Feminist Majority Foundation v. University of Mary Washington

If you are being watched, leave now!

  • Equal Educational Opportunities
  • Joined Amicus Brief
2017

Concerning whether UMW violated Title IX by taking no action to investigate cyber harassment on campus.

Summary of the Case

Several female students at the University of Mary Washington were harassed and threatened online through the geographically-based social media app Yik Yak, which allows users to share anonymous messages with any user within a 1.5 mile radius. Although students reported the harassment to the University several times, the University refused to investigate the harassment and took no action to address it.

Summary of the Brief

The brief argues that cyber harassment in school seriously harms students and denies them equal access to educational opportunities, and school’s indifference toward the harassment violated the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Decision

The district court in Virginia dimissed the action, partially on First Amendment grounds, which the plaintiff appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed part of the dimissal of the Title IX retaliation claims but reinstated the Title XI sex distrimination claim and remanded for further proceedings.