Sexual Harassment and Discrimination at School
Your child has a right to an educational environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment and assault. Importantly, discrimination and harassment can come from administrators, teachers, and other students. If schools fail to take measures to ensure that students have a learning environment free from discrimination and harassment, they may be held responsible under the law.
Our attorneys are pioneers in the area of legal protections for students from assault, harassment, and discrimination. In the landmark case of Doe v. Kansas City, Missouri School District, we argued that the protections against discrimination and harassment contained in the Missouri Human Rights Act should be extended to public schools and that sexual assault and sexual harassment of students by other students should be prohibited. The court of appeals adopted our arguments, and for the first time recognized a cause of action for sexual harassment and sexual assault by students in Missouri. Because of this decision, the law in Missouri now also protects students from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, and disability. In Missouri, that means that children should not be bullied, harassed, or treated differently because of their race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, or disability. Outside of Missouri, students are also protected against discrimination and harassment on the basis of their race and sex.
The emotional harm inflicted on children from bullying, harassment, and assault can last well beyond their school years. Sadly, some children who are the victims of harassment and bullying never make it to their adult years, choosing instead to commit suicide just to escape the harassment and bullying. Still others turn to violence against their harassers. By enforcing the laws against discrimination and harassment in our schools, we can help eliminate some of the causes of these tragic events.
If you believe your child is being harassed or discriminated against at school, please contact us immediately for a free consultation. Our number is 816.444.4655.