Legal Briefs & Testimony

The National Women’s Law Center and law firm Sidley Austin LLP submitted an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Jane Doe v. Fairfax County School Board. The case was brought by a high school student against her school for failing to respond adequately when she was sexually assaulted on a school field trip. While the jury found that she was harassed and told responsible school officials, it nevertheless found the school not liable under Title IX based on deficient jury instructions. The brief argues that the District Court’s initial jury instructions and confusing clarifications gave jurors the misimpression that Title IX requires school officials to have knowledge that sexual harassment actually occurred, when in fact “actual notice” of alleged sexual harassment suffices. Nearly 30 allies, including organizations dedicated to civil rights, educational opportunities, and gender equality, signed the brief.

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