The ACLU of Nevada together with O’Melveny & Myers LLP are pleased to announce on behalf of its clients Jana Elhifny and Stephanie Hart that we have settled two related long-running federal civil rights lawsuits against the Washoe County School District filed in Reno's Federal District Court in 2004.
Jana alleged that she had been discriminated against by fellow students, as well as faculty and staff, while she was a student at North Valleys High School in Reno. Jana is an Egyptian-American woman who is also a practicing Muslim. In her lawsuit, she alleged that while she was a student, she was harassed because of her religion, race, and national origin; that she reported this harassment to teachers and administrators; and that her harassment claims were not properly investigated or resolved. Stephanie, in a separate lawsuit, alleged that she had been discriminated against for befriending Jana and attempting to advocate on her behalf with school administrators.
The settlements will include a $350,000 payment to Jana and $50,000 to Stephanie, in addition to an agreement to develop and enact best-in-class discrimination and harassment policies for WCSD within the next few months. The settlements do not assign fault to any party.
To read the joint press release agreed to by all parties in the suit, please click here. To read the complaint filed on behalf of Ms. Elhifny, which contains all critical allegations, please click here.