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Photo: Central Bucks School District
ACLU does not intend on disclosing LGBTQ students' identities or faculty out of fear of retaliation. Photo: Central Bucks School District

Central Bucks School District wants ACLU to reveal LGBTQ students behind federal complaint

The Central Bucks School District wants the ACLU to reveal LGBTQ students behind federal complaint.

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Al Día News previously reported that The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) filed a complaint  with the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this month claiming Central Bucks School District is ‘contributing to the hostile environment for [LGBTQ] students.’

However, the Central Bucks School Board is calling for the ACLU to release the identity of the students who filed the complaint—something the ACLU refuses to provide out of fear of retaliation against the students involved.

The discrimination complaint was purposely redacted to withhold the identity of students complaining against the school, especially anti-LGBTQ harassments they have faced by district employees.

“They know who the bullied students are. They are the ones the administration and board have ignored and disrespected,” said Vic Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The more the board members talk, the more they confirm their hostile and discriminatory views.”

Many students, families, and district employees who provided information about bullying, discriminatory tactics are concerned at the possible backlash from the community if their identities are revealed.

The complaint describes Central Bucks School District ‘illegal discrimination’ and persistent harassment of LGBTQ students.

“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.” 

Dana Hunter, the school board president is calling the ACLU out and demanding an unredacted version of the complaint.

“The anonymous and hidden nature of this information makes it impossible for our administrators, school counselors, and teachers to do the critical work of connecting with these unnamed individuals to intervene and address any possible bullying or problematic situations, to activate support and resources, and to implement corrective actions with the goal of bringing about positive change,” said Hunter.

But if the interest is to address the matter of bullying, harassment, and discrimination the school district does not need the identities of students but to address the allegations and implement tangible changes that foster a safe environment for students and faculty.

 

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