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GAY FORMER STUDENT WINS DISCRIMINATION CASE

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From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI, 1996-NOV-21

The Ashland [WI] School District has agreed to pay $900,000 in damages to Jamie Nabozny, a gay ex-student, who suffered years of physical and verbal abuse in middle and high school during the period 1988 to 1993. This is believed to be the first time that a federal jury had the opportunity to judge a school for its response to anti-gay violence.

Jurors concluded that three school administrators "intentionally discriminated" against Nabozny "based on gender or sexual orientation." Ken Cole, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, commented "This [case] could have serious long-term implications. This is an area of liability where there are no caps. That will ultimately transfer into additional liability for taxpayers."

Jamie's father, Robert Nabozny, said "I was very proud of him...It took a lot of guts for him to go and set footprints for every gay youth in the United States."

[We suspect that school boards across the US will be reviewing their sexual orientation harassment policies; to continue to ignore gay bashing has now become potentially very expensive.]

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