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Case Name Doe v. Wood County Board of Education ED-WV-0001
Docket / Court 6:12-cv-04355 ( S.D. W. Va. )
State/Territory West Virginia
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On August 15, 2012, a mother and her three minor daughters filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, against the Wood County Board of Education and Van ... read more >
On August 15, 2012, a mother and her three minor daughters filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, against the Wood County Board of Education and Van Devender Middle School. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the ACLU and private counsel, sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief. They alleged that the School's single-sex education program approved by the Board violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The three daughters were students who were subject to a program dividing boys and girls into separate classrooms for certain subjects and educated them with distinct teaching methods. The plaintiffs claimed that their school experiences were adversely affected by the physical differences between the boys' and girls' classrooms and the gender-differentiated teaching techniques.

On August 20, 2012, the District Court (Judge Joseph R. Goodwin) denied the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order. The Court noted that two important issues needed further development in this case, which were the voluntariness of the single-sex classes and the availability of substantially equal coeducational alternatives at the School.

Judge Goodwin held a preliminary injunction hearing on August 27, 2012, and on August 29, 2012, granted a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs. Doe v. Wood Cnty. Bd. of Educ., 888 F. Supp. 2d 771 (S.D.W. Va. 2012). The injunction banned single-sex classes at the School for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year and until the school's program met the requirements of the Constitution and Title IX. Particularly, the school must comply with the requirement of complete voluntariness under the Department of Education regulations. Evidence showed that the students were involuntarily placed in the relevant school program and could only opt out, but the School failed to provide parents and guardians with timely notice and procedural instructions about opt-out option.

On October 15, 2012, the Court granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss the case. The Court dismissed all plaintiffs' claims against the individual defendants in light of their entitlement to qualified immunity and the redundancy of the claims. Hence, the Board remained as the only defendant in the case. The case is ongoing.

Emma Bao - 06/12/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Wood County Board of Education
Plaintiff Description A mother and her three daughters attending a middle school which separated girls and boys for certain courses in certain grades.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
None yet
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2012 - 2013
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Posted: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
6:12-cv-4355 (S.D. W. Va.) 12/17/2012
ED-WV-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/15/2012
ED-WV-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Order [Denying Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order] 08/20/2012 (S.D. W. Va.)
ED-WV-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion for Preliminary Injunction] 08/29/2012 (888 F.Supp.2d 771) (S.D. W. Va.)
ED-WV-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source:
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss] 10/15/2012 (S.D. W. Va.)
ED-WV-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Goodwin, Joseph Robert (S.D. W. Va.)
ED-WV-0001-0001 | ED-WV-0001-0003 | ED-WV-0001-0004 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brandt-Young, Christina (New York)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Forman, Roger D. (West Virginia)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Harris, Marissa P. (District of Columbia)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Hartman, Joshua A. (District of Columbia)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Henry, Roxann E. (District of Columbia)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Katz, Amy Lynn (New York)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Lapidus, Lenora M. (New Jersey)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Rogers, Sarah (West Virginia)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Sherwin, Galen (New York)
ED-WV-0001-0002 | ED-WV-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boone, Aaron C (West Virginia)
ED-WV-0001-9000
Kent, Robert J (West Virginia)
ED-WV-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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