Rabbit Ears and Aluminum Foil????

Here is another court case where the claim of discrimination is denied, but the retaliation claim lives on.  Parents claimed the student suffered from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome and was having health issues because of the Wi-Fi in the school building.  They alleged that he needed to be served in a Wi-Fi free classroom, which the school refused to provide.  The court dismissed the claim, noting the lack of evidence that the student’s health issues were caused by Wi-Fi.  (This despite the three medical doctors who testified for the student).

However, the retaliation claim survived.  The school argued that the family suffered no “adverse action,” and thus there was no “retaliatory” act.  For the most part, the court agreed with that.  The court held that the school offered legitimate reasons for some of its actions, but failed to produce evidence to explain why the student was excluded from athletics or why his brother was omitted from the 8th grade graduation dinner.  That was enough evidence of an “adverse action” to keep the “retaliation” claim alive.

This is an interesting one.  The court was skeptical about the existence of this “Syndrome” but retained a judicial respect for the plaintiff.  The same cannot be said for school staff, who appeared to consider the mother a nut case.  Among other things the evidence showed an email from one staff member to teachers about the mother with the subject line: “Rabbit Ears and Aluminum Foil.” One of the responses was “Blahahahahahaha!”  The court noted that actions like this were immature and rude, but the email was not sent to the mother, and thus could not be viewed as an “adverse action.”

The case is G. v. Fay School, Inc. decided by the District Court for the State of Massachusetts on September 29, 2017.  We found it at 70 IDELR 256.


Have a good weekend, Honored Readers.  The Dawg barks again next week.