Iowa school leaders are unphased after yesterday’s U-S Supreme Court rulingon a sexual harassment case. The high court ruled schools CAN be held liablefor sexual harassment of students IF administrators ignore allegations.Klark Jessen, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Education, says thereis a “blanket” state policy on sexual harassment for school districtsThe Supreme Court case dealt with a Georgia 5th grade girl who said aclassmate harassed her for months despite her complaints to officials.Jessen says the cases aren’t common in Iowa, but they DO occur.While one Iowa lawyer predicts the ruling will spawn many expensive lawsuitsfor Iowa schools, Jessen wouldn’t comment on what the future may bring.Jessen says the state has been working with the districts across Iowa foryears to help them build procedures that deal with just such cases.A Mason City teen was awarded five-thousand dollars in a 1996 case thataccused the district of not doing enough to stop classmates from harassingher. Heather Wright eventually dropped out of school. A judge lateroverturned the verdict and threw out the award.
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