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John Doe Files Suit Against Dartmouth Alleging Systemic Racism, Discrimination Based On Race And Sex, And Breach Of Contract

Dartmouth’s process violated Title IX; Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964; and its own requirements.

John Doe, an African American male student-athlete at Dartmouth College, filed suit against Dartmouth this week alleging that Dartmouth’s improper, inadequate, and biased investigation and hearing process violated its statutory duties under Title IX by discriminating against Doe on the basis of his gender and under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against Doe on the basis of his race. Additionally, Doe alleged that Dartmouth failed to follow its own Title IX policy in several respects, including that it applied a standard of liability that does not exist under its policy.

The lawsuit was filed Monday, January 25 in the United States District Court of New Hampshire in Concord.

“John Doe was unjustly and unlawfully disciplined in September 2020 for alleged sexual misconduct following an unfair, biased, and inept Title IX investigation influenced by a racially biased investigator and hearing panel and pervasive, campus-wide systemic racism and bias against male responding students, and African American male athletes in particular,” says Amy Spencer of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., who is representing Doe.

After reviewing John Doe’s claims, the President of the New England Area Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”), Juan Cofield, stated: “I have reviewed the allegations of John Doe against the College. They are very serious and appear to involve a College process that seems in direct contradiction to the NAACP’s work of eradicating systemic racism in all sectors of society, including academia. We will be watching the case closely.”