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ACLU sues Corona del Mar High over 'hostile' campus atmosphere

More than a month after controversy erupted over Corona del Mar High School's reported cancellation -- then rescheduling -- of a production of "Rent," the American Civil Liberties Union today sued school officials for fostering an atmosphere on campus that the organization calls hostile to young women and gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The lawsuit stems from a Facebook video posted by a group of male students in which they threatened a female classmate and used homophobic slurs. The school, according to the ACLU, did little to punish the boys or protect the young woman, even after her parents expressed concern over her safety. The girl has had to change her class schedule and takes mostly independent study classes off campus to avoid the boys, one of whom threatened her in person.

"School and district officials, through their action and inaction, have not only failed to take steps to address this hostile environment, but they have contributed to it and given sanction to it," reads the 36-page complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court today.

More information to come.

-- Susannah Rosenblatt

Comments () | Archives (16)

"OMG, its, like, totally uncool and stuff. he, like, told me to, like, step off and stuff."

Isn't most everybody hostile to gays?

What do they want to do? Close down civilization.

Wake up and smell the roses ACLU.


This is so tyical -- male students act wholly inappropriately and the school does nothing to punish such behavior, forcing an innocent female student to alter her behavior and lessen her educational experience in order to remain safe. Hopefully with enough lawsuits such as these, schools will wise up and do what's right.

A. C. L .U. are the ones who should be run out of town .

Schools should not be sued for the actions of kids. Parents should control their behavior. and be responsible for it. Teachers and administrators are paid to fill a more important role.

The apples don't fall far from the tree. When you have parents in OC and SD counties voting to deny rights to GLBT community, how do you expect their children to think or act any differently? Making fun of gay people (jokes) is an accepted practice on late night talk shows and cable reality shows popular with these kids. They receive validation for common usage of the word "Gay" from these shows. Nothing will change until these children are taught differently just as older generations were eventually with use of various racial slurs depicting african americans.

I am 22 and I have a gay friend who attended CDM High School. He is so paranoid that someone in his family or circle of friends will find out that its ruining his life. I think his paranoia stems from growing up in a conservative and somewhat homophobic atmosphere and I'm sure CDMHS contributed somewhat to this. I feel bad for kids who are repressed and feel trapped by their community and friends. He's a good kid, he's not making bad choices, and he deserves to feel comfortable and safe living his life in the way he feels is true to himself.

Yes I agree with this legal action vs. this high school. Suits serve as valuable legal-lessons / refresher-courses / wake-up-calls for people -- teachers and the principals who oversee them -- who are afforded little time but to administer lessons to those in their charge.

I say keep up the good work ACLU. On the flip side: Don't over do it and thereby potentially antagonize educational institutions in the US. Keep in mind the likelihood that most K-12 schools and their personnel are probably happier than most to correct their behaviors if shown the error of their ways in relation to Civil Code(s)

This is a job for the police. If schools are prevented and parents don't care, who you gonna call. If these were adults involved this would be considered a hate crime.

"A. C. L .U. are the ones who should be run out of town ."

Yes, the meddling American Civil Liberties Union, always pestering those institutions and people that supress the rights of others. How dare they even think for a minute that this girl deserves to feel safe in her learning environment? After all, boys will be boys, and she probably did something to deserve it, eh, Mr. Aldershot?

This is Orange County for you, as much as I think this County has progressed there are still heavy pockets of Racism and Discrimination. Especially in areas that are dominated by California Transplants from the Mid-west ( Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, etc.) Real Californians know better than this. Anyways I'm not sure how suing will solve anything other than anger people more on both ends. What they need is a mandatory LGBT Education class for Students and yes their guardians. I'm just not sure how they would enforce that.

richard, schools are not sued for the actions of kids. They are sued for their own actions or lack thereof. If a school knowingly allows such behavior to go unpunished and fails to protect its students, then it is the school that creates a hostile environment.

Is it an April Fool's joke that Fal Asrani will receive an Honorary Service Award for "extraordinary efforts for the children and youth of the CDM High School"? Stranger than fiction, she will, on April 1 at 9:30 AM in the Small Gym. I hope the District will finally reallize that this principal needs to be re-assigned to a new parish.

I submitted to the ACLU, my personal experiences at CdMHS as the only OPENLY gay student during my years there. I hope the school get what it deserves. This has been going on for way too long. Over a decade now.

I go to Corona right now, i dont think this should be taken on the school. its the students them selves and the parents. the teachers do tell us to behave, but none of the kids has respect for elders. we even have Pflag that comes to our school every year on apriciate diversity day (tomarrow) nothing will change get over it.

Its 2009, I would like to think this country has made miraculous steps towards where we should have always been in the first place, “All men are created equal”. A young woman, and all the GLBT supporters are being denied their civil rights, taking place in the school. Yes, the school should be sued; they will become more conscious and keep a better monitor on these situations. It is their job to create a healthy and safe learning environment and they failed. However, suing won’t merely fix the long time issue of homophobia in this community, or even this country. I agree an educational seminar would be far more effective. I am part of a social justice touring theater where we have a gay/ straight reverse scene. In our scene where being gay is normal and straight is “corrupt”, we are able to open a lot of closed minds of junior high and high school students. Earlier there was a comment suggesting that this country is homophobic and there’s no use of attempting to fix it, that’s just the way it is. To that I respond it’s a damn good thing some of us believe in change and hope, where would we be without it?


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