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HARPER v. EDGEWOOD BD. OF EDUC.

March 18, 1987

Warren Harper, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Edgewood Board of Education, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RUBIN

 Carl B Rubin, Chief Judge, United States District Court

 This matter is before the Court on motions for summary judgment by defendants Edgewood Board of Education, Dr. Roger Compton, Gene Smith, Dr. John Burly, M. Phillip Stroup, Jean Hanselman, Stephen Hester, Edith Pate and Kenneth Ziegler (hereinafter the "Edgewood defendants") (doc. no. 21) and by defendants Miami University and Clyde E. Banks Jr. (doc. no. 23). Plaintiffs, Warren Harper and his sister Florence Harper, brought this action alleging violations of and conspiracy to violate plaintiff's rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, because they were not permitted to attend the Edgewood High School Prom dressed in clothing of the opposite sex. Plaintiffs also allege state claims of assault and battery and false arrest against Officer Clyde E. Banks and Miami University.

 I. Facts

 On the evening of May 18, 1985, Warren and Florence Harper arrived at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to attend the Edgewood High School Junior-Senior Prom. Warren Harper was a senior at Edgewood High School at that time and had purchased tickets for the prom in advance. Warren Harper arrived at the prom attired as a woman, wearing earrings, stockings, high heels, a dress and a fur cape. Florence Harper wore a black tuxedo and men's shoes.

 Upon plaintiffs' arrival, Gene Smith, the high school principal, asked to speak with Mr. Harper and directed him to an area separated from the corridor by glass doors. There, Mr. Smith and Roger Compton, the school superintendent asked Mr. Harper to change his clothes. Mr. Harper refused, and plaintiffs took their leave from Mr. Smith and Mr. Compton and entered the ballroom. Shortly thereafter, at the request of the Edgewood School officials, a Miami University police officer escorted plaintiffs from the prom.

 Plaintiffs allege that defendants' actions deprived them of their constitutional rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985 and further allege pendant state law claims against Miami University and Officer Banks.

 II. Summary Judgment

 In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must determine whether there is no genuine issue of material fact and whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Moreover, the Court must look at the record in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Smith v. Hudson, 600 F.2d 60, 63 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 986, 62 L. Ed. 2d 415, 100 S. Ct. 495 (1979).

 The Court has considered the briefs, pleadings and other documents filed in this case and concludes that the facts material to the Court's determination are undisputed. The Court will address the parties legal arguments as to each of plaintiffs' claims separately.

 Plaintiffs' complaint does not allege a specific violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, rather it states that section 1981 is a basis for the Court's jurisdiction. Moreover, plaintiffs allege no facts which constitute a violation of section 1981.

 42 U.S.C. § 1981 provides:

 
All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every state and territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like ...

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