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View Diary: Muslim grad student reports sexual harassment, gets reported as a terrorist (50 comments)

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  •  Which makes me question the school's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, commonmass

    liability.

    •  Seems like a tough standard to meet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, commonmass

      Grad students are grown-ups, after all, so courts seem to impose a pretty high threshold for proving liability (this is the "deliberate indifference" test the article mentions).

      Also interesting is that she isn't suing the other student.

      •  The University is responsible (7+ / 0-)

        for the environment within which the alleged harrassment took place, that is, even in cases between peers (students harassing other students) policies need to be in place to handle situations when they do occur.  To say there is "nothing they can do" is the unacceptable part, and my guess would be therein lies the potential for the lawsuit.

        Schools do have a responsibility to protect students from one another when potential danger, potential abuse or potential harassment is reported.  If this school has no such policy (as might be inferred if the dean told her there was nothing he could do), then that is an area that needs to be addressed.  Often, these areas only get addressed in the aftermath of lawsuits.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 11:18:55 AM PST

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    •  that the school did nothing to stop the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus, commonmass, Louisiana 1976

      harassment is where the liability arises.  the school will have to prove that they took active steps (the most active one would have been to dismiss the harasser from the university)... which, apparently, they didn't - at least we don't know if they did.

      if i were on the university's legal team, i'd be looking for meetings between the harasser and the school councilor, the administrators, etc.

      there are committees to control student behavior - whether it be illegal, immoral, or improper.  was this student called before such a committee?

      fascinating case - sadly, for the young woman, it is vastly personal and unfortunate.  this type of experience leaves permanent psychological scarring.  i hope she can prove her case and find vindication!

      Is GlowNZ back yet?

      by edrie on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 11:11:27 AM PST

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      •  Why do you hope she can prove her (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        case when for all we know, she is not even a victim? Don't you mean to say "if she is telling the truth, I hope she is vindicated"?

        •  thanks for the correction. i am basing my (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tytalus, doc2, Louisiana 1976

          argument on the "facts" as presented... and also saying that for her to have engaged a lawyer to file suit isn't something that lawyers do unless there is some substance to be presented to the court.

          it is ultimately up to the court (and jury, if it goes there) to determine the truth or not.

          again, that she has gone the route of seeking legal counsel, filing a lawsuit, has left the school all indicate to me that there is some substance behind this... add to it, the visit by the fbi and the acknowledgement that she was "reported to be a terrorist" fits sadly into the "all muslims are terrorists" mentality held by some.

          i'm more than willing to hold off full opinion until more is known.  my point is that universities have a legal obligation to protect the students in their "care" - and if they did nothing to try to ameliorate this situation as described, imho, they can (and will) be held liable.

          Is GlowNZ back yet?

          by edrie on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:09:32 PM PST

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          •  oh, and i am also speaking generalities here - the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doc2

            responsibility of a university for the care of the students (in first years, still minors) enrolled in their institutions.

            Is GlowNZ back yet?

            by edrie on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:11:01 PM PST

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            •  She's a grad student. (0+ / 0-)

              Also, your opinion of the legal profession is not really in line with reality. The fact that a lawyer takes a harassment case means nothing; plenty of lawyers will take every case they get and file lawsuits. Why? Because harassment suits are embarrassing so many defendants are willing to do quick settlements.

              •  Not understanding the significance (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tytalus

                of the fact that she is a grad student. Are you saying she therefore should have taken justice into her own hands instead of trying to follow procedures as she did? As a grad student the school and the department have even more power over her future than if she were an undergraduate.

                The fact is that hardly any harassment suits are settled that are not substantiated by facts. In the absence of evidence such suits are laughed out of court. If a suit is settled, it is reasonable to assume that the complainant had lots of evidence supporting her. But thanks for parroting the right wing anti-woman talking point. It tells us where you stand on women's issues.

                •  Grad student, not a minor (0+ / 0-)

                  as edrie mentioned above...though it's not terribly relevant, I think universities would want to at least claim they care for their customers as it were, regardless of their age.

                  A few folks came in to tell me I went overboard in taking one side over the other. It's a fair point. But I am ok with coming off a bit gullible to them if that's how it goes. With the established pattern of anti-muslim bias in this country since 9/11, it's not so much that I believe in the story as that I find it believable.

                  Dismissing that comes off as a bit much in the other direction, to me.

                  There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

                  by tytalus on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 04:55:14 PM PST

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