This case involves a student who was suspended from school upon the claim that an essay he wrote constituted sexual harassment. In this case, the NYCLU represented Jemel Wilson, a high school senior, whose English essay was deemed sexual harassment by his teacher. The school suspended Mr. Wilson for three days and refused to let him attend the senior prom. On June 19, 2003, the NYCLU initiated an Article 78 proceeding to reverse the suspension. The NYCLU claimed the school’s actions were arbitrary and capricious; were contrary to the school’s own written rules regarding student suspensions; and were in violation of Wilson’s First and Fourth Amendment rights. In a settlement, the school agreed to expunge Mr. Wilson’s record and not to interfere with his Andover Prep application.
State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, Article 78 (direct)