Meet the People Fired for Being LGBT in 2013
BY Sunnivie Brydum
December 18 2013 6:30 AM ET
Julia Frost, English teacher at Sultana High School in Hesperia, Calif., until August:
Julia Frost was a probationary English teacher at Sultana High School from 2011 to 2013, at which point her contract was not renewed. She says she was subjected to homophobic harassment and antigay attitudes throughout the duration of her employment, but when the harassment rose to professional retaliation against the out teacher for supporting her students, Frost had had enough.
After repeated obstruction from school officials, Frost helped students who were trying to establish a gay-straight alliance on campus by filing a formal complaint. Frost says she was spurred to action not only because she was a cosponsor of the school's fledgling GSA, but because she saw repeated instances of homophobic and transphobic hostility directed at LGBT students in the hallways and classrooms.
On November 19, Lambda Legal filed suit against the Hesperia Unified School District, contending that the Southern California school district violated state antidiscrimination laws regarding unlawful termination and retaliation because Frost helped her LGBT students exercise their right to free speech. Among the numerous instances of homophobic language documented in the complaint is the allegation that Frost was penalized after helping a student file a formal complaint after a teacher told the student to "take that gay headband off" and used the phrase "that's so gay" in a disparaging manner.