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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

School Failed to Prevent Anti-Gay Harassment

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A school district in Poway, Calif., must pay $300,000 in damages for failing to prevent high-school students from harassing two classmates on the basis of their sexual orientations, a California appeals court ruled.

Joseph Ramelli and Megan Donovan said they endured death threats, spitting and anti-homosexual slurs during their time at Poway High School. The abuse peaked during their junior years, and both students finished their senior year through independent study.

Judge Naras ruled that the plaintiffs proved that they suffered "severe, offensive, and pervasive" harassment, and that the school district knew of the abuse and acted indifferently.

Also, Naras noted that Section 220 of the Education Code allows a plaintiff to collect money damages for such harassment. The court upheld the combined trial court awards of $300,000.

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