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Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District Lawsuit

Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District Lawsuit

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Published by: huffpost on Aug 15, 2012
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04/13/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MINNESOTAA.A.A.; JANE DOE #1 and JANE DOE #2, both minors, by andthrough their next friend and parent,L.L.A.; Civil File No. ________________ Plaintiffs,v.Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District,ISD #2805; David Fleming,Erick Enger, Angela Hunstad, andAngela Heitman, in theirindividual capacities;Defendants.
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
 
INTRODUCTION
Some Americans believed that the results of the 2008 presidentialelection ushered in the beginning of a new,
“post
-
racial” society. That idealized
version of America surely does not extend to Goodhue County, Minnesota,where racism is alive and thriving. This is
 — 
shockingly 
 — 
another 
case about a Goodhue County high schoolwhose teachers and administrators turned a blind eye to severe student-on-student racial harassment.
1
 
1
 
See Pruitt v. Anderson, et al.
, No. 11-2143 (DSD/JJK) (D. Minn. Filed Dec. 9,
2011) (denying Red Wing school district’s motion to dismiss
where the highschool permitted
“Wigger (White Nigger) Wednesdays”
to become a homecomingweek tradition).
CASE 0:12-cv-01835-MJD-TNL Document 1 Filed 07/27/12 Page 1 of 15
 
2
 This time the defendant school district and its employees allowed the
plaintiffs’ White classmates to call them niggers
on numerous occasions over afour-year period.
 The plaintiffs’ mother reached out to the high school principal
to report the conduct and ask for help several times, but he literally laughed inher face. The d
efendants’ deliberate indifference to the
White
students’ conduct
was not only immoral, but as the Tenth Circuit made plain, it was illegal:It does not take an educational psychologist to
conclude that being referred to by one’s peers by the
most noxious racial epithet in the contemporary American lexicon, being shamed and humiliated on
the basis of one’s race, and having school authoritiesignore or reject one’s complaints would adversely affecta Black child’s ability to obtain the same benefit from
schooling as her white counterparts.
Bryant v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No. I-38 of Garvin Cnty, Okla 
., 334 F.3d 928, 932(10th Cir. 2003).
THE
 
PARTIES
1.
 
Plaintiff A.A.A. is an adult Black female who at all relevant times was astudent at Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School.2.
 
Plaintiffs JANE DOE #1 and JANE DOE #2 (the “DOES”) are Black,
female minors who at all relevant times were students within theZumbrota-Mazeppa school district. The DOES are sisters. A.A.A. is the
DOES’ older sister.
 3.
 
L.L.A. is the mother of the individual plaintiffs. She is JANE DOE #1’s
and JANE DO
E #2’s legal guardian.
CASE 0:12-cv-01835-MJD-TNL Document 1 Filed 07/27/12 Page 2 of 15
 
3
4.
 
Defendant Zumbrota-
Mazeppa School District ISD #2805 (“ISD #2805”)
is a public school district and a governmental subdivision of the State of Minnesota located in Zumbrota and Mazeppa, Minnesota. ISD #2805 isentrusted with the responsibility of providing public education tochildren residing within its district boundaries. ISD #2805 is therecipient of federal funds. ISD #2805 is responsible for the training of ISD #2805 employees, including school administrators and faculty. ISD#2805 is sued directly and also, on all relevant claims, on the theories of respondeat superior or vicarious liability and pursuant toMinnesotaStatutes Section 466.02for the unlawful conduct of its employees.5.
 
Defendant David Fleming served as the principal of Zumbrota-MazeppaMiddle Schoo
l (the “middle school”), a school governed by ISD #2805,
during the 2008-09 school year. He is responsible for the hiring, training,retention, supervision, discipline, counseling, and control of theemployees of the middle school. Fleming acted under color of state law atall times relevant to this action. He is sued in his individual capacity. Oninformation and belief, he resides in New Brighton, Minnesota. Flemingis White.6.
 
Defendant Erick Enger has served as the principal of Zumbrota-MazeppaHigh Schoo
l (the “high school”), a school governed by ISD #2805, at all
times relevant to this action. He is responsible for the hiring, training,retention, supervision, discipline, counseling, and control of theemployees of the middle school. Enger acted under color of state law at
CASE 0:12-cv-01835-MJD-TNL Document 1 Filed 07/27/12 Page 3 of 15

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