LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska State College System will pay $900,000 to settle two lawsuits alleging Chadron State College failed to prevent dating violence that led to a softball player’s 2015 suicide.
Chadron State also will conduct suicide training, review its policies, establish a scholarship in honor of Fatima Lissette Larios and maintain a memorial on campus commemorating her life, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
According to the lawsuits, Larios was beaten and emotionally abused by her then-boyfriend for months, including during violent arguments in an on-campus dorm room that could be heard by others. The lawsuit said Larios’ coaches also observed “suspicious bruising” and informed Chadron State’s athletic director, who notified the campus Title IX office responsible for investigating instances of sexual and dating violence.
While the Title IX coordinator emailed Larios a copy of the college’s policy on sexual violence and harassment and Larios discussed the situation with coaches, her parents’ complaint alleged the college failed “to respond to reports of sexual violence or sex harassment and attend to the needs of the student involved.”
An attorney for the state college system, George Martin, said the school was confident that no wrongdoing would be proven in court but wanted to avoid costly attorneys’ fees and court courts. He said another goal was to “bring closure to the family, employees of Chadron State College, and her classmates.”
Larios’ parents said in a statement that the memorial was “a fitting tribute to someone who lived life with passion, purpose and an unyielding faith in the power of every person to have a positive impact on those around them.”
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