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Mediation Outcome Could Affect Ruling in Gunn High School Robotics Case

Friday, April, 12, 2019


A judge will decide whether the ban of a Gunn High School Student from the school’s robotics team will continue. The student is accused of sexually harassing a teammate in class via text message and during the students’ lunch period.


The two sides are currently in mediation, but nobody is sure if the outcome of mediation will affect the judge’s decision or vice versa. The decision could take up to a year and would determine if the boy is allowed to permanently rejoin the team of if the ban will become permanent, honoring the victim’s petition.


Attorneys for the girl have agreed to mediation, but the process has yet to begin. The two sides are scheduled to return to court in August if a resolution is not reached in mediation before that point.


According to one of the lawyers involved, “One of the things that sort of complicate all of this is what kind of claims are, and what the things are that need to be resolve. All parties would like to see if a resolution is possible.”


The students involved dated for a short time during their sophomore years, but the girl broke up with the boy, allegedly because he forced her to perform ma sexual act. Following the breakup, he began harassing her via text message and in person in front of other students. An investigation was conducted by the school district and it confirmed allegations of harassment. The assault was not investigated by the school because it was occurred off-campus.


The boy and his parents contend that the harassment was related to the boy’s “pragmatic speech disability,” which is also known as a communication disorder. According to disability laws, punishments cannot last more than 10 days if they are related to disability.