- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A federal judge has blocked the Eugene School District from releasing the disciplinary record of a high school senior who doesn’t want colleges to know that he was accused of sexual harassment when he was a seventh-grader.

The Register-Guard reports (https://is.gd/BKRjTi ) the student who plans to take the SAT is worried the suspension he received as a middle school student in 2011 may hurt his chances for college admission.

Court documents say the boy was off school grounds when he harassed two students by talking about pornography and referencing an abbreviation that can be construed as pertaining to a sex act. The victims were sixth-graders - a girl with impaired hearing and a boy with autism.

The lawsuit goes back to 2012, when the boy’s parents argued the district violated their son’s rights to free speech and due process by wrongly labeling him as a sexual harasser without a proper hearing or evidence.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Coffin initially rejected the lawsuit, asserting the parents were trying to use the federal courts to overturn the school district’s finding of harassment.

The parents then appealed the case to the federal appeals court, saying the district lacked disciplinary authority because the alleged harassment took place after school and away from school.

Coffin on Monday issued the preliminary injunction blocking release of the disciplinary record.

The boy was with three of his friends when an adult bicyclist overheard the harassing behavior and reported it to school officials, court documents state. An investigation concluded the boy was the ringleader of the group and was handed a two-day suspension.

District Superintendent Gustavo Balderas declined comment on the case.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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