An Oregon high school principal accused of forcing at least one LGBTQ student to read the Bible as punishment has been reassigned to a new position.
Principal Bill Lucero of North Bend High School was to be reassigned, although his new role in the district had not been specified at Church & State's press time. Additionally, the district agreed to ask the local police department to replace a school resource officer accused of overseeing the Bible-reading punishment.
Although the district denied the allegations, media reports indicated district staff had admitted to the forced Bible-reading during an investigation by Oregon's Department of Education (ODE).
Two LGBTQ students reported district staff had discriminated against them and turned a blind eye to harassment they suffered. The department's report indicated students were hesitant to report discrimination because they felt the religious beliefs of district staff meant they wouldn't be taken seriously.
"There is substantial evidence to support the allegation that the district subjected LGBTQ students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment....," ODE's March 6 letter to the district stated, adding that the practice of reading from the Bible could have a "chilling effect" on LGBTQ students reporting harassment.
ODE's letter addressed two other incidents that helped to confirm the LGBTQ students' fears:
* A gay couple reported that another student--Lucero's son--had driven "very close to them" while they were...