The National Schools Boards Association (NSBA) and Fairfax County Public Schools want the U.S. Supreme to hear a case that an appeals court judge said amounted to schools asking to get “one free rape” before staff is responsible for inaction. According to The Daily Wire, the NSBA’s amicus brief pits them against the National Women’s Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and other feminist, liberal, or survivors-rights groups, all of whom filed an opposing friend-of-the-court brief.
Schools have a legal duty to investigate allegations of sexual abuse under federal Title IX law, but NSBA and FCPS claim that being told of an alleged assault doesn’t clear the legal bar of having ‘actual knowledge.’
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Wynn described the background of the case:
“This case involves a sexual assault that a jury found took place on a school bus during a band trip. The plaintiff, “Jane Doe,” sat next to “Jack Smith,” an older student. Doe alleges that Smith repeatedly touched her breasts and genitals and penetrated her vagina with his fingers despite her efforts to physically block him, and that he also repeatedly put her hand on his penis even after she moved it away. She testified at trial that during this incident, she felt so “confused,” “shocked,” and “scared” that she was “frozen in fear the whole time.”
“Doe, her friends, and her parents repeatedly reported the incident to the school. Yet a reasonable jury could conclude that these reports were met with deliberate indifference. To summarize just a few pieces of evidence the jury could view in Doe’s favor: school officials took no action to protect Doe or to offer emotional support to her during the five-day band trip; instead, the principal made an inappropriate joke about the incident in an email; after the band trip, the school’s Safety and Security Specialist asked victim-blaming questions such as what Doe was wearing and why she did not scream; and school officials discussed with Doe (but not with Smith!) the possibility of being disciplined for engaging in sexual activity on a school trip.”
The Daily Wire says Shatter the Silence, a group of survivors of sexual assault within Fairfax schools and their families, said in a statement: “The Fairfax County School Board has no shame. Board members plaster their equity commitments on Twitter and pass empty resolutions claiming that inclusion and civil rights guide their governance. In reality, they spend taxpayer money asking the Supreme Court to enshrine a ‘one free rape’ safe harbor for schools that fail to properly investigate allegations of student sexual abuse.”
NSBA and Fairfax County Public Schools are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the case against the school system from going to trial.
NSBA labels parents as domestic terrorists
This is the same organization that last year wrote to the Biden administration, urging them to treat concerned parents like domestic terrorists. In response, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to use its authority to identify threats and prosecute concerned parents.
It has since been disclosed that the Biden administration orchestrated the matter. According to Fox News, NSBA Secretary-Treasurer Kristi Swett recounted that NSBA interim CEO Chip Slaven “told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.”
19 states school board associations have since taken action to withdraw membership, participation, or dues from NSBA according to Parents Defending Education. Missouri is one of the states that withdrew participation but the Kansas Association of School Boards won’t say if they will follow Missouri’s lead.
KASB will likely continue to support NSBA efforts because former KASB executive director John Heim is now CEO of the NSBA.