'Terminal Year' Granted to Those Denied Tenure Can Be Awkward, if Not Risky
The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2013
The wrongful-death lawsuit filed against former Huntsville administrators by relatives of two of the three tenured professors Ms. [Amy] Bishop killed calls into question the wisdom of the terminal year. It alleges that Huntsville's top administrators knew Ms. Bishop was volatile during that time and protected themselves from confrontations with her but failed to take steps to safeguard her colleagues from danger. Ms. Bishop was sentenced last year to life in prison for the murders. Read full article here
Timberlake "Moved" by Take Back the Night Foundation
Entertainment Weekly, July 16, 2013
In response to a letter from attorney Douglas Fierberg, counsel for Take Back the Night Foundation, informing Justin Timberlake of the protected status of the phrase "Take Back the Night," as Timberlake released a song of the same name, he issued a statement that he is "moved by [Take Back the Night Foundation's] efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women - something we should rally around." Read the full article here
Could University Officials Have Stopped a Killer?
The New Yorker, July 11, 2013
Ever since Amy Bishop opened fire at a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2010, killing three of her colleagues and wounding three others, one question has haunted her case: Was the violent outburst that day foreseeable - and as such, preventable? ... This morning, at a courthouse in Huntsville, the lawyers for the plaintiffs submitted an explosive filing. Read the full article here
Attempted Sexual Assault at Beta Fraternity House, Wesleyan University
April 7, 2013
Early Sunday morning, a female student was physically assaulted at the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity house at Wesleyan University. Her attacker approached her from behind, and also attempted to sexually assault her, but she was able to break free and flee. At this time, a suspect has not been identified.
Hildebran Elementary School Child Pornography Sex Abuse - Two Additional Federal Civil Rights Lawsuits Filed
by James Marsh, January 22, 2013
In an ever-widening child sex abuse case which started with an email to the Marsh Law Firm
from a parent who was concerned about child pornography in her child's elementary school, two additional lawsuits claim the former principal was notified of the abuse years ago but took no action to protect students. Read the full blog
NIU Freshman Found Dead in Frat House
November 3, 2012, Chicago Tribune
Authorities are investigating whether alcohol may have been a factor in the death of a promising Northern Illinois University freshman found dead at an off-campus fraternity. David Bogenberger, 19, was discovered in a bed at the Pi Kappa Alpha house Friday morning, said DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller. While an official cause of death has not yet been determined, the coroner and a university spokesman said it was evident drinking had occurred at the fraternity house the night before.
Teacher Creates Child Sex Abuse Images of Third Graders
by James Marsh, October 22, 2012
Last month, the Marsh Law Firm received a disturbing email from the parent of a child whose teacher took child sex abuse images of her and her fellow third graders in school during the school day. We immediately contacted attorney Douglas Fierberg who has extensive experience litigating against school districts across the country. A lawsuit against the Hildebran, North Carolina school district was filed earlier today. Read the full blog
Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed by Hildebran, NC Nine Year Old Student Sexually Molested and Videotaped by Her Teacher, Dozens of Other Students Also Abused
October 22, 2012
Hildebran, North Carolina (October 22, 2012) – The family of a nine year old student at Hildebran Elementary School in Burke County, North Carolina, identified as “Jane Doe,” filed a 14 count lawsuit in the U.S. District Court sitting in Asheville, North Carolina (case no. 1:12-CV-00334). The lawsuit names as defendants Burke County Public Schools Board of Education, School Guidance Counselor Linda Bradshaw, former teacher Michael Alexander, and numerous other unidentified persons, for violations of the U.S. Constitution, the North Carolina Constitution, and other Federal and State laws. Read the details of the case and the full Press Release
Alabama Professor Pleaded Guilty to Capital Murder
September 21, 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education
For former faculty colleagues of Amy Bishop, the news that she had pleaded guilty to capital murder last week was a welcome development. To some it brought relief, and to others, comfort. With the legal case nearing an end, they held out hope that the pleas would help them move on more easily. Read full article
Freshman Drowning During Fraternity Event, Idaho
September 1, 2012
University of Idaho freshman Preston W. Vorhauer, of Kamiah, a talented musician and avid outdoorsman, drowned on September 1, 2012, in Dworshak Reservoir. Preston, a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity pledge, was reportedly with senior members of the fraternity in a 150-yard swim to an island. Before reaching the island, Preston yelled that he was turning back. Two fraternity members tried to keep Preston afloat but he slipped under. His body was recovered after a three hour search.
"Delayed Rush to Judgment"
Hank Nuwer, September 2012
Two weeks ago, Philip Dhanens and 1100 fellow first-year students and their parents enjoyed traditional welcoming ceremonies at Fresno State University.
Upperclassmen and staff assisted with move-ins into housing.
The school's food service people threw a big barbecue. And the fraternity Theta Chi began courting the new freshman males, hoping to attract new members with their own members' good looks, nice guy rep and parties. Those were really all the chapter had going for it, according to one national Greek rating service. Read full article
Fraternity Pledge Death, California
September 2, 2012
Fresno State University freshman Philip Dhanens, of Bakersfield, California, died Sunday after a Friday night party at the Theta Chi fraternity. Dhanens was a standout on his high school football team and prom king his senior year. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in his death, but the autopsy and toxicology results are pending. A Theta Chi member at one point that night put Dhanens in the fraternity house "sober up room," and later found him there unconscious. Both Fresno State and the Theta Chi national fraternity suspended the chapter on Saturday, before Dhanens' death. This is the second fraternity pledge death at Fresno State in seven years.
"What's the life of a dead fraternity pledge worth?"
Hank Nuwer, July 11, 2012
One thousand dollars. One thousand dollars per man was the penalty a Virginia court imposed on five Radford University students in the death of Tau Kappa Epsilon pledge Samuel Mason from alcohol poisoning. He was 20. Predictably, a sentence of two years for each of those men was suspended by that court. Read full article
Federal Investigation for Improper Handling of Reported Sexual Assaults, Montana
May 1, 2012
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the University of Montana at Missoula for allegations that, over a three year period, up to 80 complaints of sexual assault were not investigated thoroughly due to gender bias. The University hired an outside investigator in December 2011 to examine reports that two students had been drugged and gang-raped. The University's investigator concluded that the University has "a problem of sexual assault on and off campus." Football team members are allegedly involved with at least two of the sexual assault cases.
Sororities/Fraternities Suspended for Orientation Violations, Texas
April 4, 2012
Four sororities and fraternities were suspended at Trinity University for issues involving "hazing, alcohol use and abuse, sexually exploitative behavior, sexual harrassment, coercive behavior, and threats" as part of a new member orientation. The organizations involved were the Bengal Lancers Fraternity, suspended for two years; Chi Delta Tau Fraternity, suspended for three years; Gamma Chi Delta Sorority, suspended for three years; and the Spurs Sorority, suspended for three years.
Mass Shooting Leaves Seven Dead, California
April 3, 2012
A former nursing student, One Goh of Oakland, used a .45-caliber handgun to open fire on a classroom of students at Oikos University and firing more shots while running out. Goh was detained an hour and a half later at a nearby store. Goh was involved in a dispute with the University that may have led to him being expelled from at least one class.
Woman Sexually Assaulted at Phi Gamma Delta, Pennsylvania
March 25, 2012
A 19-year-old woman was reportedly sexually assaulted during a party at the Phi Gamma Delta house at Penn State University. An investigation is ongoing.
Freshman Found Dead in Dorm Room, Michigan
March 19, 2012
Olivia Nicole Pryor, an 18-year-old freshman from Roseville, Michigan, was found unresponsive in her Michigan State University dorm room Monday morning. The cause of death is not yet known, but alcohol is believed to be a factor.
Shooting at Medical Center, Pennsylvania
March 8, 2012
A gunman, John F. Shick, was shot dead by police officers after he shot and killed one and injured seven others. Shick was a former graduate student and was barred last fall from Duquesne Univeristy.
18-Year-Old Died at Fraternity Event, Illinois
March 4, 2012
Updated April 4, 2012
18-year-old Brandan Landau, a freshman at Illinois Wesleyan University, was found unresponsive Sunday morning partially submerged in a creek at White Pines State Park after a Sigma Pi fraternity event Saturday night. The cause of death is under investigation, although preliminary tests did confirm an intoxicating level of alcohol in Brandon's system. Four fraternity members, including the chapter's 20-year-old president, were arrested for alcohol violations, and the University may sanction the chapter. Sigma Pi has been placed on suspension while the university investigates Landau's death and the suspension will continue through mid-April until after an All-University Judicial Council hearing is held.
High School Shooting Deaths, Ohio
February 27, 2012
A high school student from Chardon, Ohio, is in custody after killing three students, Daniel Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin, and Russell King, Jr., and injuring two others in a shooting at the school. Witnesses report that the shooter tweeted or texted his intentions to bring a gun to school but the warning was not taken seriously. It is also reported that the shooter has been described as an "outcast."
Football Player Found Unresponsive in Fraternity House, Later Died, South Carolina
February 5, 2012
Twenty-one year old Kyle Allen, a Presbyterian College student and football player, was found unresponsive early Sunday in a fraternity house. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Law enforcement is investigating the incident.
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Suspended for Alcohol Violation, Utah
January 11, 2012
Utah State University has suspended the Gamma Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for one year after an underage girl, then 17 years old, was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in September 2011. Fraternity members must also each complete 30 hours of community service. Two men have been charged with misdemeanors in the case.
Cornell to Revoke TKE Recognition Following Freshman Hospitalization for Alcohol Poisoning
January 6, 2012
Cornell University will revoke its recognition of Tau Kappa Epsilon for failing to ensure the safety of a highly intoxicated freshman following a TKE recruitment dinner on November 11, 2011. TKE attracted sixteen former SAE pledges following the death of SAE member George Desdunes in the spring of 2011, and rumors began in September 2011 that SAE was operating through TKE. TKE was placed on interim suspension for adopting SAE traditions, including planning a historically SAE social activity which TKE was not prepared to host, and was on suspension at the time of the hospitalization.
Investigation Continues into Fraternity Rape, Connecticut
January 2, 2012
Western Connecticut State University announced that it will soon complete its judicial review process of a rape reported at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house in October 2011. The University is reviewing the incident for violations of the student code of conduct, which could result in expulsion. The police department is awaiting a toxicology report before completing its inquiry.
University of Montana Investigated for Sexual Assault Response
December 21, 2011
A University of Montana student who was drugged and sexually assaulted by members of the football team said she wishes she would have more vigorously pursued legal action against the school, believing she may have been able to prevent a subsequent incident in which multiple male students allegedly sexually assaulted two female students. The victim said that no one from the University ever contacted her following her reported sexual assault, and the University is now under investigation by a former Montana Supreme Court Justice.
Fraternity Suspended Over Survey Asking Members Who They Want to Rape, Vermont
December 13, 2011
The University of Vermont suspended Sigma Phi Epsilon after receiving notice of a Sig Eps survey to its members, asking, "If you could rape someone, who would it be?" At the time of the suspension, the chapter was on probation for alcohol violations, and the chapter's charter had previously been revoked in 1993 for hazing and sexually offensive behavior.
Drum Major Found Dead, Hazing Suspected, Florida
November 19, 2011
Robert Champion, the Florida A&M Drum Major, was found unresponsive on the band's bus Saturday night, shortly after performing at halftime. He was later pronounced dead. Hazing is suspected in the death, and an investigation into the band's "unauthorized and questionable" activities is ongoing.
Students Assaulted in Dorm Rooms, Miami
November 7, 2011
A University of Miami sophomore has been arrested and charged with occupied burglary with an assault or battery. Jiahao Yuan entered unlocked dorm rooms and sexually assaulted at least four sleeping women.
Penn State Athletic Officials Step Down Amid Allegations of Sexual Abuse
November 6, 2011
Two top Penn State athletic deparment officials, including the athletic director, stepped down facing charges related to sexual abuse of at least eight boys over fifteen years at Penn State athletic facilities. PSU's former defensive coordinator is accused of abusing boys participating in a program for at-risk kids, and the athletic department officials are accused of failing to report their investigation of the allegations.
18-Year-Old Found Dead in Fraternity House, UCLA
November 5, 2011
Glen Parrish, 18 years old, was found dead in the Theta Chi fraternity house at UCLA Saturday afternoon. Police indicate alcohol and drugs may have been a factor in his death, and the investigation is ongoing.
Fraternity Suspended, Members Arrested for Hazing, Virginia
November 2, 2011
Longwood University has suspended the Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter and university police have arrested 16 people for hazing. The investigation is ongoing.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Hazing Arrests, South Carolina
October 23, 2011
A Francis Marion University student was hospitalized with serious bodily injury following a paddling by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity members and alumni. The student was pledging the fraternity. Nine have been arrested on hazing charges.
Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot
August 30, 2011, The New York Times.
Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line.
College Freshman Died Following Fraternity Party, Florida
August 25, 2011
Ann Marie Hefferin, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Central Florida, was found unresponsive in her apartment in the early morning hours following a party at fraternity Sigma Chi. Doctors were unable to save her, and the cause of death is being investigated. Ann had just joined the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Professor-Student Relationship Ends in Murder-Suicide, Idaho
August 24, 2011
Katy Benoit, a 22-year-old graduate student at the University of Idaho, was murdered by at her home by 31-year-old professor Ernesto Bustamente, who alternately referred to himself as a "psychopathic killer" and "the beast." Bustamente then apparently committed suicide. The two had dated, but Benoit became increasingly alarmed by Bustamente's behavior and had taken action to get away from him.
School Teacher Indicted on Several Sex Charges, Georgia
August 7, 2011
Former Bulloch County middle school teacher, 35-year-old Amy Bass Jackson, has been indicted on charges she had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. Jackson has been charged with eight separate counts, including statutory rape, aggravated child molestation, unlawful disposition of material to minors and child exploitation. Jackson was arrested on July 27.
Sexual Abuse Investigation at Deaf and Blind School, Hawaii
August 6, 2011
More families have come forward claiming sexual abuse of students at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. The Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Education have both acknowledged investigations are ongoing and arrests have been made. The school is located in the Kapahulu area of Honolulu and run by the Department of Education. There are fewer than 80 kids at the public school from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it is believed that half of them were involved in some way. The victims are between 12 to 16 years old. The suspects are all students.
Feds: CA School Failed to Protect Gay Teen
July 1, 2011
A Central California school district did not adequately investigate or respond to complaints of bullying endured by 13-year-old, Seth Walsh, who later committed suicide after being harassed by classmates because he was gay, said federal officials. Government officials launched an investigation based on a civil-rights complaint filed by Seth's mother, Wendy Walsh.
Doug Fierberg Representing Mother in Cornell University Hazing Death Case
Suit Filed in Cornell Case, New York
June 27, 2011
Marie Lourdes André, the mother of deceased Cornell University student George Desdunes, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Kings County, New York, against Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (“SAE”), its officers and members (case no. 500460/2011). The suit seeks to hold SAE, its chapter officers and members responsible for his death by hazing as that term is defined generally, under the laws of the State of New York, and the Guidebook of Rights, Responsibilities, Requirements and Resources (the “Guidebook”) of Cornell University. For the full press release, click here
Fraternity House Death, Colorado
April 19, 2011
Ross Higuchi, a freshman at the University of North Colorado, died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a fall from a fraternity house's second-story balcony Saturday night. Higuchi was highly intoxicated at the Delta Tau Delta party, and police are investigating who supplied the alcohol.
Fraternity Member Death, Arizona
April 2, 2011
University of Arizona sophomore Wilson Forrester was found dead in his fraternity house Saturday morning. FIJI (Phi Gamma Delta) has not issued a statement, and the cause of death remains under investigation. Wilson was a pre-physiology major from Nashville, Tennessee.
University Withdraws Recognition of Fraternity, Cornell
March 19, 2011
Cornell University has withdrawn its recognition of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity based on information and shocking allegations provided to the University regarding the death of member George Desdunes on February 25, 2011. Initial reports are that Desdunes was provided alcohol "while in the care of fraternity members" and that "members and associate members recognized the position Desdunes was in, [but] they failed to call for help." Members will have until the end of March to vacate the house, and the fraternity will be banned from operation on the campus for five years.
Fraternity Member Death, Spring Break
March 13, 2011
Philip Cameron Christian, a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member and senior at Georgia Southern University, died Sunday in Destin, Florida. He and several of his fraternity brothers had traveled from Augusta to Destin for spring break and had been partying Saturday night. Fraternity members told police that Philip had gone to bed around 1:00 am, and he was taken to the hospital around 5:00 am when he was found to be not breathing. An investigation remains pending.
Alcohol-Related Death, Ithaca College, New York
February 26, 2011
Victoria Chen, a 17-year-old freshman at Ithaca College, was found dead in the snow behind a house near campus on Saturday afternoon. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in her death.
Fraternity Death, Cornell University, New York
February 25, 2011
George Desdunes, a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member, was found unresponsive in the fraternity house early Friday morning and transported to the hospital, where he later died. Alcohol is reportedly suspected to have been a factor and autopsy results are pending. George was from Brooklyn, New York, and majoring in Biology and Society.
Hazing and Possible Sexual Assault, Yale University
February 19, 2011
An invitation-only party for people seeking to join the Pundits, a senior pranking group at Yale University, included forced consumption of alcohol and allegations of sexual assault. The party led to the hospitalization of 10 students for excessive drinking. Yale police are investigating the hazing and sexual assault complaints.
Fraternity Chapter Suspended for Hazing, Michigan
February 9, 2011
The University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been suspended by the University's Interfraternity Council and the national fraternity. The chapter has reportedly admitted to having hazing practices in its pledge program.
Fraternity Shooting Death, Ohio
February 6, 2011
Jamail Johnson, a student at Youngstown State University, was shot and killed at the off-campus fraternity house of Omega Phi Psi. Eleven other people, including six YSU students, were wounded. Two suspects are in custody and face criminal charges.
Elementary School Shooting, California
February 2, 2011
Sam LaCara, principal of Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville, California, was shot and killed at the school. School janitor John Luebbers was arrested for the killing, and no children were hurt though one student may have witnessed the shooting.
University Requires Pledges to Take Class, California
January 27, 2011
Stanford University president Nik Milanovic announced by email to the Interfraternity Council that a "non-negotiable component of joining a fraternity" would be a class on alcohol issues, sexual assault and hazing, among other topics. The class is a one-unit pass/fail course.
Fraternity Hazing Death Lawsuit Settled, Utah
January 26, 2011
The family of Michael Starks, an 18-year-old freshman who died during initiation week in November 2008 while attempting to join the Utah State University chapter of Sigma Nu, settled their lawsuit against the University. The terms of the settlement, all non-economic, were for the University to adopt recommendations made by a task force convened by the University following Starks' death, including education on hazing and the dangers of binge drinking.
Fraternity Chapter Sentenced, Pennsylvania
January 25, 2011
The Penn State University chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity was found guilty of furnishing alcohol to minors, resulting in the death of freshman Joe Dado, and sentenced to 70 days of community service, one day for each member, to be completed within six months. On September 19, 2009, Joe Dado was given alcohol at the fraternity house and his body was later found at the bottom of a stairwell, having died from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a fall.
Fraternity Members Sentenced, California
January 24, 2011
Four California State University San Marcos Sigma Alpha Epsilon members were sentenced under a plea agreement to probation and 80 hours of community service for their roles in the death of fellow member Patrick Drown. In August 2009, Drown attended a party hosted by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was later killed after being struck by a car. If further violations of the Social Host Law, including furnishing of alcohol to minors, occur, the fraternity members will likely be given jail time.
Fraternity Death, Indiana
January 18, 2011
19-year-old Brian Macken died at Bloomington Hospital in Indiana after being found unconscious at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house on Indiana University’s campus days before. Campus police are investigating whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in his death. Possible fraternity violations are also being investigated.
High School Shooting, California
January 18, 2011
Two 15 year-old students were hospitalized after being injured by the same bullet fired from a 9mm handgun in what may have been an accidental shooting at Gardena High School in Gardena, CA. A sophomore brought the pistol to school in a backpack and the gun apparently shot when he set the backpack down on a desk. One student is recovering from surgery and the other did not need surgery.
Fraternity and Sorority Shooting Death, Florida
January 9, 2011
Florida State University sophomore Ashley Cowie was shot and killed at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house in what has been deemed an accidental, but alcohol-related, shooting. Cowie was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. A Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity member has been charged with manslaughter, and the chapter has been suspended.
High School Shooting, Nebraska
January 5, 2011
Lincoln Southwest High School senior Robert Butler, Jr. shot and wounded high school principal Curtis Case and killed vice principal Vicki Kaspar before committing suicide. Butler posted the following statement on his Facebook prior to the shooting:
Everybody that used to know me, I'm sorry, but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up and the school I now attend is even worse. You are going to hear about the evil (expletive) I did, but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I want you guys to remember me for who I was before this. I know I greatly affected the lives of the families I ruined, but I'm sorry. Goodbye.
Lawyers: Va. Tech Families Settle
From USA Today:
Most families of the victims of the massacre at Virginia Tech agreed Thursday to a legal settlement proposed by the state, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said in a statement. 'Surviving victims and families of the dead will receive a settlement valued at more than $11 million total in cash, health benefits and other assistance,' attorneys Peter Grenier and Douglas Fierberg said in a statement Thursday.
Judge Agrees to Va. Tech Payout
From the Washington Post:
A Circuit Court judge approved an $11 million settlement Tuesday for most of the families of victims of last year's Virginia Tech massacre, but some of them remain dissatisfied and angry over the actions of the state and the school.
Hazing Death at Chico State
From NBC News:
Those who descended these steps of a fraternity house entered a world designed to terrify: The floor, damp with sewage, and the walls, splattered with taunts. Over a door was written, 'In the basement nobody can hear you scream.' Sometimes secrets can be deadly. In that basement, just what happened to the young man named Matthew Carrington?
Alcohol-saturated 'fun' on campus can be lethal
From USA Today:
As students head to the nation's college campuses, relishing their new independence, criminal prosecutions in the deaths of two young men are a sober reminder of how quickly alcohol-fueled 'fun' can spin out of control. Charges were filed this month against students and administrators linked to the recent fire death of a 19-year-old sophomore at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and the alcohol poisoning of a 18-year-old freshman at Rider University in Trenton, New Jersey.
Suit Filed in California Hazing Death
Settlement Reached for victim of hazing at Rider University
Crime on the Rise at Area Colleges
Why Hazing Cases Don't Go Away
Students Sued over Fatal Rite