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LINDSLEY KOLODZIEJCZACK v. GIRARD SCHOOL

August 1, 2002

NICOLE LINDSLEY, A MINOR, THROUGH HER PARENT AND LEGAL GUARDIAN, THERESA KOLODZIEJCZACK, PLAINTIFF,
V.
THE GIRARD SCHOOL DISTRICT; THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE GIRARD SCHOOL DISTRICT; ROBERT SNYDER, PERSONALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A PRINCIPAL FOR THE GIRARD SCHOOL DISTRICT; GREG MCCLELLAND, PERSONALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS AN ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL FOR THE GIRARD SCHOOL DISTRICT, AND GAYLA DEMARCO, PERSONALLY AND IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR FOR THE GIRARD SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McLAUGHLIN, District Judge.

  MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff, Nicole Lindsley, through her parent and legal guardian, Theresa Kolodziejczack, (hereinafter "Plaintiff") seeks in this action declaratory relief and compensatory and punitive damages for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et. seq., as amended by Pub.L. 105-17 at § 615(I)(3)(A) 1997; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101. The Defendants are the public school district where Plaintiff formerly attended school and various administrators and officials of this district. Presently before this Court are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No. 3] and Plaintiffs Motion to Amend the Complaint to Delete Requested Forms of Relief [Doc. No. 6]. In the latter motion, Plaintiff seeks to amend the Complaint to request only compensatory and punitive damages. For the reasons set forth below, we will grant the Defendants' motion and deny the Plaintiffs.

I. BACKGROUND

a. A rendition of Jesus carrying a cross with the words "The Sin of the World" inscribed on the cross. The message on the shirt states "Lord's Gym. Bench Press This!"

b. "U Must Be Born Again. Jesus Saves. John 3:3."

c. "Get a Life. Follow Jesus."

d. "Sing Unto the Lord."

e. "Rejoice. Jesus Christ. He's the Real King."

f. A rendition of a young man holding a lamb, with the message "I have a Good Shepherd."

g. "Our God is an Awesome God."

h. A rendition of a hand bloodied by a large spike, with the message "His Pain Our Gain."

i. "There is Only One Way. He's Jesus."

j. "Christ our Savior Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King."

k. "Praise the Lord."

l. "Soldiers of Christ."

m. W.W.J.D. [What Would Jesus Do?]

n. "With God All Things Are Possible."

Cmplt. ¶ 33. Plaintiff alleges that other students harassed her verbally and physically on an almost daily basis. Cmplt. ¶ 34. She was repeatedly called names such as "Jesus Freak," "God Praiser," "Jesus Lover," "bitch," and "whore," Students said things such as "God is never coming back. We hate God" and "I'm Jesus, you have to worship me now." A female student threatened to stab Plaintiff and on another occasion, a male student twisted her arm. Two boys doused Plaintiff with cologne and threatened to light her on fire while she was walking home from her bus stop. In one class, students left notes stating that "Jesus Sucks," "Nicole Sucks," and Natasha "does her mother." Cmplt. ¶¶ 34-35. Plaintiffs house and her mother's car were pelted with eggs and their telephone and cable lines were cut. Cmplt. ¶ 36. When Plaintiff and Natasha objected to a Reading class assignment on the subject of witches, the teacher stated in front of the class, "[i]f you don't want to do this kind of work, you should go to another school." Cmplt. ¶ 35.

It is alleged that both Plaintiff and Natasha complained to defendants Snyder and McClelland, the Principal and Vice-Principal of the school, respectively, on numerous occasions. Cmplt. ¶ 37. In response, these defendants generally indicated that they would investigate the complaints but did not effectively discipline any of the students. Snyder and McClelland often indicated that the problems were the girls' own fault and on one occasion McClelland said to Plaintiff, "[w]e all know you are a Christian. You don't have to wear those clothes everyday." Cmplt. ¶ 37. Allegedly to discourage Plaintiff and Natasha from making more complaints, these defendants told them that if they punished the students who were the subject of the complaints, they would have to punish the girls as well. Cmplt. ¶ 37. Plaintiffs mother also made frequent complaints to the Principal and Vice-Principal to no avail; after one complaint McClelland told her that, "[y]our daughter is asking for trouble, wearing those shirts." Cmplt. ¶¶ 39-40.

Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the students' conduct, it became difficult for her to concentrate and focus on her school-work and consequently, that her grades declined substantially in her seventh grade year. Cmplt. ¶ 41. She also had nightmares about being stabbed, was afraid to attend school and missed 21 days in the first three grading periods. Cmplt. ¶ 36. At the end of the first quarter, Nicole received failing grades in Science, English and World Cultures and defendant DeMarco, a guidance counselor at the school, sent a letter to Plaintiffs mother informing her that Plaintiff was in academic danger for the school year. Cmplt. ¶ 41. De-Marco sent a similar letter after Plaintiff received failing grades in Science, Reading and English in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Plaintiff received failing grades English and Mathematics, and incomplete marks in Science and World Cultures. Cmplt. ¶¶ 41-42. No district official ever requested permission to evaluate Plaintiff. Cmplt. ¶ 6. In order to lessen Plaintiff's contact with some of the worst students, Defendants changed her class schedule. Cmplt. ¶ 37. On March 31, 2001, Plaintiff transferred to Girard Alliance Christian Academy.

Plaintiff contends that the Defendants' have violated her federal constitutional rights to equal protection, substantive due process and freedom of speech. She also contends that they have violated her rights under IDEA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Defendants move to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) on the basis that Plaintiff has failed to state any claim. Plaintiff ...


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