University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Madison v. Sullivan Cnty. Bd. of Educ. ED-TN-0001
Docket / Court 2:00-ED-00094 ( E.D. Tenn )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
This summary is based on the documents available on the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) website.

On March 24, 2000, a former high school student filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of ... read more >
This summary is based on the documents available on the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) website.

On March 24, 2000, a former high school student filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (Judge Thomas G. Hull) against the Sullivan County Board of Education (SCBE) and several students (student defendants), under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000d. On September 24, 2000, an amended complaint was filed to add another former student as a plaintiff.

The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, alleged that they were subject to racial harassment while attending Sullivan East High School. The plaintiffs alleged that the harassment (including a barrage of racial slurs, derogatory graffiti, and paraphernalia) were known or should have been known to school officials, but they failed to take appropriate steps to address the problems in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages resulting from the SCBE's deliberate indifference to the verbal and physical racial harassment committed by students under the SCBE's disciplinary authority.

On November 28, 2000, the DOJ filed a complaint-in-intervention to seek relief to ensure that the SCBE will operate a school system free of racial harassment for its students.

On July 27, 2002, the plaintiffs moved to dismiss claims against the student defendants. The docket indicates that there was a settlement with at least one student defendant.

On October 16, 2002, the District Court (Judge Hull) entered a consent decree settling the lawsuit. The SCBE agreed to, among other things: (1) hire an expert to evaluate its policies for preventing and remedying discrimination; (2) conduct school climate assessments; (3) develop comprehensive plans and education programs to prevent discrimination; and (4) maintain records of harassment allegations. The SCBE agreed to submit quarterly reports to the DOJ. The consent decree was to remain in effective for four years.

Monetary damages for the plaintiff were set forth in a separate confidential agreement. Accordingly, the case was dismissed with prejudice due to the settlement.

David Cho - 11/11/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Sullivan County Board of Education
Plaintiff Description Several Tennessee high school students
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2006
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
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 ]

Docket(s)
2:00-cv-00094 (E.D. Tenn) 11/21/2002
ED-TN-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Summary of Case
ED-TN-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Motion to Intervene 11/02/2000
ED-TN-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Memorandum in Support of U.S. Motion to Intervene 11/02/2000
ED-TN-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Complaint in Intervention 11/28/2000
ED-TN-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Consent Order 10/16/2002 (E.D. Tenn)
ED-TN-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Press Release 10/16/2002
ED-TN-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Judges Hull, Thomas Gray (E.D. Tenn)
ED-TN-0001-0001 | ED-TN-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahuja, Kiran A. (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003 | ED-TN-0001-0004 | ED-TN-0001-0005 | ED-TN-0001-9000
Bailey, Leslie W. Jr. (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Crain, Larry L. (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Glassman, Jeremiah (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003 | ED-TN-0001-0004 | ED-TN-0001-0005 | ED-TN-0001-9000
Guzman, Javier M (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003 | ED-TN-0001-0004 | ED-TN-0001-0005 | ED-TN-0001-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003 | ED-TN-0001-0004 | ED-TN-0001-0005
Maurer, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003 | ED-TN-0001-0004 | ED-TN-0001-0005 | ED-TN-0001-9000
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
ED-TN-0001-0003
Schuette, Brian L. (Kentucky)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berry, William R. (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Carmack, Tausha M. (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Hull, E. Patrick (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Ledford, J. Patrick (Tennessee)
ED-TN-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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