An Oregon school district reportedly forced an LGBTQ student to read passages from the Bible as a form of punishment
The World in Coos Bay, Ore., reports that the student’s allegations were detailed by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) in a March 6 letter to North Bend School District Superintendent Bill Yester.
The ODE is investigating claims that an LGBTQ high school student was forced by a school administrator to read the Bible while they were being “disciplined,” according to The World.
The school disputes the findings and will make its case at a hearing May 24. At the time, state officials will determine whether the district violated state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
The allegations were detailed in a letter from the education department to North Bend School District Superintendent Bill Yester. Among them:
A student said she was hit in the hand with a skateboard by another student who made homophobic comments. When the victim complained to the school resource officer, the officer was dismissive and said homosexuality was a choice and not in line with their personal religious beliefs, the student said.
A student was required by the superintendent to read a passage from the Bible as punishment on at least two occasions. The building administrator acknowledged in an interview with state education officials that he required Bible reading as a form of discipline.
During a class discussion, a teacher said “If same sex marriage is okay, what about marrying your dog? It’s about the same thing.”
The district was encouraged to reach a settlement with an unidentified student within 30 days of receiving the letter but that reportedly has not happened, The World reported.
The school board will meet with state officials later this month to decide if it is in compliance with Oregon and U.S. anti-discrimination laws, it added.