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California English teacher allegedly fired for being gay

Lambda Legal, a nonprofit legal organization dedicated to the rights of LGBT people, filed a lawsuit against a California school district after a lesbian teacher was fired from one of its high schools.

Julia Frost, formerly employed as an English teacher at Sultana High School in San Bernardino County, claims she was fired for being a lesbian. The lawsuit asserts that Frost is a victim of “unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation because of her sexual orientation.”

In addition, the suit also claims that administrators knowingly “created a hostile environment” for Frost and for gay students, and that she was harassed for “teaching homosexuality.”

The Hesperia Unified School District denies the allegations, and argues that Frost was “legitimately and appropriately dismissed,” adding that her lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt at monetary and personal profit.

“While the district may not discuss personnel matters, Ms. Frost’s allegations that the district dismissed her because she ‘blew the whistle’ with the ACLU about students’ equal rights, specifically the rights of our LGBT students, is absolutely false,” Superintendent David McLaughlin wrote in a statement.

Frost believes that co-sponsorship of the Sultana campus’ Gay/Straight Alliance acted as additional fodder for harassment and discrimination from school administrators. The lawsuit also states that GSA activities were censored, unjustly scrutinized, and intentionally excluded from school newsletters and handbooks.

“Ms. Frost’s performance as an English teacher at Sultana was exemplary. Nevertheless, she was discriminated against, harassed and retaliated against during the course of her employment at Sultana,” reads Frost’s legal complaint.

Frost had been an employee of Sultana High since August 2011, before she was dismissed in May 2013. She claims that the homophobic atmosphere at the school was so severe that administrators even threatened to reveal the orientation of bullied students to their parents.

According to Frost, she was dismissed after filing a complaint from a student after another student told them to “take the gay headband off” during class.

429Magazine

Written By:
Erin Higgins
Erin Higgins
Fri, Nov 22, 2013

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