BOISE (CN) – A teenager had a consensual sexual relationship with her married high-school basketball coach lost her bid for damages against the school district in the Idaho Supreme Court.
The justices upheld a zero-damage award against the Joint School District No. 391 on a single claim of negligent supervision.
Melissa Hei and Mark Holzer, her teacher and coach, flirted during Hei’s junior year and began having sex later that year, after she turned 18. Holzer resigned when school officials found out about the affair.
More than a year later, Hei and her parents filed a lawsuit against Holzer, his wife, the principal, the school district and its superintendent, alleging 17 causes of action based on the sexual relationship.
The high court vacated judgment for the district on all claims and whittled the case to a Title IX claim and a negligent supervision claim.
A jury found the school district liable for negligent supervision, but awarded the plaintiff zero damages, which the appeals court affirmed.
“Although this case presents the unusual situation of a negligence finding with no damage award, this court finds no ground for reversal,” Justice Jones wrote.