In a recent ruling, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan denied a California high school student’s petition to return to his school in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District after the school’s principal, also the Title IX coordinator, authorized the student’s emergency removal. The case is among the first to challenge emergency powers granted to school districts last year.

Emergency removal, a tool put in place by the Title IX regulations that went into effect last year under the Trump administration’s Department of Education, allows schools to remove someone accused of sexual assault or harassment if they are “an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of the complainant,” according to a recent report from K-12 Dive.

The representative of John Doe, the 15-year-old accused of multiple sexual assaults, argues the defendant was receiving “no instruction — either live or remote” and is being “deprived of his educational opportunities.”

In the case, Doe denied his ex-girlfriend’s allegations of sexual assault, saying they ended their relationship after approximately one month of dating. According to case documents, text messages show Doe ended the relationship against the will of Jane Roe, the anonymous ex-girlfriend and accuser. Roe’s social worker claims Doe sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend during class, shortly after their breakup in April 2021, as well as one other student in a separate incident.

On April 22, the district notified Doe it “has undertaken an individualized safety and risk analysis and has determined that you pose an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of a student or other individual arising from the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment.”

Doe says he was asked to immediately leave campus and urged to study independently for the remainder of the school year with no live instruction. The district then extended Doe’s removal to the start of the 2021-22 school year, and offered him virtual instruction, according to court documents.

Doe’s lawyers argued that not attending school in person is emotionally damaging and is effectively a suspension, which requires advance notice and a hearing.