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California School Settles Antigay Suit


A high school in conservative Orange County, Calif., has settled a lawsuit accusing it of failing to protect a female student from homophobic and sexist harassment.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that Corona del Mar High School will provide mandatory training sessions for administrators, teachers, and students that will focus on the negative impact of sexual discrimination and harassment. The ACLU fought for the settlement on behalf of Hail Ketchum, a former student at the school who says she endured homophobic and sexist harassment, as well as threats of violence, while at school. She claimed the school did little to stop the threatening environment. The agreement also includes a written apology from the school to Ketchum.

"I'm happy that the settlement provides the school with a road map of how to address situations like this more appropriately," Ketchum said in a release.

The training will also include lessons on federal law and district complaint protocols to be followed whenever anyone experiences discrimination or harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The training will be conducted by members of the Anti-Defamation League and will include an eight-hour program later this year for district managers, school-site administrators, principals, and assistant principals. Teachers, staff, and students at Corona High will also get two two-hour training sessions during the current school year.

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