United States District Court, D. Alaska
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCKET 12)
RALPH R. BEISTLINE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff, Maceo Melton, proceeding pro se, brought this suit against the Alaska Career College, Inc. (“ACC”), and Jennifer and Don Dietz (owners of ACC), alleging racial discrimination, retaliation for engaging in activities protected under Titles IV, VI, VII, and IX, sexual harassment, failure to prevent sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, gender discrimination, deprivation of Federal rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, negligence, collusion, and malicious abuse of process. Defendants have moved for summary judgment on all counts. Plaintiff has opposed the motion and Defendants filed a reply. The Court, being fully advised, hereby GRANTS Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and DISMISSES this matter in its entirety.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.The moving party bears the initial burden of proof for showing that no fact is in dispute. If the moving party meets that burden, then it falls upon the non-moving party to refute with facts that would indicate a genuine issue of fact for trial. Summary judgment is appropriate if the facts and allegations presented by a party are merely colorable, or are not significantly probative.
Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56(e)(2), a district court can enter a summary judgment against a party that fails to oppose the issues raised in a motion for summary judgment if it is appropriate to do so. Such an action is deemed appropriate when the motion for summary judgment adequately contends that there are no triable issues of fact.
The facts are taken primarily from Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff, between February 2012 and February 2013, was a student at ACC in the Therapeutic Massage Program in Anchorage, Alaska. ACC received Federal financial assistance and was a private/for profit school/corporation doing business in Alaska. ACC is owned by Don and Jennifer Dietz. Plaintiff alleges that he was subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment by a female instructor, Samantha Russell, including sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments and text messages. Plaintiff complained of some incidents to the Dean of ACC and was told to address the problem directly with the instructor. However, after Plaintiff shared the sexually explicit text messages, ACC acted and two days later the instructor resigned. Plaintiff alleges that the instructor had a history of making sexually inappropriate comments in front of the class. Plaintiff complains that ACC had no clear written policies regarding sexual harassment. Plaintiff also complains that “at least one year prior to the incident involving Plaintiff, there were several other incidents and allegations involving ACC instructor Samantha Russell.” Plaintiff also alleges that he was subjected to retaliation and adverse actions, treatment, and conditions by the Defendant for engaging in activities protected under Title IX, Title IV, Title VI, and Title VII. He also alleges violations of Alaska Statute 14.18.010.
Although Plaintiff alleges that he was banned from campus, he conceded in his deposition that he was never actually asked to leave campus. He alleges that he was not allowed to attend graduation, yet he conceded at his deposition that he chose not to attend graduation because he “didn’t feel welcome.” Finally, he alleges being “blackballed” within the massage therapist employment network.
Plaintiff suggests that “the fundamental basis for [his] complaint against the Defendants is the Defendant’s failure to implement, abide by, and enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1968 and Title IX of the Education Act of 1972.” Defendants move for summary judgment on each Count in Plaintiff’s Complaint.
A. Retaliation, Adverse Actions, and Treatment for Engaging in Protected Activity and Whistleblower Activity - Titles IV, VI, VII and IX
Title IV primarily addresses desegregation in public schools and is applicable only to public schools. 42 U.S.C. § 2000c, et seq. Title IV is not applicable in the context of a private school such as ACC. All counts related to Title IV are accordingly dismissed.
Title VI provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Plaintiff alleges a Title VI disparate treatment claim because he, a black student, was sexually harassed by a white teacher. Plaintiff further complains that “ACC paid a ‘white’ male student an out-of-court settlement based on similar allegations against a former employee.” The Court agrees with Defendants that Plaintiff has failed to show a prima facie case of discrimination for the reasons discussed at Docket 12 at 18-24. There is simply no evidence that Plaintiff was treated differently than other massage therapy students or subject to discrimination by Defendants. All Counts related to Title VI are accordingly dismissed.
Title VII protects employees from discrimination based upon race or sex. Defendants argue that Title VII is inapplicable here because Plaintiff was not an employee of ACC. However, Plaintiff argues that ACC was a postsecondary institution that provides “‘hands-on’ vocational training to its students.” Plaintiff’s argument appears to be that his status as a student ...