Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District
A historic ruling holds that schools must take steps to eliminate harassment when they learn that lesbian, gay, or bisexual students are abused at school.
After more than five years of litigation, including two trips to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California reached a ground-breaking settlement in a lawsuit challenging a school district's failure to stop a vicious barrage of harassment directed at students based on their perceived sexual orientation. The ACLU Foundation of Northern California represented six former students of Live Oak High School in this federal court suit against the Morgan Hill Unified School District. The settlement, in addition to garnering more than $1.1 million in damages and attorneys' fees, set up a comprehensive 4-year training program for both students and staff designed to combat harassment of LGBT students in the district. The litigation also resulted in an important Ninth Circuit decision establishing that if a school knows harassment is taking place against LGBT students, it is obligated to take meaningful steps to end it and to protect students.