Published Online: January 22, 1997

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High Court Refuses To Revive Lawsuit in Bathroom-Pass Case

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Washington

A former high school student who claimed his rights were violated when a teacher refused him permission to go to the bathroom will not get his day before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices last week refused to revive the Alabama case.

In 1993, Jerry Boyett was given 10 days of detention at Luverne High School in Luverne, Ala., after he left class to use the restroom despite the denial of permission from his teacher. The student claimed he had diarrhea and an urgent need to use the facilities.

The teacher, Lalar Tomberlin, said in court papers that the student interrupted class with a loud, disruptive request to use the bathroom and never mentioned an illness.

Earlier Rulings Upheld

Mr. Boyett and his parents sued the teacher and the Crenshaw County school district in state court for pain and suffering, embarrassment, and humiliation. The suit also alleged a violation of the student's right to due process of law.

An Alabama judge ruled that the teacher and school officials were immune from the lawsuit because they were exercising "discretionary functions." A state appeals court upheld the ruling, and the state supreme court refused to review the case.

--MARK WALSH

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