United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
C.W.P., a minor child, and MICHAEL PHILLIPS, individually and as parent and next friend to C.W.P, PLAINTIFFS
MALCOLM BROWN, individually and in his official capacity as Principal of Simmons High School; THE HOLLANDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT; JAMES JOHNSON-WALDINGTON, individually and as Superintendent of the Hollandale School District; and JOBANNA FRYE, individually and as Assistant Superintendent of the Hollandale School District, DEFENDANTS
For C. W. P., a minor child, Michael Phillips, individually and as parent and next friend to C.W.P., Plaintiffs: Luther C. Fisher, IV, LEAD ATTORNEY, Luke Fisher Law, PLLC, Oxford, MS.
For Malcolm Brown, individually and in his official capacity as Principal of Simmons High School, The Hollandale School District, Defendants: Bennie LeNard Richard, LEAD ATTORNEY, RICHARD LAW FIRM, PLLC, Greenville, MS; J. Tucker Mitchell, LEAD ATTORNEY, William Clayton McDonough, Ridgeland, MS.
For James Johnson-Waldington, Individually and as Superintendent, Jobanna Frye, Individually and as Assistant Superintendent, Defendants: J. Tucker Mitchell, LEAD ATTORNEY, William Clayton McDonough, Ridgeland, MS.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Debra M. Brown, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
This race discrimination action is brought by Michael Phillips, and his son C.W.P., a minor child formerly enrolled at Simmons High School in the Hollandale School District of Mississippi. The amended complaint asserts claims against: (1) the Hollandale School District; (2) Malcom Brown, individually and in his official capacity as the principal of Simmons High School; (3) James Johnson-Waldington, individually and in his official capacity as Superintendent of the Hollandale School District; and (4) Jobanna Frye, individually and in her official capacity as Assistant Superintendent of the Hollandale School District. Two 12(b)(6) motions are before the Court: (1) a motion to dismiss filed by Brown, Johnson-Waldington, and Frye (" Individual Defendants" ) in their individual capacities, Doc. #37; and (2) a motion to dismiss filed by the Hollandale School District and the Individual Defendants in their official capacities, Doc. #38.
As a general matter, " [a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain ... a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). When a complaint falls short of this directive, a defendant may move to dismiss the claim for " failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In considering the interplay between Rule 8 and Rule 12, the United States Supreme Court has explained that:
To survive a motion to dismiss [for failure to state a claim], a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (internal citations and punctuation omitted) (citing Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-58, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). Under this standard, a " court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true
and view those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Harold H. Huggins Realty, Inc. v. FNC, Inc., 634 F.3d 787, 803 n.44 (5th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and punctuation omitted).
A. Relevant Persons
In the fall of 2011, Plaintiff C.W.P. entered his senior year at Simmons High School (" SHS" ), which is located in Hollandale, Mississippi, in the Hollandale School District. Doc. #26 at ¶ ¶ 5-6. C.W.P. was the only white student in his senior class. Id . At the time period relevant to this suit, Defendant Malcolm Brown served as Principal of SHS, id. at ¶ 33; Defendant Jobanna Frye served as Assistant Superintendent of the Hollandale School District, id. at ¶ 59; and Defendant James Johnson-Waldington served as Superintendent of the Hollandale School District, id. at ¶ 63.
B. Selective Enforcement of School Policies
During C.W.P.'s senior year, SHS maintained a written policy under which students who drove to campus were required to turn in their car keys at the beginning of each school day. Doc. #26 at ¶ 8. The school also required that students driving to campus provide proof of car insurance and registration. Id. at ¶ 16. Although " a number of black students" and Plaintiff drove to ...