Seven Dartmouth grads have brought a lawsuit against Dartmouth College, saying that the school allowed them to be sexually assaulted, harassed, and discriminated against by three professors in the psychological and brain sciences department. The women are seeking $70 million in damages from the Ivy League school, claiming the college has ignored complaints of this nature for at least 16 years.
Dartmouth began investigating the three tenured professors implicated in the suit last year. As a result of the investigation they have all left the school, one retiring and the other two resigning, and have been barred from Dartmouth campus events, property, and any future jobs at the school. As is the case in most investigations of this kind, few details are known about the findings — but all will be revealed in the courtroom.
The class-action lawsuit was filed last week detailing instances of inappropriate comments, sexting, groping, and rape in its 72 pages. These accusations come together to support the plaintiffs’ claim that the school was exposing students to a “predator club” environment, as professors manipulated students into keeping quiet for the sake of their careers. Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time that Dartmouth has been embroiled in allegations of sexual misconduct, but this lawsuit is shaking up the Ivy League campus as current students confront their own shock and disappointment with their school.
A court date has not been set yet, but the plaintiffs are hoping that the case’s first hearing will be sometime before Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ new Title IX polices are enacted. This case is another addition to the #MeToo era’s long list of survivors stepping forward to identify their attackers — and the list could get longer as more survivors step forward to join the class action.
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