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Former North Bend principal seeks legal action against school

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NORTH BEND, Ore. - The former North Bend High School principal, Bill Lucero, is taking on the school district to get his old job back.

In a letter to the North Bend School District, Lucero's lawyer says that there was "no lawful basis" for removing him as the high school principal.

The district reassigned Lucero as Vice Principal at North Bend Middle School, following a settlement with the ACLU, and an investigation by the Oregon Department of Education.

The case stemmed from allegations of discrimination against LGBTQ students. The letter states:

The district chose to unlawfully sacrifice Mr. Lucero in an attempt to give the district a free pass on allegations of its own unlawful actions.

The attorneys have requested documents from the district pertaining to the discrimination complaints. They say that if they don't hear back from the district within two weeks, they'll pursue legal action.

In a statement at the June 11 meeting, School Board Chair Alane Jennings said Superintendent Bill Yester and the rest of the board discussed the matter and agreed to “work with district leadership in moving forward.”

“We have work to do. We do need to make improvements, and we will support district efforts with our time and attention to this most important matter," Jennings said. "We are dedicated to ensuring an environment that is welcoming of all students, and we will rely on student voices to help us shape the path ahead."

Full text of statement

"I would like to take a moment to make a statement regarding the recent Oregon Department of Education investigation. The LBGTQ discrimination complaint was filed directly with the Department of Education, bypassing the school board. Mr. Yester kept us apprised with updates over several months regarding the status of the complaint, and consulted both myself and the board vice chair prior to signing the settlement agreement. Last week, during our board meeting, we received additional updates regarding the settlement and the district's current activities to address all concerns. We had a productive discussion that included every board member, and the outcome was a heartfelt assertion that our job as board members is to work with district leadership in moving forward. The Superintendents' policy committee will work closely with expert consultants regarding our policies and procedures, and the entire board hopes to inspire all staff and students to not only meet, but exceed the expectations set forth in the agreement. We have work to do. We do need to make improvements, and we will support district efforts with our time and attention to this most important matter. We are dedicated to ensuring an environment that is welcoming of all students, and we will rely on student voices to help us shape the path ahead."


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