California Lesbian Teacher Files Discrimination Suit

A lesbian teacher in California has filed a lawsuit against Hesperia Unified School District that alleges unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation because of her sexual orientation.

Lambda Legal filed the 109-page lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Tuesday on behalf of Julia Frost, who taught as a probationary English teacher at Sultana High from August 2011 through March.

The suit alleges that administrators created a hostile environment for Frost and gay students, singling them out for harassment, and investigated Frost for “teaching homosexuality.” The suit said that despite the harassment, Frost still received an outstanding performance review.

The district said in a statement Frost was “legitimately and appropriately dismissed” and is taking legal action for personal gain.

Frost was a co-sponsor with another teacher who is not gay of the Gay/Straight Alliance, which has chapters in schools across the country. The lawsuit alleges that the club’s activities and announcements were censored and specifically omitted from a listing of school organizations in a student handbook.

Students told Frost that when they complained of bullying because of their sexual orientation, administrators tried to dissuade them and threatened to tell students’ parents of their sexual orientation, the suit states.

Frost said her teaching contract wasn’t renewed after she helped a student print out a complaint form for a teacher who told a student to “take the gay headband off” in class and commented “that’s so gay” in a disparaging manner.