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Supreme Court standard should dictate school districts’ liability under Title IX assert Ed Leaders

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), joined by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding Salazar v. South San Antonio Independent School District, urging the Court to overturn the trial court’s decision.

The Court will consider whether a school district may be held liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for the sexual assault of a student by a school principal when the abuser was the only school official with actual knowledge of the offense.

“If the Court of Appeals affirms the lower court’s decision, it will create a precedent where a district can be found liable based solely on wrongdoing by a school official, regardless of how vigilant a school district is in monitoring employees, and without the district being given the opportunity to address the harassment in question,” stated Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association. “It has been our long held position that Title IX liability of school districts should be determined strictly in keeping with the standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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