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North Bend School District, ACLU announce agreement following LGBTQ harassment allegations

North Bend High School (File/SBG photo)

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- The North Bend School District and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon have announced an agreement following allegations that LGBTQ students were harassed and discriminated against.

According to the ACLU, the district has agreed to remove principal Bill Lucero.

In a statement, the district said it looks forward to "improving its complaint reporting procedures and staff training to prevent bullying and harassment from occurring in the first place and to immediately stop it if it does occur."

Here's the full statement from North Bend School District:

The North Bend School District is pleased to have reached a resolution of the students’ complaints. The District has been, and will continue to be, committed to improving its school environment for all students, including LGBTQ students. It looks forward to improving its complaint reporting procedures and staff training to prevent bullying and harassment from occurring in the first place and to immediately stop it if it does occur. This agreement puts concrete processes in place to do just that, in partnership with the ACLU and the Oregon Department of Education.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our clients and all the current and future students of North Bend,” said Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, in a statement. “It sends a clear message to everyone at the district: If you break the law by discriminating against LGBTQ students or engaging in religious proselytization at school, there are serious consequences.”

The school district is also required to ask North Bend Police Department to remove the school police officer or provide a new officer for the role, according to the ACLU, adding the district will be required to hire an expert to review their policies for handling discrimination and harassment reports. Additionally, the high school will create a “Diversity and Inclusion Committee,” which will hold celebrations at the high school for Coming Out Day, Ally Week, and issue an annual diversity award, the ACLU said.

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