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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The "Ladue List": Office of Civil Rights and Ladue High School Reach Agreement

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge A recent entry on Ladue Horton Watkins High School's meme page. - HSMEMES.COM
  • A recent entry on Ladue Horton Watkins High School's meme page.

Ah, springtime -- flowers are blooming, birds are singing...vicious, slut-shaming lists are being written?

It's been about a year since the last "Senior List" was passed around the halls of Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Next to the name of seven graduating senior girls was an insult -- some for sexual promiscuity, one for being an "alcoholic" and getting DUIs, another for having bad teeth.

This year, after one mom helped launch an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, the district is hoping the list is dead.

"I think everyone has their fingers crossed that the kids are smart enough to know this is not OK," says Susan Dielmann, the Ladue District's director of communications.

See also: -Slut-Shaming and Free Speech: Can a Lawsuit End the Decades-Old "Senior List" In Ladue? -The Ladue List: Senior Girls Were Not the Only Target

After Ruth Ahlemeier's daughter found her name on the 2012 list, the Ladue business-owner began a months-long correspondence with the school, trying to find out why her daughter was allegedly told there was "nothing much the school can do." Two junior boys responsible for the list were ultimately punished, but Ahlemeier told Daily RFT at the time that the district was giving her the brush-off. She decided to file a formal complaint with the Kansas City Office of Civil Rights.

"Ladue was a little bit in denial," says Ahlemeier today. "Once the Office of Civil Rights got involved, Ladue started really cooperating and realizing they needed to make a change."

On March 20, Ahlemeier received a letter from the OCR telling her the investigation was complete and that an agreement had been reached with the district to address her charge that the school "discriminated against your daughter and other female students on the basis of sex by allowing them to be subjected to a sexually hostile environment at the high school and failing to take prompt and effective action to remedy sexual harassment."

Continue for the full terms of the agreement between Ladue and the Department of Education.

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