Metro schools fail to protect students despite knowledge of sexual harassment

Metro schools fail to protect students despite knowledge of sexual harassment

Nashville public schools have been dealing with a sexual harassment issue for the past few years. Schools have failed to protect students despite knowing of this, and now a multi-million dollar lawsuit will be going forward.

Four girls are involved in this lawsuit, claiming that they were pressured into having sexual encounters. In addition to this, they were also recorded without their knowledge.

The girls suffered humiliation, taunts, and even threats as the males who assaulted them then shared the videos among their peers. The videos weren’t only shared widely between students though, one male even went as far as to upload the video to a porn site.

Metro lawyers were seeking summary judgement in the case – asking the judge to rule in the district’s favor without a trial.

In opposition, U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger explained how a reasonable juror could come to the conclusion that Metro school officials failed to protect the girls before and after they were subject to unwanted sexual contact.

Metro school lawyers made arguments saying that because male students were also shown in the videos, the girls did not suffer the kind of unequal treatment barred by federal laws. Trauger immediately shot down this argument, saying that there’s absolutely no evidence that the boys suffered from any kind of taunting or name calling.

“To the contrary, the bullying described (of the girls) follows the easily recognizable script of treating women and girls as uniquely tainted and lessened by their engagement in sexual activity — a dynamic with which MNPS administrators, as ordinary people living in the world, were undoubtedly familiar.” Trauger said.

Other girls were involved in either the taking or spreading of the videos, said Metro’s district defense. They claim the allegations of sexual harassment should be negated. Trauger also dismissed this defense.

“It is well-settled that it is no defense to sexual harassment that a perpetrator was of the same sex of the victim,” she wrote.

One victim in the case

“It’ll blow over in one day.” said and executive principal at Hunters Lane High School to a fourteen years old girl. Her mother reported that the girl was coerced into unwanted sexual activity during lunch at the school. It was her first sexual encounter and she was unaware it was being recorded, she said.

By the end of the school day, “the video was out and …everybody had it.”

This is the case where a male student decided to post the video on Pornhub, where the video spread even more. The young girl even transferred to another school immediately, but the video had spread everywhere by then. She said that he was taunted “mostly every day” and called names like “hoe”, “nasty”, and “worthless”.

The girls and their parents hope to seek justice for the wrongful acts that have been committed. The schools had long disregarded it, which is why they now plan to take action with this lawsuit.

Sara Farrington

A Canadian born writer currently based in the United States, Sara's love for literature has been prevelant since she was just a child. With a passion and drive for living a full life, Sara is currently travelling the world with her boyfriend.

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