Texas Southern Law School Fined, Censured By American Bar Association for Gender Bias and Sexual Harassment

Texas Southern University will pay a $15,000 fine and must detail efforts to limit gender bias and sexual harassment at its law school, according to a public censure issued by the American Bar Association last month.

An appeal from the university failed before the Association’s accreditation committee, which last October found that complaints about the Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s protocols for gender and sexual harassment were not being followed.

School officials said that while there was no finding of harassment, that the university’s response to the claims was not sufficient to avoid the fine and public censure. From Law.com

James Douglas, interim dean of Thurgood Marshall Law, denied that there is sex discrimination or sexual harassment happening at the school.

“There were people who said, ‘I think that there is sexual discrimination in the law school.’ But no one has been able to find that to be a fact. The allegation and what the ABA is critical of is that that is what some of the females believe, and because some of the females believe it, we have an obligation to deal with it,” Douglas said. “They did not find that there was any truthfulness to the allegation, just the fact that the allegations existed and we didn’t respond in a manner they though the law school should have responded.”

The review was spurred by an April 2016 claim against the school by a former faculty member. The claim resulted in the resignation of former law school dean Dannye Holley, who resigned last year.

TSU has until Oct. 1 to submit its compliance plan.

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