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Title IX lawsuit against Hall school district alleges assault against middle school student

A lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court alleges the Hall County School District did not respond appropriately to a middle school student being assaulted by a male classmate, according to court documents.

The complaint, filed using Jane and John Does as the respective plaintiff and defendant, was filed April 23 pursuant to Title IX.

In addition to equality in athletics, Title IX’s domain includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sex-based discrimination in the workplace at educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.

The events listed in the lawsuit are alleged to have happened from April 2017 onward at an unnamed middle school.

“On April 20 and 21, 2017, defendant John Doe cornered (the) plaintiff and then physically assaulted and battered her in a classroom after blocking her exit,” according to court documents. “Prior to this, defendant John Doe had been harassing (the) plaintiff by drawing sexually-oriented pictures on (the) plaintiff’s books and papers as well as making inappropriate comments to her.”

According to the lawsuit, the girl’s mother learned about this from a neighbor.

“A school employee, who learned of the incidents, had cautioned (the) plaintiff that plaintiff should not want any record of incidents to be placed on defendant John Doe’s school record as this could hurt his future. The school failed to respond quickly and appropriately to the incident. The school failed to promptly investigate the incidents to determine what occurred and to take appropriate action,” according to the lawsuit.

Attorney Jamie Miller, who is representing the plaintiff, did not return a request for comment.

Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins said the county had not yet been served with the suit. Citing the pending nature of the case, Higgins declined to comment.

The lawsuit alleges violation of Title IX, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

The plaintiff is seeking an injunction against the school system “to address insufficiencies in its actions, policies and programs” regarding Title IX issues, damages and court costs.

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