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A victory for students.

Years of antigay harassment and violence in one Northern California school district have ended in a groundbreaking settlement that has left gay advocates optimistic about the future. "This truly is a model for other schools," said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ann Brick, who worked on the ease.

On January 6 the Morgan Hill Unified School District agreed to settle the lawsuit, brought in 1998 by six students who described an environment of antigay taunts and violence in which teachers and school officials did nothing to stop it. The district agreed to provide antibias training for personnel and "age-appropriate" programs for students. It also agreed to pay $1.1 million, including $560,000 for the plaintiffs.

Freddie Fuentes, now 24, who said he was repeatedly beaten up and called "faggot," hopes to use the money for college. So does former Morgan Hill student Jeanette Dousharm, 24, who may become a teacher. "No money can makeup for what happened to us," she said. "But if we can make sure that this doesn't go on, then that's something)"--Lisa Neff
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Education; Morgan Hill Unified School District
Author:Neff, Lisa
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Feb 17, 2004
Previous Article:Losing an important ally.
Next Article:Harassment not protected.

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