A lawsuit was recently filed against Oregon City School District over a video that was shown during a school assembly last month.
Oregon City School District recently found itself at the center of a lawsuit filed by a high school student over a video that was shown during a February assembly. According to the lawsuit that was filed in Clackamas County Circuit Court, Jane Doe, an 18-year-old senior, claims the school district “caused emotional distress and invaded her privacy by showing the video at a school assembly that featured a male student discussing abuse he carried out against a romantic partner.”
The problem? Well, according to Jane Doe, the “male student was shown in silhouette but his voice was not altered, and numerous students recognized it was Jane Doe who the male student was admitting he abused and assaulted.” As a result of showing the video, Doe alleges the district “caused severe emotional distress including anxiety, stress, worry, and emotional distress.” On top of that, students in charge of sponsoring the assembly even “told multiple administrators not to show the video, but they were ignored.”
When commenting on the matter, an attorney for Jane Doe said:
“OCSD’s callous broadcasting of John Doe’s admission of abuse and assault upon Plaintiff without notice to or consent from Plaintiff was an extraordinary transgression of the bounds of socially tolerable behavior and her right to privacy.”
At the moment, Doe is seeking about $832,000 in damages.
In response to the lawsuit, Oregon City School District’s interim superintendent, Kyle Laier stated:
“However, the District is dedicated to the safe education of its students and will remain committed to providing a safe and positive educational setting. It will continue to evaluate and implement policies and practices necessary to accomplish this goal…Protecting the health and welfare of students remains a top priority for the district.”
Shortly after the assembly, many Oregon City High School students staged a walkout to protest what happened. The school board also held a special session board meeting, during which “Laier offered families and students an apology.” Laier said:
“We didn’t meet the intent of what was supposed to happen, and in that fashion, we know that something went wrong and that something needs to be corrected…Our students deserve that apology. They deserve better, and I know we’re going to work towards doing that.”
What was the purpose of the assembly in the first place? Well, according to the lawsuit and the school calendar, the assembly, titled ‘Voices Assembly,’ was meant to be a way for “students and staff to submit personal stories to share with the school in order to make the community aware that students are not alone in their struggles and we are all here for each other.” When it came to the video with Jane Doe, the school’s unity committee, “listed as sponsors of the event…did not support showing the video.” Oregon City High School student council member and senior Wynter Davis said:
“Our unity committee warned our administration about this story, yet nothing was done…It’s putting the safety of our students, and the confidentiality and anonymity of our students and the victims that were hurt at risk and that is not OK.”