Earlier this week Jacob, an openly gay teenager (identified in court documents as “J.L.”) settled his lawsuit against the Mohawk Central School District in upstate New York. The lawsuit was filed last summer claiming the school district did nothing to stop the bullying against Jacob which included throwing him down a flight of stairs.
Under the terms of the settlement filed in federal court, the district agrees to implement changes including additional staff training, to protect students from harassment. The district is also required to report its progress to the American Civil Liberties Union and federal justice officials.
The settlement also calls for the district to pay $50,000 to Jacob’s family and to reimburse them for counseling services. The district did not admit to any wrongdoing under the settlement.
Mohawk Central School District superintendent Joyce Caputo said in a prepared statement that district staff would never knowingly discriminate or tolerate bullying and remain committed to fostering a culture of tolerance and respect. “We recognize there is always room to learn and improve – and we intend to do just that,” she said.
Additional information on Jacob’s lawsuit may be found in our previous blog posts by clicking HERE and HERE.
If you are a California school administrator with a question about student/teacher safety, special education, accommodations, student rights, free speech or discipline, feel free to call Richard Oppenheim at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and we can help you choose the best direction to resolve any school district issue.