Last year, a mother had filed a lawsuit against Kilgore Independent School District, Texas after 2 coaches of softball outed her daughter.
As Courthousenews reports, the complaint says coaches Rhonda Fletcher and Cassandra Newell aggressively confronted her 16-year-old daughter, Skye Wyatt (pictured), about an alleged love triangle. The coaches allegedly said S.W. was involved with an older woman named Hillary Nutt and had told others that Nutt and Newell had also dated.
Though S.W. had never told her mother she was a lesbian, the coaches confronted Wyatt about the teenager's alleged relationship, according to the complaint.
The judge considered that the coaches had not a "legitimate interest in revealing S.W.'s sexual orientation to her mother."
"On March 3, 2009, the coaches became aware of a rumor created by a note written by S.W. that claimed S.W. was dating Ms. Nutt, a person S.W. claimed to be Coach Newell's ex-girlfriend," U.S. Magistrate Judge John Love wrote, citing the defendants' testimony.
"When the Coaches heard the rumor, they took it upon themselves to confront S.W. for three reasons: (1) they believed that Ms. Nutt was a bad influence on S.W. because Ms. Nutt had previously talked about drinking and smoking marijuana; (2) they believed the fact that Ms. Nutt was eighteen-years-old and S.W. was sixteen 'made any physical relationship between them a potential crime;' and (3) the rumors were 'causing dissension on the softball team.'"
"As an initial matter, defendants argue in various places throughout their briefing that S.W. could not have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in her sexual orientation because either Ms. Wyatt already knew S.W. was homosexual or S.W. was openly gay in school," he added.
"Whether S.W. was openly gay or whether Ms. Wyatt knew she was homosexual prior to the March 3 incident is a question of fact requiring credibility determinations that are best left to the trier of fact," the 23-page decision continues.
"Based on the record before the court, the court cannot conclude as a matter of law that Coaches Newell and Fletcher had a legitimate interest in revealing S.W.'s sexual orientation to her mother that outweighed S.W.'s privacy interest in keeping that information confidential," Love wrote.