- A teenager in Georgia is suing the Fayette County Board of Education, saying she was expelled for "sexual impropriety" after she reported a sexual assault.
- The teenager, identified as "A.P." in court documents, said that when she was a 16-year-old sophomore at Fayette County High School in 2017, she told administrators that another student sexually assaulted her and pressured her into performing oral sex.
- She was then expelled for the rest of the school year, and the principal said she violated a school conduct code that prohibited "sexual impropriety," the lawsuit said.
- The lawsuit accuses Fayette County High School of violating Title IX by expelling her from school.
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A teenager in Georgia is suing her former school district, saying she was expelled for "sexual impropriety" after she reported a sexual assault.
In a lawsuit filed on Friday seen by Insider and first reported on by The Lily, the teenager, identified as "A.P." in documents, said that when she was a 16-year-old sophomore at Fayette County High School in 2017, she told administrators that another student sexually assaulted her and pressured her into performing oral sex.
She was then expelled for the rest of the school year, and the principal said she violated a school conduct code that prohibited "sexual impropriety," according to the lawsuit.
The teenager's lawsuit was filed in federal court by the National Women's Law Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.
The lawsuit accuses Fayette County High School of violating Title IX by expelling the teen from school
The lawsuit accuses Fayette County High School of violating Title IX, which states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
According to a press release from the NWLC, A.P. was placed in an in-school suspension after she reported the sexual assault to guidance counselors and an assistant principal. She was then given a 10-day out-of-school suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, then ultimately expelled for "sexual impropriety" and referred to an alternative school for the 2017-18 school year, the press release said.
Fayette County 's superintendent, school board, and three former administrators at the high school are named in the suit.
The teenager alleges that the student she accused of sexual assault had faced similar accusations in the past, and administrators "were or should have been on a heightened duty to protect other students from sexual harassment by him." The student has not been charged with any crimes.
'That effort to silence and punish her is not only morally reprehensible — it is illegal'
Emily Martin, vice president for education and workplace justice at NWLC, said in a statement:
"That effort to silence and punish her is not only morally reprehensible — it is illegal. Schools have a duty to make sure sexual assault doesn't deprive the survivor of educational opportunities — and they also have a duty not to retaliate against those who report. Officials did the exact wrong thing here — derailing A.P.'s education and sending the message that those who speak up about sexual assault will be punished. A.P. and all students deserve better."
Fayette County Board of Education spokeswoman Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said in a statement to Insider that the school system could not discuss the lawsuit due to pending litigation.
She said the school system "follows its student discipline code of conduct in providing due process to all students."
"We also abide by our policies regarding sexual harassment," the statement said. "The school system has not seen the complaint but will respond through the court proceedings, and fully expects to prevail on the legal and factual merits of the claims."
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.
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