Federal Court Found That School Violated Student’s Privacy Rights When It Disclosed Student’s Sexual Orientation


In the case of Wyatt v. Kilgore Independent School District, a Fifth Circuit federal district court in Texas recently ruled that a student had a valid claim for violation of her due process right to privacy after school officials disclosed her sexual orientation to her mother.

The student in Wyatt, S.W., was a softball player at the school, who became involved in a dispute with the teams’ coaches. The two coaches met with S.W. and questioned her about a relationship with a former student and about an alleged rumor S.W. had spread about the former student being one of the coaches’ former girlfriends. S.W. alleged that in addition to the meeting with the two coaches, the coaches also disclosed to her mother that she was a lesbian. S.W.’s mother filed suit on her behalf against the school district and the coaches, arguing that they had violated S.W.’s due process right to privacy by disclosing her sexual orientation to her mother.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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