Monday, February 14, 2011

Gay Teacher, District Reach $75K Settlement

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Beaverton School District has agreed to pay $75,000 to a gay student teacher who was removed from his job several months ago.
Lawyers for Seth Stambaugh and district officials jointly announced the resolution Friday.
Litigation was taken off the table as part of the agreement and the district “will provide leadership training concerning issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
Stambaugh was reassigned after he had a conversation about sexual orientation with a fourth-grade student at Sexton Mountain Elementary School.
Stambaugh accused the district of discrimination for its response after parents complained about the conversation where a student asked if Stambaugh was married.
In the conversation, Stambaugh said no. Then the student asked if it was because he wasn’t old enough and Stambaugh said no, it was because he would want to marry a man and that’s illegal.
District officials said the conversation wasn’t age-appropriate and that it raised questions about his professional judgment.
Stambaugh was given his job back in October.
District leaders say this has been a learning experience, but they are looking forward to the future.
"As an organization, we want to move forward and be better at being more inclusive and more open and more accepting of our differences,” says Maureen Wheeler, Beaverton schools spokeswoman.

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