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ACLU files federal complaint against Central Bucks School District alleging ‘fear and intimidation’ against LGBTQ students

ACLU filed a complaint Thursday with the U.S Dept of Justice and U.S Dept of ED against Central Bucks School District discrimination against LGBTQ students

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA), a nonprofit focused on defending and protecting individual rights and personal freedoms, filed a complaint Thursday with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Department of Education claiming that Central Bucks School District is ‘contributing to the hostile environment for [LGBTQ] students.’

The complaint was filed on behalf of seven Central Bucks School District students, detailing incidents of intimidation tactics, bullying, along with the prejudice policies that spread homophobic and transphobic actions. The ACLU-PA investigated the incidents for the past five months and interviewed dozens of students, family members, former and current teachers which led to the discovery of a ‘toxic educational environment for LGBTQ students.’

Under the 14th Amendment to the U.S Constitution and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or setting—the case of the students in Central Bucks.

“These children deserve a safe environment where they can learn and be their full selves without fear of being bullied by other students,” said Witold Walczak, legal director at the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Unfortunately, rather than combat the toxic educational environment faced by LGBTQ+ students in Central Bucks, a new school board majority and the administration have exacerbated the problems with new homophobic and transphobic policies that have heightened the climate of fear for this group of students and supportive staff.” 

The complaint requests that Central Bucks School District adhere to the U.S Department of Education measures to support LGBTQ students; using welcoming and including language, school policies respect all students’ under identities, safeguard students’ privacy, among others.

The complaint states “the CBSD Board and central administration have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that deters staff from supporting LGBTQ+ students,” with many falling complicit to CBSD actions towards LGBTQ students.

 

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