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Case Name Iversen v. Kent Sch. Dist. ED-WA-0001
Docket / Court 2:97-cv-01194 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On July 23, 1997, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Equal Protection in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The ACLU sued the Kent School District and five administrators on behalf of a former student, ... read more >
On July 23, 1997, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Equal Protection in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The ACLU sued the Kent School District and five administrators on behalf of a former student, alleging that the Kent School District and the administration failed to protect the student against anti-gay harassment. The lawsuit named two district officials as well as principals at three district schools. The plaintiffs sought monetary damages, stricter enforcement of the anti-harassment policy, and stronger protections in the school policy for targeted students.

In the suit, the ACLU claimed that the former had been harassed from 7th grade up to high school. He switched high schools four times, without any change in the harassment. The incidents included being pushed into lockers with a broomstick while two teachers watched without interfering; being told by an instructor: "I already have 20 girls in my class. I don't need another"; being questioned by an instructor whether Mark was qualified to give blood based on the perception that Mark was gay; being banned from the classroom after reporting to a teacher he had been suffering based on his sexual orientation.

On July 30, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. On September 8, 1998, the court (Judge William Dwyer) granted in part and denied in part. The parties continued to engage in discovery and prepared for trial.

The pre-trial was held on October 22, 1998, and the parties engaged in a settlement conference on October 29, 1998. Eventually, the lawsuit was settled for $40,000 and a guarantee from the district that there would be training on the subject of anti-gay harassment. Further, the district agreed to maintain measures which educate teachers and administrators about student-to-student harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

On November 6, 1998, the court dismissed Kent School District with prejudice and without costs, and the matter having been fully resolved.

Ginny Lee - 03/06/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Kent School District
Plaintiff Description An 18-year-old student in the Kent School District who suffered from anti-gay harassment and violence.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:97−cv−01194 (W.D. Wash.)
ED-WA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/25/1999
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Judges Dwyer, William Lee (W.D. Wash.)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Caplan, Aaron H. (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Flower, Aline (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Masters, Kenneth W (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Talbot, James W (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Wing, Jesse (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Patterson, Michael A. (Washington)
ED-WA-0001-9000

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