A Blake School student is suing the school, saying that it wrongfully disciplined him over allegations of sexual misconduct because of his race.
Filed Monday in federal court in Minneapolis, the suit alleges that the student, who is unnamed and identified as of mixed race, was not given sufficient information about the allegations leveled against him.
Attorney Beau McGraw, who is representing the student, said in the court filing that the disciplinary process the school used to find his client "guilty of sexual assault and effectively removed from Blake was seriously flawed" and that the private school, which receives federal funding, violated Title IX regulations.
McGraw said the student was never informed of the sexual-assault allegation in order to defend himself before a Community Judiciary Board made up of minor students "not equipped to make life altering decisions."
Blake School said in an e-mail that it can't comment on the specifics of the litigation but that the school follows an established process "for addressing issues under our community standards policy."
The school mandates include a confidential review by the Community Judiciary Board, a group of eight elected students in grades 10 through 12, two faculty members and a senior administrator, according to the statement.
The issue emerged on Feb. 10 when the plaintiff attended the SnowDaze Dance at the Blake School and danced with a freshman girl, according to the lawsuit.
After the dance, a friend of the young woman said he had danced inappropriately with her friend, the suit said. The Blake School dean removed the plaintiff from the dance floor and took him to a classroom where a police officer was present to administer a breathalyzer test.
To avoid being suspended from school and losing his full scholarship to Syracuse University, he fled from the scene twice, the suit stated.
He later admitted to drinking alcohol, running from the police and "jostling people more than necessary" while dancing, according to the suit. The student and his mother said they were told different things about possible outcomes and discipline, and that the sexual-misconduct allegations would not be kept in his record, court documents allege.
The lawsuit asks the court to require the school to expunge the disciplinary proceeding from his record and award the student $75,000 in damages.