The ACLU of Oregon reached settlements with a school district in the state following the harassment of LGBTQ students.
Two students, Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, originally filed their complaint with the district. When the district failed to do anything, the students appealed to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
The students alleged they faced numerous instances of discrimination and harassment. In one scenario, a student was forced to read the Bible as punishment.
ACLU’s settlements include removing Principal Bill Lucero from North Bend High School. The school district also has to work with the ACLU and develop policies intended to prevent future discrimination. Finally, the ODE will monitor the district for five years.
A new police officer is also being assigned to the school.
‘It sends a clear message’
Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, said: ‘It sends a clear message to everyone at the district: If you break the law by discriminating against LGBTQ students or engaging in religious proselytization at school, there are serious consequences.’
‘With Mr. Lucero gone, LGBTQ students can finally come out of the shadows,’ he continued. ‘It’s past time that North Bend High School make way for a more open and accepting administration.’
Funk graduates next month and hopes this will have a lasting impact.
‘All I want is a safe learning environment for current and incoming students from any and all walks of life.’
Neither student requested money damages. However, their settlement did include the school donating $1,000 to a local LGBTQ support group, Q & A of Coos County.