A Penn graduate sued her high school after failing to gain an unconditional college acceptance in 2014. Now, she is taking her case to the Supreme Court.
2019 Engineering graduate Dayo Adetu and her parents filed a lawsuit against the Sidwell Friends School, the elite private school Sasha and Malia Obama and Chelsea Clinton attended, and appealed the case to the Supreme Court in April, according to Daily Mail. Adetu first sued the school in 2013 for miscalculating her grades, and received a settlement for $50,000. Adetu claims Sidwell retaliated against her by misrepresenting her college application materials, costing Adetu her admission to 13 universities.
"Despite the fact that Sidwell touts a 100% college matriculation rate for its graduating high school seniors, Dayo did not receive unconditional acceptance to any of the 13 universities to which she applied and desired admission," the Adetu family wrote in the Supreme Court petition, according to CNN.
Adetu matriculated into Penn’s incoming class in 2015 but was the only student in her graduating class of 126 students in 2014 who did not receive a single unconditional acceptance from an educational institution, according to Daily Mail. She is currently a student in the biogineering master's program.
The Supreme Court considered whether to take the case at a private meeting on June 13, according to CNN. CNN said the Supreme Court is unlikely to accept the petition, as they only take about 70 of the over 7,000 cases they receive each year.
"It's more than a little unusual for the justices to take a case like this one that comes from the DC local courts and turns entirely on questions of DC local law," Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said to CNN. "Although the court formally has the power to hear such disputes, and DC law is technically federal law, the justices tend to stay out of such DC-specific disputes."
In addition to Penn, Adetu applied to Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, CalTech, MIT, the University of Virgina, McGill, and Spelman in 2014.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled against the Adetus in January 2019, according to NBC2 News, because the family failed to show “any adverse action taken by Sidwell” and any tangible damage resulting from the alleged breach of the 2013 settlement.
The DC Superior Court also ruled against the Adetus, according to CNN, claiming they “cited no evidence that Sidwell made negative comments about Dayo or otherwise interfered with her college admissions process, beyond plaintiffs’ "own speculation” and no meaningful breach of the settlement took place.