Orange County school sued over homophobic and sexist threats
Corona del Mar high school, in Orange County, has been accused of failing to protect a female student who was targeted with gay slurs and threatened with rape and murder.
According to reports, the lesbian student found a 17-minute video on Facebook of three football players from her school making homophobic comments about her.
One boy said he wanted to kill her, while another spoke of raping her.
A fourth boy allegedly threatened her face-to-face.
However, only one of the boys was suspended over the incidents.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the girl, the school did little to investigate the threats and even “assigned an assistant football coach at the school to investigate the harassment, an obvious conflict of interest because three of the four accused students are members of the football team.”
The ACLU suit, filed against against the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, says: “School and district officials, through their action and inaction, have not only failed to take steps to address this hostile environment, but they have contributed to it and given sanction to it.”
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It continues: “Students are routinely referred to … with words such as ‘dyke,’ ‘butch,’ ‘fairy,’ ‘gay,’ ‘homo’ and ‘queer’ by other students at school in hallways and classrooms within earshot of teachers, but without repercussion.”
Attorneys for the school district also say the lawsuit contains “numerous factual errors and mistakes.”
But it added: “These allegations are very serious and the district will utilise its best efforts to ascertain the truth of these matters, as well as to be sure there are procedures to promptly resolve discrimination and harassment disputes.”
The female student has been forced to take independent study to limit her time on campus.
The high school made the news recently when it cancelled a production of the musical Rent, which contains gay characters.
The school subsequently announced the show would be rescheduled for late April.
Related topics: Americas