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Court upholds $1 million for student in school harassment case

One of the biggest awards ever issued for racial harassment in high school – $1 million – was upheld Monday by a federal appeals panel that said it was fair for a jury to conclude a school district should have done more to stop demeaning, threatening and violent conduct directed at a student, the Associated Press reports. The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan left in place the award for Anthony Zeno, a former student at Stissing Mountain High School in Dutchess County. The award had been reduced from the $1.25 million a jury originally awarded the now 23-year-old haircutter during a 2010 trial. The appeals court said the award wasn’t unreasonable given that payouts for harassment in similar cases have ranged from the low six figures to $1 million in one other instance. The appeals court’s opinion noted that Zeno is “dark-skinned and biracial, half-white, half-Latino.” It said he “had been menaced, threatened and taunted” at a school where minorities represented less than 5 percent of the student population…

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