ACLU headquarters, Washington D.C. (Shutterstock)
ACLU headquarters, Washington D.C. (Shutterstock)

The ACLU of Pennsylvania alleges the district engages in a number of anti-LGBTQ+ actions, including ordering staff to misgender students, removing LGBTQ+-themed books, banning pride flags, and even disciplining staff who spoke out against these actions.

On Oct. 6, the Pennsylvania ACLU filed a complaint in federal court against the fourth-largest school district in the commonwealth, the Central Bucks County School District.

The complaint, filed in defense of seven LGBTQ+ students in Central Bucks County Schools, comes after a months-long investigation, and was filed with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

“Our complaint alleges a longtime toxic environment for LGBQ&T students in the district’s schools,” the suit reads. “That environment has only become worse since the election of extremists to the school board last November.”

The complaint alleges the district engages in a number of anti-LGBTQ+ actions, including ordering staff to misgender students, removing LGBTQ+-themed books, banning pride flags, and even disciplining staff who spoke out against these actions.

According to a recent article on the Pennsylvania ACLU’s website:

“It’s bad enough when students, particularly students from vulnerable communities like the LGBQ&T communities, must endure bullying from fellow students; that makes it hard to focus on their studies, their extracurriculars, and just having fun with their friends. To see grown adults in positions of power and authority engage in similar bullying and discrimination is unconscionable.”

In an emailed statement, Abram A. Lucabaugh, the district’s superintendent, said the school district believes it is “paramount that all students and teachers are cared for and respected as members of our learning and teaching community.”

So far, the district is sticking to the predictable language of denial that almost always follows lawsuits like this one. And since the victims are minors, most of the details are not being shared with the public, but in the coming days and weeks, we hope to learn more about the conditions in Central Bucks County Schools, and what caused the Pennsylvania ACLU to take action on behalf of its students.