IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLEASANT HILL PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, R-III,
Case No. 99-0550-CV-W-2
COMPLAINT IN INTERVENTION
The United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor, alleges as
1. This complaint-in-intervention is filed by the Attorney
General of the United States on behalf of the United States, pursuant
to the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2;
and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-88, which prohibits recipients of Federal financial assistance from
discriminating on the basis of sex in education programs or
2. This court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42
U.S.C. § 2000h-2.
3. Defendant Pleasant Hill Public School District (hereinafter
"PHSD" or "the District") is responsible for the administration of
educational services for all students enrolled in the Pleasant Hill
Public School District in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, including Pleasant
Hill Middle School and Pleasant Hill High School.
4. Lovins v. Pleasant Hill Public School District and Hugh
Graham, No. 99-0550-CV-W-2, was filed on June 4, 1999. The Plaintiff
alleges that PHSD violated, inter alia, the Equal Protection Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Education Amendments
of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, by discriminating on the basis of sex.
Hugh Graham was dismissed as a defendant by Order of the Court on
February 11, 2000.
5. The Plaintiff is a citizen of Missouri and was a student in
the Pleasant Hill School District from 1994 until his graduation in
1998. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages as a result
of the Defendant's deliberate indifference to the verbal and physical
peer-on-peer sexual harassment committed by students under the
defendant's direct control and disciplinary authority.
6. PHSD is organized under, and exists pursuant to, the laws of
the State of Missouri and, as such, is subject to the prohibitions of
the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States.
7. The District is a recipient of Federal financial assistance
and, as such, is subject to Title IX of the Education Amendments of
1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.
8. While Jeremy Lovins was a student in the PHSD from 1994
until 1998, he was subjected to harassment constituting
discrimination on the basis of sex.
9. The sexual harassment to which Jeremy was subjected was
severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.
10. The Defendant's actions and inactions in response to the
harassment violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Title IX of
the Education Amendments of 1972.
11. Such actions and inactions include the following:
a. Pleasant Hill School District officials with
authority to rectify the situation were given notice
that Jeremy Lovins was being subjected to
discrimination on the basis of sex, but failed to
take immediate and appropriate corrective actions;
b. Officials with authority to rectify the situation had
actual notice of, and were deliberately indifferent
to, the discrimination on the basis of sex to which
Jeremy was subjected;
c. The deliberate indifference of Pleasant Hill School
District officials prevented Jeremy Lovins from
enjoying the educational benefits and opportunities
provided by the Pleasant Hill School District.
d. The District responded differently, on the basis of
sex, to the harassment of Jeremy Lovins.
12. Unless enjoined by this court, the Defendant will continue
to violate the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX.
13. The United States seeks intervention in this lawsuit. The
United States, through intervention, seeks relief to ensure that the
PHSD will operate a school system that provides an educational
environment that is free of sexual harassment for its students and is
in compliance with federal law.
14. The Attorney General, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2, has
certified in the attached certification that this is a case of
general public importance.
Wherefore, the United States respectfully requests that this
1. Declare that the Defendants have denied the plaintiff the
equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth
2. Declare that the Defendants have discriminated on the basis
of sex by failing to address, prevent, and remedy sexual harassment,
and in so doing failed to provide the benefits of its educational
activities and services to the plaintiff, in violation of Title IX of
the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681;
3. Permanently enjoin the Defendant, its officers, agents,
employees, successors, assigns, and all persons in active concert or
participation with the PHSD from all unlawful discrimination against
school-age children on the basis of sex;
4. Order the Defendant to develop, adopt, and timely implement
a comprehensive plan that will ensure a harassment-free educational
environment for all its students;
5. Order the Defendant to file a report annually with the Court
for three years detailing the implementation of its plan;
6. Provide such relief as is necessary to compensate Jeremy
Lovins for the discrimination to which he was subjected;
7. Grant any additional relief as the needs of justice may
STEPHEN L. HILL, JR.
United States Attorney
THOMAS M. LARSON
Deputy U.S. Attorney
MO Bar # 21957
400 East 9th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
MICHAEL S. MAURER
KENNETH D. JOHNSON
Attorneys for Plaintiff-Intervenor
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Educational Opportunities Section
601 D Street, N.W. Suite 4300
Washington, DC 20530