Related harassment case
Thu, 21 Nov 1996 11:38:49 -0500

Members of Edequity: I thought you might find the attached news release
interesting. In this case, the court found that the school district itself
was not liable, because it had an antidiscrimination policy in place;
however, the principals were negligent for not enforcing the policy. It is
also interesting that attorneys for Jamie Nabozny argued that he was
discriminated against on the basis of gender, since in incidents where girls
were sexually harassed, action was taken to stop the harassment. When Jamie
alleged harsssment, nothing was done. It is important to note that the
principals and the school continue to protest that they were not aware of the
harassment affecting Jamie.

While Wisconsin has a law protecting public school students from
discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation (and 13 other
categories), attorneys for Nabozny filed this complaint in federal court, not
using the state law.
Melissa Keyes, Madison, Wisconsin

AP Jamie Nabozny gets a $900,000 out-of-court settlement
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS November 20, 1996
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) -- A $900,000 out-of-court settlement was agreed
on Wednesday in a lawsuit claiming school officials violated a gay student's
rights by not protecting him from years of harassment by other students.
Jamie Nabozny, now 21, had sued the Ashland School District in northern
Wisconsin and school officials.
The agreement came a day after a federal court jury found that three
school administrators violated his rights, although it found the district as
a whole was not guilty of discrimination.
The same jury had been scheduled to begin considering damages
Wednesday, before the settlement was announced by Peg Byron, public education
director for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Timothy
Yanacheck, an attorney who defended the district on behalf of Wausau
``I feel like I have justice and that this means justice for all the
other kids out there who aren't sure if they should stay in school or stay
alive,'' Nabozny said in a statement.
``I can now go on with my life and have the normal educational
experience that I waited a long time for.''
Homosexuals have paid a high price in abuse, said Lambda attorney
Patricia Logue.
``Now the tables have turned, and it is prejudice that has proved so
costly,'' she said.
Nabozny said the abuse by other students ranged from name-calling to
being shoved, beaten, spat upon and even having his head pushed in a urinal
and being urinated upon.
He testified during the two-day trial that he was kicked in the stomach
so many times he later required surgery.
He said the harassment occurred from the time he entered Ashland Middle
School in 1988 until he dropped out of Ashland High School as a junior in
1993. He later earned an equivalency diploma.
The jury ruled against Ashland Middle School Principal Mary Podlesny
and two administrators at Ashland High School, Principal William Davis and
Assistant Principal Thomas Blauert.
The case went to trial after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
Chicago ruled last summer that Nabozny did have enough evidence to take the
district to court, overturning a lower court decision.
Lambda is a New York City-based civil rights organization that
represents gays, lesbians and people with HIV and AIDS.

OK TO RE-POST. Jessea NR Greenman, <>
The P.E.R.S.O.N. Project (Public Education Regarding Sexual Orientation
The P.E.R.S.O.N. Project is an all-volunteer effort

"The struggle will never end so enjoy it!" Maudelle Shirek

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