Simpson v. University of Colorado at Boulder

Women’s Rights
Case No. 06-1184, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
ACLU Case No. 2006-15


While they were students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the plaintiffs in this case were sexually assaulted by University football players and high school students the team was hoping to recruit. The lawsuit alleges that the University is liable because school officials allowed the football program to maintain a sexually hostile environment in which students were repeatedly harassed and assaulted. The district court granted summary judgment to the university, and the plaintiffs appealed. The ACLU Women’s Rights Project, joined by a number organizations including the ACLU of Colorado, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the plaintiffs produced sufficient evidence to allow a jury to conclude that University officials were deliberately indifferent to a record of sexual harassment and therefore could be held liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which forbids discrimination against women in any educational program receiving federal financial assistance. In 2007, the Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded the case for trial.


Catherine Kim
Dennis Parker
Emily J. Martin
Lenora M. Lapidus
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

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