University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Putman v. Bd. of Educ. of Somerset Indep. Sch. ED-KY-0001
Docket / Court 6:00-cv-00145 ( E.D. Ky. )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
On March 24, 2000, a former high school student allegedly harassed on the basis of his sex and sexual orientation, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the Board of Education of Somerset Independent Schools.

As detailed in the United States' ... read more >
On March 24, 2000, a former high school student allegedly harassed on the basis of his sex and sexual orientation, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the Board of Education of Somerset Independent Schools.

As detailed in the United States' Amicus Curiae brief, the plaintiff, represented by private counsel, claimed that the defendant discriminated against him based on his sex in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and violated his right to be free from discrimination based on his sex and sexual orientation under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant was indifferent to ongoing physical, verbal, and sexual harassment he experienced at the hands of peers from 1997 until 1999, by failing to take action to end the harassment. Instead of responding to the plaintiff's complaints, administrative officials told him to ignore the behavior and that the school system's policies didn't cover same-sex sexual harassment, treating him differently because of his sex and sexual orientation.

As the case implicated Equal Protection and Title IX concerns, on July 31, 2000, the United States sought the court's leave to participate as amicus curiae in opposition of the defendants' motion to dismiss. This permission was granted by the Court (Judge Jennifer B. Coffman) on October 10, 2000. On January 16, 2001, the Court dismissed the action due to a final settlement reached between the parties. According to a summary posted on the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division website and information provided by the ACLU and Lambda Legal, the settlement required the Board of Education to pay the plaintiff $135,000 and modify its sexual harassment policies to prohibit discrimination against students and employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

Stella Cernak - 04/06/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Aggressive behavior
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
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) Board of Education of Somerset Independent Schools
Plaintiff Description A former high school student verbally, physically, and sexually harassed by fellow students on the basis of his sex and sexual orientation, whose school failed to effectively handle the harassment.
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 Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
6:00−cv−00145 (E.D. Ky.) 01/16/2001
ED-KY-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
US Amicus Brief 07/31/2000
ED-KY-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Judges Coffman, Jennifer B. (E.D. Ky., W.D. Ky., FISC)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hoffman, Everett Clay (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Owsley, Michael A. (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Stewart, John Frith (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Altobella, Michelle Ross (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Huff, Winter R. (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Prather, John G. (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Glassman, Jeremiah (District of Columbia)
ED-KY-0001-0002 | ED-KY-0001-9000
Graham, Jane E. (Kentucky)
ED-KY-0001-0002 | ED-KY-0001-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (California)
ED-KY-0001-0002 | ED-KY-0001-9000
Simons, Valerie (District of Columbia)
ED-KY-0001-0002 | ED-KY-0001-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -