Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60, 5 (1992)

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64

FRANKLIN v. GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Opinion of the Court

they became aware of and investigated Hill's sexual harassment of Franklin and other female students, teachers and administrators took no action to halt it and discouraged Franklin from pressing charges against Hill. Complaint

¶¶ 23, 24, 35. On April 14, 1988, Hill resigned on the condition that all matters pending against him be dropped. Complaint ¶¶ 36, 37. The school thereupon closed its investigation. Complaint ¶ 37.

In this action,3 the District Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that Title IX does not authorize an award of damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 911 F. 2d 617 (CA11 1990). The court noted that analysis of Title IX and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U. S. C. 2000d et seq. (Title VI), has developed along similar lines. Citing as binding precedent Drayden v. Needville Independent School Dist., 642 F. 2d 129 (CA5 1981), a decision rendered prior to the division of the Fifth Circuit, the court concluded that Title VI did not support a claim for monetary damages. The court then analyzed this Court's decision in Guardians Assn. v. Civil Service Comm'n of New York City, 463 U. S. 582 (1983), to determine whether it implicitly overruled Drayden. The court stated that the absence of a majority opinion left unresolved the question whether a court could award such relief upon a showing of intentional discrimination. As a second basis for its holding that monetary damages were unavailable, the court reasoned that Title IX was enacted under Congress' Spending Clause powers and that

3 Prior to bringing this lawsuit, Franklin filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education (OCR) in August 1988. After investigating these charges for several months, OCR concluded that the school district had violated Franklin's rights by subjecting her to physical and verbal sexual harassment and by interfering with her right to complain about conduct proscribed by Title IX. OCR determined, however, that because of the resignations of Hill and respondent William Prescott and the implementation of a school grievance procedure, the district had come into compliance with Title IX. It then terminated its investigation. First Amended Complaint, Exh. A, pp. 7-9.

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