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Nabozny v. Podlesny
Transcript of Nabozny v. Podlesny
Arguments of the Respondent
Outcome at District Court Level
The district court ruled in favor of the defendants.
The court dispensed with Nabozny's gender equal protection claim, holding that Nabozny failed to produce evidence to establish that the defendants discriminated against him based on his gender.
Outcome at U.S. Federal Court of Appeals
All Students have a federal constitutional right to "equal protection" under the law.
Schools are legally obligated to provide the same protection against harassment to LGBTQQ students as they would to heterosexual students.
School districts can be held accountable for failing to protect students from homophobic abuse.
Nabozny was awarded nearly $1 million dollars in damages by the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals, 7th District
Nabozny v. Podlesny, 1996
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
92 F.3d 446
Background of the Case
Student in the Ashland Public School District
Continually harassed and physically abused by fellow students because he is homosexual.
Reported the harassment to school administrators.
Asked the school officials to protect him and to punish his assailants.
Even though they had a policy in place, they allegedly turned a deaf ear to Nabozny's requests.
Arguments of the Petitioner
Nabozny eventually filed suit against several school officials and the District pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 alleging, among other things, that the defendants:
1) violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection by discriminating against him based on his gender;
2) violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection by discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation;
3) violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process by exacerbating the risk that he would be harmed by fellow students; and,
4) violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process by encouraging an environment in which he would be harmed.
Rotate axis and drag frames
to change balance
Nabozny appealed this decision to the U.S. Federal Court of Appeal's, 7th District .
1) The District and defendants Podlesny, Davis, and Blauert violated Nabozny's Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection by discriminating against him based on his gender or sexual orientation.
2) Further, the law establishing the defendants' liability was sufficiently clear to inform the defendants at the time that their conduct was unconstitutional.
3) Nabozny's equal protection claims against the District, Podlesny, Davis, and Blauert are reinstated in toto.
4) Nabozny has failed to produce sufficient evidence to permit a reasonable fact-finder to find that the defendants violated Nabozny's Fourteenth Amendment right to due process either by enhancing his risk of harm or by encouraging a climate to flourish in which he suffered harm.
Had a commendable record of enforcing their anti-harassment policies.
"Boys will be boys," apparently dismissing the incident because both the perpetrators and the victim were males.
They investigated and punished all complaints of battery and harassment, regardless of the victim's gender.
They aggressively pursued each of Nabozny's complaints and punished the alleged perpetrators whenever possible.
Also argue that there is no evidence that they either intentionally discriminated against Nabozny, or were deliberately indifferent to his complaints.
Concede that they had a policy and practice of punishing perpetrators of battery and harassment.
Claim they are entitled to "qualified immunity"
"Georgia Safe Schools Coalition." Georgia Safe Schools Coalition. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.
"Nabozny v. Podlesny." Lambda Legal. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.