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Settlement reached in discrimination lawsuit against Buffalo School

Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 13:34:45-04

A new settlement paves the way for equal treatment of LGBTQ students at a Buffalo High School.

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday the settlement of a federal lawsuit against the Buffalo City School District for the "systematic discrimination" of LGBTQ students at McKinley High School.

According to the organization, the school district has agreed to include and maintain a Gay-Straight Alliance. The after-school club will be a place where students can provide social, emotional and educational support for one another.

The school had originally refused to allow a GSA. Days after the suit was filed by a student in May, the school district instructed McKinley to form one.

"We are pleased that LGBTQ students at McKinley High School will start school this week with new rules in place that should ensure fairness and equality, and we will be watching to make sure that framework is followed," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "Districts across New York have an obligation to see that schools are open, inclusive places for all students to learn."

The settlement also requires LGBTQ anti-discrimination trainings for staff and students; two years of reporting on LGBT discrimination and harassment complaints to the NYCLU; and the prominent display of the district's anti-discrimination policy around McKinley.