This lawsuit was filed on June 24, 2016 in the Circuit Court of Cook County against School District 214, Kurt Laakso, Michelle Dowling, David Schuler, Mark Taylor and Suzette Sanecki by Plaintiff, Samuel Mobley. The matter was removed to federal court. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that throughout the course of his time as a high school student at Prospect High School (2011 – 2015), he was bullied and harassed because of his race by teachers and students. Plaintiff claims that he received disparate punishment from teachers and administrators because of his race. Plaintiff also claims the alleged bullying issues were not addressed by the administration because of his race.
On March 31, 2021, Judge Gottschall granted summary judgment as to the Section 1983 federal claims and remanded the state law claims of willful and wanton conduct and intentional infliction of emotional distress back to the Circuit Court of Cook County. When Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on those counts was denied by Judge Melissa Durkin, the matter went to trial before Judge Bridget J. Hughes. Despite some highly inflammatory allegations against the Defendants, the jury returned a “Not Guilty” verdict for the Defendants after only 38 minutes of deliberations.