Gay Student Teacher Settles Discrimination Claim

BY Winston Gieseke

February 14 2011 7:45 PM ET

A Beaverton, Ore., school district has settled a discrimination complaint filed by a student teacher who says he lost his job after discussing gay marriage with a fourth-grader.

In October a 9-year-old student at Sexton Mountain Elementary School asked student teacher Seth Stambaugh if he was married. According to Stambaugh, who is gay, “I indicated that I was not. He asked me if it was because I wasn't old enough. I told him no, that it would be because I would choose to marry another man. And he asked if I liked to hang out with other guys and I said ‘Yep.’”

After a complaint from a parent, officials at the school district said the conversation wasn’t age-appropriate and called into question Stambaugh’s professional judgment before removing him from his position. When the district reinstated Stambaugh following national media coverage, the parents removed the child from the school.

Stambaugh and the district have been involved in mediation since late last year. Both parties recently agreed on a resolution, the results of which were released Friday. According toThe Oregonian, the school district agreed to pay a settlement of $75,000 to Stambaugh as well as "provide leadership training concerning issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression."

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