Metro Nashville Public Schools
Metro Nashville Public Schools 61eadd098c7d2

Nashville (Tenn.) district ordered to pay student $70,000 over alleged harassment of student

Jan. 21, 2022
A judge ruled that the district violated Title IX when it failed to stop the harassment of a female student at Hunters Lane High School in Nashville after a video of her having sex at school was posted online.
Metro Nashville Public Schools
Metro Nashville Public Schools 61eadd098c7d2

A federal judge has ordered Metro Nashville Public Schools to pay $70,000 to a former student, ruling that the district did not do enough to protect her from harassment at her high school.

The judge ruled the Nashville district was liable for violating Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in schools.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2017 by a mother who said her 15-year-old-daughter was "subjected to unwelcome sexual contact by a male student" in a classroom at Hunters Lane High School while another student recorded it on video. 

The video was then shared between students and posted by at least one student across multiple social media platforms, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that the practice was so widespread at the school that the students nicknamed the activity "exposing"

Female students in such videos were bullied, mocked and ridiculed by peers, the lawsuit contended.

The district suspended the girl and two other students when it became aware of the incident, but it was accused of violating Title IX because it did not carry out any discipline to stop the spread of the video. The girl had to leave the school because the district's inaction led to bullying and "vicious threats." 

Stephen Crofford, the girl's lawyer, said his client felt the outcome of the case vindicated her.

Since the incident, the Nashville school board has adopted a Title IX and sexual harassment policy, spokesperson Sean Braisted says.

"These situations are sensitive in nature, and we have been actively working as a district to improve our systems of support since this occurred back in 2017," Braisted said. "The court acknowledged the steps create the office of civil rights and Title IX coordinator who helps train and prepare staff in how best to handle situations and offers guidance and investigatory support as needed."

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