Suit alleges L.A. Unified did not step in when gay student was bullied
A lawsuit filed Friday against the Los Angeles Unified School District by a former student alleges administrators failed to intervene when he was bullied and taunted for months last year about his sexuality.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges sexual orientation discrimination, harassment based on sexual orientation and negligence.
James Anthony Scott, identified as Shear, is “seeking damages according to proof at trial,” according to a statement from his attorney, Gloria Allred.
Shear was a 15-year-old sophomore at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Van Nuys when he witnessed an autistic student being harassed by peers, according to the suit. Shear alerted administrators to the situation, the suit says, and then the bullies turned on him.
From August to December, the lawsuit claims Shear was subjected to slurs about his sexual orientation and was pushed in a school hallway.
The lawsuit says Shear approached a school administrator numerous times but was told there was no way to prove the bullying and to “let it run off your back.”
In January, Shear transferred to a school in Studio City but says he is still reeling from the emotional toll.
In a statement, Shear said, “I don’t want any other child to suffer the way that I have.”
L.A. Unified said in a statement that the district investigated the allegations and took action to provide a positive school climate, but did not specify what administrators did.
The district noted that it has been nationally recognized as an advocate for gay and lesbian students. The high school Shear attended does have a Gay Straight Alliance student club on its campus, according to the school’s website.
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