Gender Discrimination has unfortunately been around for as long as time, infiltrating many corners of people’s lives. But when you feel discriminated against at your high school, the lawsuit process can be much trickier than some might think. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addresses whether a Title IX claim can be brought and successfully won when a picture is posted to the internet, violating a school’s policy.
Rebecca Arceneaux attended Assumption High School (“AHS”) and was on the varsity cheerleading team from her freshman to junior years. A photo of Arceneaux in her uniform skirt that was raised appeared on the popular social media app Snapchat. This publicly viewed picture was brought to the attention of the school, and Arceneaux was punished with in-school suspension and dismissed from the cheerleading team. Arceneaux’s parents appealed the suspension with no avail. On May 19, 2016, her parents filed suit on her behalf against the school, claiming the discipline constituted gender discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit considered words of Title IX and gender discrimination. AHS is under the jurisdiction that receives federal funding for operation and benefits. Arceneaux alleged that this jurisdiction subjected her to intentional discrimination by punishing female student-athletes more harshly than a male athlete would be punished for doing the same or similar behavior.