TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A U.S. District Judge filed an order on Monday effectively denying Brownsboro ISD’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the high school baseball team has a “long-standing hazing tradition.”
The case, which alleges upper classmen on the baseball team openly discussed hazing and sexually assaulted a freshman student on the bus in the presence of the head baseball coach during the 2019-2020 school year, is set to move forward. Claims that the district created a heightened risk for students to be sexually assaulted were denied by the judge.
The judge’s order determined the lawsuit has sufficiently argued that Brownsboro ISD (BISD) knew about the harassment and was “deliberately indifferent” to it.
“Downplaying the allegations of prior incidents, BISD argues that this case involves only the single incident on the team bus,” the order states. “[The motion] argues BISD administrators took immediate action after the bus incident, punishing those responsible and [the student] has not alleged ‘any further discrimination’ after the investigation.”
The order states that BISD has again disregarded allegations of a “long-standing hazing tradition” where coaching staff had knowledge of prior incidents.
The district has argued to the court in this case the district’s only legal responsibility in this incident is to investigate, and argued the head coach at the time of the allegations did not have the authority to stop the harassment.
However, the court has concluded the lawsuit has made a reasonable argument the head coach at the time “had the power to halt the abuse.”
In response to a court recommendation, the case will move forward on the alleged Title IX claim. The district submitted an objection that was overruled by the district judge.