Queer student was allegedly forced to read the Bible as a punishment


North Bend School District is facing allegations of discrimination as they allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs at two students whom they caught holding hands. The school representatives neither confirmed nor denied these allegations. The alleged abuse was detailed in a March 6 letter seen by the newspaper, sent from Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to district superintendent Bill Yester. The document sets out how one pupil, known only as Student 3, was made to read bible passages to ‘punish’ them for their sexuality. “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 reads. Elsewhere, the correspondence describes an incident in which two students were holding hands in the parking lot, when another pupil “drove very close to them” and yelled a homophobic slur. This incident was not fully investigated by the school district. And, in a separate incident, it is reported that one teacher equated same-sex marriage to getting married to a dog, but apologized following the students’ complaint. The letter urged the public school district to reach an agreement over the complaints within 30 days of receiving the letter. However, because an agreement was not made, a hearing will be held by the ODE on May 24 to determine if North Bend School District broke state and federal anti-discrimination laws.


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