Settlement Protects Students from Anti-Gay Harassment
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California reached a settlement with a Lake County school district that contains a series of steps the district will undertake to protect students from anti-gay harassment and discrimination. The agreement is on behalf of a student who was persistently subjected to verbal taunting and physical abuse based on his sexual orientation.
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California sought this settlement, reached without a lawsuit with the Upper Lake Union Elementary School District, in light of federal and state laws that allow for school administrators to be held liable if they fail to take adequate measures to remedy anti-LGBT harassment and discrimination.
The years of harassment culminated in the student, Robby, being attacked by a group of boys in the school locker room after gym class. The boys knocked Robby to the ground and kicked him in the stomach, head, and sides while screaming “fag” and “queer” at him. Believing that the district was not going to independently take the appropriate steps to respond and protect Robby, his parents contacted the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.
The settlement agreement contains a series of proactive steps that the Upper Lake school district will take to create a safe learning environment for all students and to educate students and staff about preventing harassment and discrimination at school. The district also now has adopted clear policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as required by California law.