The mother of a gay teenager is suing the Hillsboro School District and five of its employees in Oregon after she said teachers repeatedly bullied and threatened him violently.
In a lawsuit filed December 14 in U.S. District Court, Shawna Dicintio alleges that Brett Trosclair, a Century High School teacher, threatened to kill her son, identified in the lawsuit just as J.D., at a March 2015 school assembly, according to The Oregonian.
Court papers claim that during the assembly, the then-sophomore, who is a special education student and openly gay, told a friend that he thought another boy was cute, according to the lawsuit. Trosclair then turned around, the son said, and told the boys to “shut up.” Then the teacher threatened to kill them and throw them down the stairs, the lawsuit alleges.
When the two boys complained to school officials they placed Trosclair on administrative leave.
“Plaintiff suffered emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, stress, fear, and ultimately, loss of a public education,” the lawsuit reads. “As a result of Hillsboro School District’s deliberate indifference to the sex-based discrimination and hostile education environment, Plaintiff’s existing anxiety was exacerbated, as well as his fear for his personal safety.”
“Defendants had an unofficial policy, custom or practice of condoning harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Defendants’ conduct toward Plaintiff was extreme and outrageous and constitutes an extraordinary transgression of the bounds of socially tolerable conduct.”
The Oregonian adds:
In September 2014, Dicintio alleges, another teacher told her son “to stop being a diva and a priss.” After Dicintio complained, the superintendent’s executive council reviewed the district’s policies on bullying and harassment. The district also offered multiple two-hour trainings so staff could learn about LGBTQ and gender issues to better meet the needs of gay and transgender students.
Some students have come to Trosclair’s defense, alleging the teacher was only joking when he threatened to throw the teens down the stairs.
J.D.’s mother claims that some of the students have used the hashtag #TeamTrosclair, to defend Trosclair. Others have threatened violence and death, Dicintio alleges in the lawsuit.