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School District Accused of Punishing LGBT Students By Forcing Them to Read the Bible

05-10-2018

An Oregon school district is accused of forcing LGBTQ students to read the Bible for punishment. 

The allegations are detailed in a March 6 letter from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to North Bend School District Superintendent Bill Yester. The letter claims that a building administrator demanded that LGBTQ students read the Bible as a form of punishment. 

The World reported Tuesday that the North Bend School District initially denied the allegations. However, the administrator involved in the case later admitted in an interview with state officials that the claims were true.

"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 letter said, adding that the LGBTQ students "had little choice but to comply with the building administrator's established form of punishment."

The district told The World  "it took corrective action to ensure that it won't happen again."

The Oregon Department of Education encouraged the district to reach an agreement with one of the students within 30 days of receiving the letter. However, after nine hours of mediation, neither party came to an agreement. Now, the accusations will be discussed before a hearing on May 24 to determine if the district violated both state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

"The district disputes many of ODE's preliminary findings and will present evidence to rebut the findings at the May 24, 2018, hearing," the district said in statement. "The district works very hard every day to make sure all students feel respected and safe at school and will continue these efforts regardless of the outcome of this hearing."

The allegations of using the Bible as punishment are just a few of a number of LGBTQ-related allegations against the district. Other students accuse the school of failing to address sexual harassment against LGBT students. 

The district wrote in a statement that the allegation s occurred over the course of several yeas, "most of which had not been brought to the district's attention."

CBN News has reached out to North Bend School District for further comment and has yet to receive a response. 

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