Colomo Vs. Bonds
Colomo Vs Bonds 2012 was a case that brought out concern on what sexual harassment really is in cases of student and student misconduct. The suit was filed on behalf of Victoria Colomo by her mother who is a former teacher and included in the suit as defendants were the school and nine district officials. There were several meetings held between Victoria Colomo and Joseph Fuller who were both special needs students at San Angelo Central High School. The court was issued with the accounts of the meetings where Fuller had taken Colomo to seclusion near the school and asked her to be his girlfriend and touched her inappropriately. Colomo’s mother then called the two students and in the process lectured Fuller for his actions as well as told Victoria to avoid Fuller and made sure she did not walk alone on the campus. Fuller had also threatened Victoria twice which had led to his suspension from the school, and Victoria was assigned an escort. Other methods on campus were used to keep the two separated. Colomo’s mother also brought this point forward claiming that the school had been indifferent when dealing with the first case. Under this, the courts ruled that if the ‘harasser’ acted in a way that makes the ‘harasser’ be denied of the rights to proper education, school management and the board would have acted in differently if they had full awareness of the happenings of the case. However, the student had maintained stable grades since the case was based on the victim’s mother belief that the school acted in differently in solving the matter. The case was thrown out for lack of evidence.
The issues in the case were that Victoria’s mother thought that her daughter was being deprived of the educational opportunities she was supposed to have. The case involved sexual harassment on a school campus and the court had to define what defined what sexual harassment was. Rather than there being a decision in the case, it was dismissed. It was added to the rules of the school that this was not “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” to an extent that it can constitute a violation of the title IX of the school rules. The reason that the case was dismissed was because the members of the court there was an act of intentional indifference. It might have been probable that the victim mother acted on her own terms to protect her daughter. According to the law, there is no course of action against the school.
Several laws and statutes can be referred to when trying to answer whether or not the decision was right. The Title IX was put in effect in1972. It helps people to understand the rights of individuals when there are cases of sexual harassment involved. The statute ensured that both sexes are equal and it significantly reduces the cases of individuals suing for sexual harassment. However, the individuals can seek compensation on the claims of sexual harassment. The significance of this case is that it set the bar for future cases similar to this and will also help in future judgements that involve cases of students saying that they have been a victim of harassment and also when school administration is included in the lawsuit.
Dessoff, Alan. “Student’s Death Triggers Title IX Test.” District Administration 40.2 (2004): 23. Print.
Walsh, Devin. “School District Not Liable in Title IX Student Harassment Suit”. 1 June 2012. PDF file.
Colomo Vs. Bonds