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ACLU to monitor sensitivity training in Kentucky schools

ACLU to monitor sensitivity training in Kentucky schools

A civil rights advocacy group is monitoring an eastern Kentucky school system to see if students are getting anti-harassment training. The American Civil Liberties Union wants to ensure that students at Boyd County middle and high schools are getting mandatory training under the terms of a court order, said Chris Hampton, spokeswoman for the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. The order was part of a February settlement of a lawsuit against the district by a gay-awareness club at Boyd County High School. Some parents have said they will take their children out of school on the day of the training. The worst consequence for students who don't go to school for the training would be an unexcused absence, superintendent Bill Capehart said. There is no specific number of absences that would trigger action by the ACLU, Hampton said, but she added that the district should have some mechanism for makeup sessions. Teachers and staff throughout the district took anti-harassment training Monday and Tuesday. Students first petitioned to form the Gay-Straight Alliance at Boyd County High School in October 2002, saying that gay students at the high school had been subjected to threats and harassment and the club was needed to foster tolerance and understanding. The school district denied their request to meet on school grounds, and the alliance filed suit. The group accused the district of violating the constitutional rights of its members by denying them the privilege to meet.

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