LGBT Students Being Bullied By Staff at SoCal High School, Says ACLU
Students at a Southern California high school claim their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community has been the target of discrimination, and in this case, the perpetrators are among the school administration.
Now the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California has stepped in to the tumultuous waters at Hesperia's Sultana High, and have submitted an 11-page letter on behalf of the school's Gay Straight Alliance club that threatens legal action, according to the Huffington Post.
"Melissa Goodman, senior staff attorney with the ACLU chapter, said in an emailed statement that school administrators have allowed a climate against [LGBT] students to fester" at the school.
Allegations levied against school staff include claims the suppression of free speech, discrimination, and administrators making "insensitive or homophobic remarks regarding LGBT students." Additionally, the school's dress code "bans one student from wearing heels with his tuxedo and forbids two female students from wearing tuxedos."
The Huffington Post summarizes more of the club's claims regarding school officials:
The club accuses the school leadership of ostracizing its LGBT population by censoring discussion of LGBT issues within the school, ignoring complaints detailing harassment and bullying and selectively enforcing rules concerning public displays of affection.
An example of the bullying: "Amber Stanford, 17, a student at Sultana High, said in a phone interview she was in a class in January when a teacher told her classmate to 'take that gay headband off,'" reports Reuters.
The GSA says the school will only refer to the club by its initials and not its full name over the PA during announcements, and that they have been not allowed to post flyers and posters in the school.
The ACLU is calling out the Sultana High School teachers and officials as "the primary bullies," in their letter, turning the tables on the typical tale of bullying.
In response to the letter, Hesperia Unified interim Superintendent David McLaughlin said the ACLU's claims and the club's plight have his "full and focused attention."