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Case History

Case law relevant to an institutions treatment of students is limited and theories explaining this are endless. There is much more case law dealing with an educational institution's discrimination in employment on the basis of sex. Some of the more famous cases are Melani v. Bd. of Education of the City of New York (1983); Zuboric v. Cornell University (1984); Sweeney v. Board of Trustees of Keene State College (1979); and Jew v. University of Idaho (1990).

Following are some precedent setting cases and their holdings regarding student rights under Title IX:

Canon v. University of Chicago, 710 F. 2d 351.

In 1977 the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave an individual student the right to bring suit against an educational institution for discrimination;

Cockburn v. Santa Monica Community College District.

A faculty member was dismissed for embracing and kissing his student laboratory assistant once and attempting to do so at other times. The Court held that the behavior created a hostile environment for the student.

Mississippi University of Women v. Hogan, 102 Supreme Court 3331,(1982).

Private single-sex undergraduate institutions can be exempt from the admissions requirements of Title IX but they must comply with constitutional equal protection requirements in admissions;

The "Welcomeness" of sexual advances:

Alexander v. Yale University, 631 F. 2d 178, 2nd Circuit (1980).

This case presents an example of quid pro quo sexual harassment in academia involving a student's allegation that she received a poor grade after rejecting her professor's offer of an "A" for compliance with his sexual demands. The Court recognized that Title IX affords relief for sexual harassment that deprives an individual of educational benefits but held that students must prove a distinct and palpable injury, thus rejecting the hostile environment theory.

Korf v. Ball State.

Testimony suggested that "submission" rather than consent or welcomeness characterized the relationship between a professor and a student. The Court of Appeals found the University had acted properly in dismissing the professor.

Moire v. Temple University School of Medicine, 3rd Circuit (1986).

recognition that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") guidelines are equally applicable to Title IX suggests that the courts will continue to decide claims of sexual harassment brought by students under Title IX using reasoning similar to that established under Title VII cases.

The District Court allowed a claim for sexual harassment based solely on environmental harm (opposite of Alexander). The Court's explicit

Naragon v. Wharton.

The Court addressed the issue of consent in a lesbian relationship between a student and a teaching assistant. The university was found to be within its rights when it changed the duties of the assistant.