Lesbian Can Sue School for Telling Mother She’s Gay

Published: December 5, 2005

SANTA ANA, Calif., A lesbian student can sue her school district and principal for revealing her sexual orientation to her mother, said a federal judge in a Nov. 28 ruling. The 17-year-old is now clear to sue, claiming violation of her privacy rights.

The student sued the district and Santiago High School Principal Ben Wolf after he told her mother about her sexuality.

The Garden Grove school district had argued that the female student openly kissed and hugged her girlfriend on campus. As a result, the district argued, she had no expectation of privacy.

The judge did not agree, saying the student had “sufficiently alleged a legally protected privacy interest in information about her sexual orientation.” As a result, the student has the right to not have the school disclose her sexual orientation to her parents, even if she is open about her sexuality on campus.

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The lawsuit also alleges discrimination. She was suspended several times when she ignored the principal’s orders that she stop displaying affection toward her girlfriend. The lawsuit claims that heterosexual students engaging in similar behavior were not suspended or disciplined.

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