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Two staff who forced LGBT students to read Bible as punishment removed from school

One of the staff was the principal and the other was the resource officer at the school

2018-05-22

Two school staff have been removed from their positions after forcing LGBT students to read the Bible as punishment for their sexuality.

Bill Lucero, principal of North Bend High School in Oregon, and Jason Griggs, the school’s resource officer, were removed from their jobs following a settlement between the school district and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The accusations towards the school 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.

Now, Hailey Smith, one of the students at the school, detailed the discrimination she faced for being out at school from both students and staff.

She wrote to the ACLU: “I faced harassment and discrimination so many times at school, from both students and staff members.

“I felt my physical safety was in jeopardy, and the principal’s response – nothing – was disheartening.

“When I told the principal that my civics teacher called me out in front of the whole class and said same-sex marriage was ‘pretty much the same thing’ as marrying a dog, the principal told me, ‘Everybody has the right to their own opinion’.

“The next day, the teacher apologised, but as I walked away, he said, ‘Don’t go marrying your dog.'”

Smith then detailed an incident where she was walking with her girlfriend in a car park and was nearly run over by the principal’s son.

“All of a sudden the principal’s son sped right toward us in his car. We thought he was going to hit us,” she added.

“Instead, he drove right up next to us, yelled out ‘f***t!’ and veered away.”

Matt dos Santos, the legal director for the ACLU of Oregon stated on May 19: “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.”