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Hesperia School Accused Of Discriminating Against Gay, Lesbian Students

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HESPERIA (CBSLA.com) — Teachers and administrators at a high school in Hesperia have been accused of bullying and discriminating against gay and lesbian students.

Three Sultana High students claim the school censors Gay Straight Alliance speeches, postings and announcements, and wants boys and girls to wear gender-conforming clothing.

Senior Kyle Bodda said, “The teachers that we look up to…those that we expect to mentor us…are beginning to participate in this hideous form of discrimination.”

In addition, Bodda said other students are involved with hurtful name-calling.

“Some of the remarks that have been made are ones from students. (They say things like), ‘Let’s not stand around and watch the two ******* kissing.’ Another remark made constantly by both students and faculty is ‘That’s so gay,’” he said.

The students’ allegations have prompted the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California to get involved, who sent the Hesperia Unified School District an 11-page demand letter of changes, including allowing girls to wear tuxedos to the upcoming prom.

“We sent this letter really describing the problems that we have heard about and that we’ve documented,” said ACLU attorney Melissa Goodman.

School board president Ella “Lee” Rogers, who found out about ACLU’s letter when CBS2 forwarded it to her, said she’s shocked by the complaints.

“It’s the first I’ve ever heard of anything in the history and I’ve been here since sliced bread was invented,” she said. “There will be a board investigation. The board will turn it over to our attorneys.”

Sultana High Principal Larry Bird won’t go on-camera until the district fully reviews the letter, but said he hopes to work toward a resolution with the ACLU.

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