LGBT student ‘forced to read bible as school punishment’
A school district in Oregon, USA, allegedly forced an LGBT student to read the bible as a punishment.
North Bend School District is facing allegations of discrimination as a result of the incident, and for failing to respond to a report of a homophobic slur yelled at two students holding hands, reports regional newspaper The World.
It is also claimed that one teacher compared same-sex marriage to marrying a dog.
The alleged abuse was detailed in a March 6 letter seen by the newspaper, sent from Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to district superintendent Bill Yester.
The document sets out how one pupil, known only as Student 3, was made to read bible passages as a form of punishment, which they believed was because of their sexual orientation.
“There is substantial evidence to support the allegation that the district subjected LGBTQ students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment,” the letter reads.
The document adds: “Student 3 had little choice but to comply with the building administrator’s established form of punishment.”
Elsewhere, the correspondence describes an incident in which two students were holding hands in the parking lot, when another pupil “drove very close to them” and shouted “faggot.”
Following this event, it is claimed that the district failed to properly investigate the sexual harassment, instead leaving one of the victims to “discuss the matter” with the parent of the student responsible, who also happened to be the building supervisor.
And, in a separate incident, it is reported that one teacher equated same-sex marriage to getting married to a dog. According to the letter, the teacher involved later apologised to the student making the complaint over the remark.
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“In conclusion, the department finds that discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation may have occurred,” reads the letter in its closing statements.
The letter urged the the public school district to reach an agreement over the complaints within 30 days of receiving the letter.
However, because an agreement was not made, a hearing will be held by the ODE on May 24 to determine if North Bend School District broke state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
PinkNews has contacted North Bend School District for comment.
Earlier this month, Hermiston School District, also in Oregon, banned pupils from taking part in a statewide reading competition because the list of books includes one about a trans child.