School sued over Brokeback Mountain screening

PinkNews Staff Writer May 14, 2007
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The grandfather of a 12-year-old girl has filed a half-million dollar lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education.

He claims his granddaughter was traumatised by a school showing of Brokeback Mountain.

The lawsuit filed on Friday claims that Jessica Turner suffered psychological distress after being shown the film, that involves the gay relationship between two cowboys played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, in an 8th grade class last year.

Turner’s class at Ashburn Community Elementary School are alleged to have been shown the film by substitute teacher who is referred to in the lawsuit as ‘Ms Buford’.

“What happens in Ms Buford’s class stays in Ms Buford’s class.” she told the class according to the lawsuit.

Turner and her grandparents, Kenneth and LaVerne Richardson, are seeking around $500,000 in damages.

“It is very important to me that my children not be exposed to this,” Kenneth Richardson told the Chicago Tribune.

They are also unhappy that the film was shown without the permission from students’ parents and guardians.

“The teacher knew she was not supposed to do this.” said Richardson.

In 2005, Richardson complained to school administrators about reading material that he said included curse words.


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