A former Columbia University student’s attempt to sue the university under Title IX violations for allowing a female student to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct and carry her mattress around campus as a sign of protest over the incident was dismissed on Friday by a federal judge. Emma Sulkowicz made headlines in 2014 when she began carrying around a mattress from her dorm room where she says she was assaulted by Paul Nungesser in 2012. Sulkowicz criticized the school’s decision to allow Nungesser to remain on campus after they found him not responsible for sexual misconduct. Nungesser then filed a federal lawsuit against the school for allowing Sulkowicz to carry on with the protest, which he said constituted sex-based harassment.
Judge Gregory Woods said Friday that Title IX “sets a high bar before a private plaintiff may recover and Nungesser has not alleged facts showing that he was effectively deprived of Columbia’s educational opportunities.”
Nungesser’s family told Newsweek he would appeal. He is one of more than 100 male students suing colleges under Title IX violations for how the schools have handled sexual assault claims against male students in recent years.
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