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School facing heavy criticism after allegedly forcing LGBT student to read the Bible as punishment

The Oregon Department of Education has a history of forcing students to read the Bible as punishment

2018-05-11

A school has been heavily criticised after it reportedly forced an LGBT student to read the Bible as a form of punishment because of their sexuality.

The accusations towards the school – which is situated in rural Oregon – came from a letter issued in March to the superintendent for the North Bend School District Bill Yester and claimed that “discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation” had occurred.

It reveals that the student – only known as Student 3 – was forced to read the Bible as a form of punishment while the staff watched them.

Although another student claims it was a punishment because of Student 3’s sexual orientation, The Coos Bay World say it is not clear.

However, the report shows that the Oregon Department of Education has forced students to read the Bible in the past as a punishment.

There is also evidence to support the allegation that the district subjected LGBT+ students to separate or different rules of behaviour, sanctions or other treatment.

If this is found to be true, the school would be violating the American First Amendment which states schools cannot use the Bible as a source of authority.

The School District issued a statement claiming that the Bible reading was the only time that this form of punishment had ever been enacted.

A counsellor who was advocating for LGBT+ students and equality had faced retaliation from the district.

The counsellor in question told Coos Bay World: “These students have required quite a bit of support, but luckily they have some good family and friends.

“A lot of students who have been involved didn’t come forward or remained anonymous so it’s two main students who spearheaded the appeal.

“They had the courage to do this.”