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Teen says she was
unfairly punished for kissing and hugging her
girlfriend

Teen says she was
unfairly punished for kissing and hugging her
girlfriend

Gavel_9

A lesbian student claims in a lawsuit that Garden Grove, Calif., school officials suspended her several times and forced her to temporarily transfer to another campus because she refused their orders to stop hugging and kissing her girlfriend on school grounds.

A lesbian student claims in a lawsuit that Garden Grove, Calif., school officials suspended her several times and forced her to temporarily transfer to another campus because she refused their orders to stop hugging and kissing her girlfriend on school grounds.

In a federal court lawsuit, filed Wednesday, 17-year-old Charlene Nguon also alleges that a school principal told her parents of her sexual orientation and disciplined her while allowing similar behavior by heterosexual couples. Her behavior was not prohibited in the school handbook, she claims. "It was horrible. I was discriminated against by the administrators," said Nguon, who is represented by the ACLU and filed the suit with her mother and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network club. Alan Trudell, a spokesman for the Garden Grove Unified School District, said that "the district does not engage in discriminatory practices." He declined further comment, saying officials had not seen the lawsuit. Nguon alleges that her grades, once straight A's, fell after she was forced last March to transfer from Santiago High School to Bolsa Grande High School--a move that increased her commute from a short walk to a 4 1/2-mile bike ride. "Unfortunately, for principal Ben Wolf and other staff at Santiago High, all of Charlene's accomplishments and exemplary qualities are overshadowed by one fact: that she is a lesbian," the lawsuit alleges. Wolf and other district officials, through Trudell, declined to comment. Nguon has been allowed to return to Santiago High for the current school year. The suit seeks unspecified damages, an admission that the district violated Nguon's civil rights, and a policy change preventing officials from disciplining students because of their sexual orientation. (AP)

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