Rochelle Hamilton, 16, has just been awarded a 25, 000 settlement after the ACLU threatened a lawsuit against Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, California. Hamilton who is a lesbian claims she was harassed daily by faculty and staff, including a guidance counselor who was persistent in her efforts to force Hamilton to change her sexual orientation. CBS5.com:
The counselor told the group, "You're going to get this treatment your whole life. What are you going to do, stand up every time," according to the suit.
The complaint alleged a teacher approached Hamilton when she was hugging her girlfriend and said, "This is ungodly, and you're going to hell. This is a sin." Other school staff repeated harassing comments to Hamilton in front of her classmates, including saying, "It's not right to be this way," according to the suit.
"All I ever wanted was to be able to go to school and be myself," Hamilton said. "But I couldn't do that when the people I was supposed to be learning from were judging me and telling me something was wrong with me. How was I supposed to learn when I was constantly scared?"
To add insult to injury Hamilton also reports staff members made comments such as, "Remember, you're a girl, not a boy," and, "You can get HIV/AIDS from being gay and messing with females."
The Vallejo Unified School District insists that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, "but maybe they should look into training around sexual orientation non-discrimination".
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h/t Rod 2.0