Cincinnati, Ohio. The federal lawsuit against the Sycamore School District for sex harassment has been settled. On July 3, 2008, 18 year old Jessica Logan tragically took her own life after suffering unrelenting peer abuse by students at Sycamore High School. In June 2012, U.S. District Court Judge S. Arthur Spiegel ruled the parents had submitted sufficient evidence against the school district that the case could proceed to a jury trial. Recently Jessica’s family and Sycamore School District settled the case that accused the school of not protecting Jessica from sexual harassment, as all public schools are required to do under Title IX. The parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the settlement.
The case against Sycamore School District set an important legal precedent. “This case established that School Districts can be liable if they fail to protect students from sexual harassment at school. If they know a student is being harassed and do nothing to stop it, they can be sued for the injuries the student suffers as a result, “warned Logan attorney Jennifer Branch.
Jessica’s tragic death has also sparked legislative reform. Jessica’s parents ceaselessly pursued changes to strengthen Ohio law and were pleased when Ohio Governor Kasich signed the Jessica Logan Act, House Bill Number 116, which goes into effect November 4, 2012. One of the main provisions of the Jessica Logan Act is to require schools to prohibit cyber bullying, which is bullying by electronic means. Jessica’s mother, Cynthia Logan, was pleased Ohio passed the Jessica Logan Act but will never be satisfied that peer abuse will end in Ohio schools until every parent, student, and teacher stands up to each act of bullying, intimidation, and harassment.