HESPERIA. Calif. – A former Hesperia Unified School District (HUSD) teacher will be receiving an $850,000 settlement as a result of an over 5-year-old discrimination lawsuit.
Julia Frost, an openly lesbian teacher, who worked at Sultana High School as an English teacher. In addition, Frost was also a co-advisor of the Gay-Straight Alliance club.
Advocating for the Students
As an advocate for the students, Frost had learned that there was mistreatment of gay and lesbian students by the administrators. Frost helped the students contact the ACLU in order to resolve the discrimination issues they felt as LGBTQ students.
Soon after, Frost was fired from the HUSD. Frost believed that being fired was in retaliation for standing up for the mistreated students. She filed the lawsuit knowing that she was penalized for being herself and doing her job, Jennifer Pizer, Lambda Legal Senior Counsel said.
“The dispute first came to public attention in March of 2013, when the ACLU of Southern California sent a letter to Hesperia USD on behalf of the students in the Sultana High School Gay-Straight Alliance describing pervasive discrimination and harassment.”
While denying such an environment existed, Hesperia USD implemented a broad array of policy changes, including requirements for awareness training for faculty and staff.
“Julia is delighted to be able to put this painful experience behind her and hopes this resolution further improves conditions for teachers and students in Hesperia,” Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jennifer Pizer said. “In keeping with California’s national-best nondiscrimination laws, pedagogy not prejudice should be the lesson in our schools.
”On Thursday, April 18, 2019, Frost and the HUSD agreed on the $850,000 settlement. “This lawsuit forced Hesperia to establish desperately needed policies protecting the rights of LGBT students and teachers. It also compensates her for the harm HUSD caused to her career,” said Dan Stormer, partner with Hadsell Stormer Renick LLP and Lambda Legal’s co-counsel in the lawsuit. “I applaud Ms. Frost’s courage in standing up for LGBT teachers and students, and insisting that our schools must be welcoming for LGBT people.”
This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization
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- Julia Frost: Lambda Legal