Supreme Court declines to hear bullying case from Blackhawk (Pa.) district

Dec. 16, 2013
Family of twin sisters sued district, saying school should have expelled a student who repeatedly bullied the girls.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit that accused a school district of violating two students' civil rights when it refused to expel another student who had been bullying them. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Bradley and Deirdre Morrow of West Mayfield, Pa., sued the Blackhawk (Pa.) district on behalf of their twin daughters Brittany and Emily. A federal magistrate in Pittsburgh rejected the claim in 2011 and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June did the same.

From June 2013: The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that schools that opt not to expel bullies aren't necessarily liable for their actions thereafter. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that  a student at Blackhawk High School in Blackhawk, Pa., who relentlessly bullied and assaulted the Morrow sisters and was suspended, adjudicated delinquent and repeatedly told to have no further contact with them, but was never expelled. The Morrows say the behavior continued until the sisters decided to enroll in another school. The Morrows argued that by failing to expel the bully after she was found delinquent, the Blackhawk school district violated their equal protection rights.

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Mike Kennedy has written for AS&U since 1999.

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