SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis School District is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed over a former teacher convicted of having sexual relationships with students.
Brianne Altice is serving a prison sentence after being convicted of forcible sex abuse. She was accused of misconduct with three students. Some of her victims have filed lawsuits against the Davis School District in state and federal court, accusing the district of negligence and turning a blind eye to problems with Altice. One lawsuit has already been dismissed by the Utah Court of Appeals.
FOX 13 is not naming the plaintiffs because they are victims of sexual abuse.
In a motion for summary judgment, the Utah Attorney General’s Office — which is representing the school district — insisted school officials had no prior knowledge Altice was sexually harassing the students.
“Before October 2013, the Davis High administration had no actual notice about the
sexual relationships with minors maintained by Ms. Altice,” assistant Utah Attorney General Kyle Kaiser wrote. “No sexual contact or sexual intercourse occurred at the school or on school grounds. Plaintiffs and Ms. Altice took multiple steps to conceal their relationships, including the utilization of special cell phone apps to disguise communications.”
When they did find out about the improper behavior, Kaiser wrote, Davis High and school district officials took action.
“Neither Plaintiff has shown that an appropriate person employed by the District had
knowledge of a risk of the type of harassment alleged by Plaintiffs, nor that the District was deliberately indifferent to the harassment, nor that the administrators’ actions caused them to be subjected to severe, pervasive, and unreasonable harassment. The District is entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ Title IX claims,” he wrote.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys are expected to respond to the Davis School District’s filing. A judge has not yet scheduled a hearing in the case.