Jury says school district failed to protect lesbian and gay students. Lambda Legal urges court to uphold the decision

Lambda Legal represents Joey Ramelli and Megan Donovan – former students at Poway High School – in northern San Diego County. Over the course of their junior year, other students taunted them with antigay slurs, going so far as to vandalize Joey’s car and assault him. The two students were forced to drop out of school, and complete their high school education at home as a result of the hostile environment. Despite reporting the incidents to school officials, authorities took minimal or no action.

The harassment that Joey and Megan endured was so “severe and pervasive” that they were awarded $300,000. In addition, the jury found that Poway High School was liable under California Education Code Section 220 and the United States Constitution, which require school officials to take steps to provide equal education opportunities to all students.

In oral arguments – set for Friday, July 18 – Lambda Legal will urge the California Court of Appeal (Fourth District) to uphold the jury decision, which held Poway High School responsible for failing to protect students from antigay harassment.

Senior Staff Attorney Brian Chase, based in Lambda Legal’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, is the organization’s lead attorney on the case. Lambda Legal’s Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg and co-counsel Paula S. Rosenstein and Bridget J. Wilson of the law firm Rosenstein, Wilson & Dean, P. L. C. in San Diego, join him on the case.

The case is Donovan and Ramelli v. Poway Unified School District.

Article adapted by ProudParenting.com from original press release

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