The principal of an Oregon high school and its resource officer are being removed for allegedly ignoring complaints of bullying from LGBTQ students and asking them to read from the Bible as a “punishment,” after the school district reached settlements with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The principal’s son has disputed what happened.
Following a months-long investigation by the Oregon Department of Education, the school district has asked North Bend High School Principal Bill Lucero and school Resource Officer Jason Griggs to step down as part of settlements on behalf of current and former students Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, according to The World.
“LGBTQ students at the rural school on the Oregon coast have been harassed, threatened, bullied, and assaulted just for being who they are. What is worse is that when these students turned to the adults in charge to protect them, the school administrators, teachers, and staff ignored their pleas for help,” ACLU of Oregon stated.
The school district will pay $1,000 to a local queer advocacy group as part of the settlements, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Additionally, the district has been asked to work with the ACLU of Oregon on creating preventive policies and training and will remain under Oregon Department of Education oversight for five years.
The two female students, who formerly dated, said when they first went public with their relationship at school, they were subjected to slurs, teasing, and later physical abuse from peers.
In one instance, according to Funk, a male student yelled out slurs and then “whacked” her ankle and “smashed” her hand with his skateboard.
When Funk reported this to the school resource officer, he allegedly told her that she should prepare for such abuse if she’s going to be an open member of the LGBT community. He also allegedly said homosexuality goes against his religion and that she was going to Hell.
Funk then went to the principal, who allegedly ignored her complaint.
Both Funk and Smith also alleged that the principal’s son, a popular football player at school, sped toward them in the parking lot as if he was about to hit them with his car and then yelled out a slur before veering away.
Smith, who already graduated, said the experience was “terrifying.”
Though the female students reported the instances of harassment and abuse, they said “nothing changed” and they felt unsafe.
Additionally, according to the ACLU, “both LGBTQ students and straight students have been forced to recite Bible passages as a punishment.”
Smith and Funk, who will graduating next month, filed complaints with the state in 2016.
The principal’s son, Brody Lucero, disputed the allegations against him and his father.
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Source: Christian Post