The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear appeals in two cases involving school districts.
In the first, a Georgia father was seeking the justices’ review of a case in which he alleges school officials ignored repeated complaints and warnings that a 5th grade teacher was sexually abusing young female students.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled last year that a school principal and assistant principal were immune from the suit, and that the White County, Ga., school district was not liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because the evidence did not support claims that supervisors had actual notice that the teacher was molesting students.
In the second case, the high court declined to take up the question of whether the federal statute widely known as Section 1983, which derives from the Civil Rights Act of 1871, provides a cause of action for enforcing rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In a decision last September, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that even though Section 1983 ordinarily provides a cause of action for enforcing rights created by other federal laws, the IDEA provides its own comprehensive enforcement scheme. The 9th Circuit panel acknowledged that its decision was in conflict with rulings on that issue by two other federal circuits.
The justices declined without comment to hear the appeal of the Washington state mother of a child with autism in Blanchard v. Morton School District (No. 07-825). The school district’s brief in opposition is here.
Thanks to SCOTUSBlog for posting the appeals and the opposition briefs in these two cases.
A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.