Oregon school district forced LGBTQ student to read Bible as punishment: report

An Oregon school district reportedly forced an LGBTQ student to read passages from the Bible as a form of punishment

The World in Coos Bay, Ore., reports that the student’s allegations were detailed by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) in a March 6 letter to North Bend School District Superintendent Bill Yester. 

The ODE is investigating claims that an LGBTQ high school student was forced by a school administrator to read the Bible while they were being “disciplined,” according to The World. 

It reported that ODE officials are investigating whether the forced Bible reading violated the student’s First Amendment rights, including the Establishment Clause which recognizes the separation of church and state.

{mosads} The district, about 200 miles south of Portland, initially denied the allegation, but the administrator ultimately admitted it in an interview with the ODE, The World reported.

On a separate occasion, a different teacher reportedly equated same-sex marriage to marrying a dog during a lesson.

“There is substantial evidence to support the allegation that the district subjected LGBTQ students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment,” the department’s letter reads.

The ODE is investigating the district’s alleged failure to remedy a hostile environment after complaints had been made by LGBTQ students,” including failing to investigate other claims of sexual harassment. 

The district was encouraged to reach a settlement with an unidentified student within 30 days of receiving the letter but that reportedly has not happened, The World reported.

The school board will meet with state officials later this month to decide if it is in compliance with Oregon and U.S. anti-discrimination laws, it added.

Tags anti-discrimination laws first amendment LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ rights Oregon Pacific Northwest Salem Separation of church and state The Bible The Establishment Clause United States

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