Gunn High School Student Says PAUSD Mishandled Her Sexual Harassment Complaints

A student at Gunn High School is alleging that the Palo Alto Unified School District mishandled her sexual harassment case against another student in violation of Title IX. Now, she and her family are taking the district to court to see the matter rectified.

The accuser alleges she was sexually assaulted by a male student off campus and then subjected to taunting at school. She informed the district, which removed the alleged abuser from a robotics team they both served on. But PAUSD later allowed him to return to the team, according to a new filing in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The alleged victim and her family would like to see the PAUSD remove the boy from the robotics team again permanently.

The courts will have the ultimate say on whether or not the male student returns to the team. In the meantime, the court has issued a stay in the case, meaning he will be barred from the team until a final ruling.

This is not the first time PAUSD has come under fire for its handling of sexual misconduct allegations and matters related to Title IX, which requires schools to protect students from sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault. Two years ago, a 14-year-old student complained that she’d been sexually assaulted by a male athlete in one of the bathrooms at Palo Alto High School. The school initially allowed the accused to remain on the high school’s baseball team but removed him following media reports about the incident. The superintendent and the Title IX coordinator later stepped down.