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Watch: Lesbian school teacher forced out of her job

Michelle O'Toole November 13, 2015

Cathy Figel, an openly lesbian teacher, is suing her former school district for not acting when she endured homophobic abuse as a teacher.

The teacher is suing the Los Angeles Unified School District for $12 million because her former employer did not make sure the school she worked in was “free from discrimination and harassment,” according to Figel.

She had taught PE at Marina del Rey Middle School in California for 13 years.

“To be exposed to anti-gay language is a challenge because, as a lesbian, when I first hear it, you know, emotionally I am angry,” Figel told a KCAL reporter.

“I was supervising the locker room, and it was something to the effect of, you know, gotta watch that lesbian is looking at us.”

The report said that Figel also endured homophobic graffiti aimed at her, vandalism to her car and physical violence.

In the report filed by Figel and her attorney, she accuses the Los Angeles Unified School District of repeatedly dismissing her complaints and telling her to not ‘openly identify as a lesbian’.

According to Figel, the abuse forced her into retirement and she explained that the money was not her main motivation for the lawsuit, saying that her biggest concern was for any LGBT students who become targets.

“It’s not like, oh, this is my chance for something extra. But I don’t want to wake up one day and find out a child’s been harmed because nothing ever changed,” she said.

“I’m an adult, an authority figure. And I’m being exposed to it. What do you think is the occurrence that’s happening to the children?”

Figel is the latest lesbian school teacher to speak out about the homophobia she has endured.

Last month teacher Roseanne Kaplan-DiNola claimed that she was demoted for being a lesbian.

Also, in July a teacher was also forced out of her job for being a lesbian.

Watch the original KCAL report below.

More: California, Cathy Figel, Homophobia, lesbian, Marina del Rey Middle School, teacher, US

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