Settlement Reached Over Student Discrimination

posted by Anna Erickson -

Photo Courtesy of KATU

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has reached a settlement with the North Bend School District over LGBTQ discrimination and forced reading of the Bible as punishment.

Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, says they were alerted about the case that involved LGBTQ students being harassed, bullied, and even attacked by students as well as staff.

Two brave girls who were being harassed stepped up and complained to the Oregon Department of Education and the Department of Education substantiated most of their allegations.  

dos Santos says the girls were nearly hit in the school parking lot by a student who was yelling homophobic slurs at them. The school police officer even told one of the girls she's going to hell just for being gay.

Punishment for both gay and straight students had included forced reading of the Bible. 

The school district was ordered to settle the case but couldn't reach a settlement, so the ACLU stepped in and were working on taking the case to trial in front of the Oregon Department of Education. The hearing was set to begin on Wednesday, but dos Santos says on the eve of trial, they were able to settle the case.

The settlement requires the removal of both the Principal of North Bend High School and a school police officer. It also requires the school district to work with the ACLU to develop policies and training to prevent future discrimination.

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