616, 628 (7th Cir. 2020) (no abuse of discretion in No. 20 2803 17 declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims); Williams Elecs. Games, Inc. v. Garrity, 479 F.3d 904 (7th Cir. 2007) (describing the “sensible presumption” that federal courts may dismiss state law claims when all federal claims have dropped out of a case prior to trial). III. Conclusion For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
Primary Holding
Seventh Circuit rejects a Title IX suit against a Catholic middle school; the school's response to bullying by an eighth grade student was not clearly unreasonable.

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