Former Student Files Retaliation Lawsuit Against Brighton Schools
May 4, 2022
By Jessica Mathews / email@example.com
A federal lawsuit has been filed against Brighton Area Schools and several officials by a former student who alleges retaliation for reporting a sexual assault in 2019 – claims the district denies.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleges various violations including the 14th Amendment, Right to Equal Protection, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, and the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act among others. It names the district, superintendent, and various staff members as defendants.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and was filed by a 19-year-old female who has a genetic disorder and received special education services while in school. She graduated from Brighton High School.
The complaint alleges that on May 10th, a junior student lured her into a bathroom at the school where she had sex with him against her will. It states the alleged assault was reported in June to a social worker but there were other known sexual assaults involving the male student.
The complaint lists various incidents in which the plaintiff claims she was treated differently by teachers and staff after making the report, and was bullied and harassed by students.
The complaint states the plaintiff suffers from continued emotional and physical injuries.
The suit alleges the district breached its duty and failed to protect the plaintiff from sexual assault, sexual abuse and harassment from students. It further alleges a special education teacher pressured the plaintiff into recanting her allegations.
The district denies the allegations.
Superintendent Matthew Outlaw told WHMI he did not work at the district at the time of the alleged matter but provided the following statement on its behalf:
"The District wants to assure BAS families that the health, safety, and education of all of our students continues to be our highest priority. Specific to this matter from the 2018-19 school year, the district denies all allegations. At the advice of legal counsel, the District will not be able to comment further since this is a pending lawsuit."
No court dates have been set.