Authored by Ollie Lammers
According to InsiderHigherEd.com, Millersville University in Philadelphia might be held liable under Title IX for a sexual harassment case with the perpetrator (a nonstudent) harassing a student.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the district court's holding. The court had ruled the university lacked notice that it could have been held liable under Title IX.
The ruling revives a lawsuit filed by the parents of Karlie Hall, a student murdered in her dorm room by her boyfriend who did not attend the university.
The lawsuit against Millersville University focuses on their failure to react to a domestic violence incident in Karlie Hall's dorm room.
A university officer responded but did not officially file a report until after Karlie Hall's death. The resident advisor filed a domestic violence incident report to the Title IX office, which is against the university policies.
Public Justice teamed up with the Women's Law Project to file an amicus brief supporting the Hall family.
Public Justice's Attorney Alexandra Brodsky calls the ruling a "clear recognition that schools should respond to known sexual harassment that happens within their control regardless of the identity of the harasser. There are no categorical exemptions from Title IX's protections if the harasser is the student's guest."
"I don't want to overstate it, in that I don't want to say this is some kind of expansion of the law because I think that has been the state of the law for a long time," Brodsky said. "But it's still always helpful to have a court explain the contours of the law in such a clear way."
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