Can Having Sex on a School Trip be Classified as “Disorderly Conduct?”
A Pennsylvania student is suing his high school in federal court after being suspended for “disorderly conduct,” an action that consisted of having sex during a school trip overseas.
Anders Hemdal, 16, traveled to Spain and Morocco with other members of his Spanish Club, during which he had consensual sex with his girlfriend in a hotel room in Casablanca. The act was caught on cellphone video by a third student who shared the images with others, which prompted Hemdal and his parents to contact school officials for help.
Instead of getting help, Hemdal was suspended, along with his girlfriend and the student who recorded them. School officials said his sexual activity amounted to “disorderly conduct.”
In the lawsuit filed against the Schuylkill Valley School District, Hemdal points out that rules governing behavior on the trip stated that having sex would result in being sent home, not suspended. Furthermore, the student code of conduct prohibits sexual activity only on campus.
Hemdal wants the court to order the four-day suspension removed from his academic record. He also wants the school to pay $75,000 in damages for being denied an education without due process and for emotional distress and invasion of privacy, since he and his girlfriend were taunted and harassed by other students. The student who shot and shared the video was also suspended and is being investigated on charges relating to child pornography.
To Learn More:
Pa. School Sued for Punishing Victim of Secret Sex Video (by Martha Woodall, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Pa. Teen Sues Over School Trip Sex Tape Suspension (by Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press)
Sex Isn't Disorderly Conduct, Student Says (by Erin McAuley, Courthouse News Service)
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