SPLC Settles with Mississippi School District to Stop Anti-LGBT Bullying

The Southern Poverty Law Center has reached a settlement with Mississippi’s Moss Point School District in a case involving Destin Holmes, a student who faced anti-LGBT bullying and harassment not only by classmates but by faculty and administrators.

From the SPLC press release:

As part of the settlement, the school district has agreed to adopt and implement new anti-bullying and discrimination policies and procedures, as well as equal educational opportunity policies to prohibit bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

The district is also reforming its procedures so that complaints of bullying and harassment brought by students, parents and guardians will quickly be brought to the attention of teachers and administrators. The new policies and procedures are to be included in the parent/student and employee handbooks and updated on the district’s website.

Destin speaks about the mistreatment in 2013

The SPLC release also quotes Destin Holmes: “I wanted to make sure other LGBT students would not have to go through what I went through because of who they are or how they dress. I hope the settlement will make it easier for LGBT students at Moss Point and send the message to other students across the country who may be experiencing similar bullying that equal treatment is a right.”

The financial terms of the settlement remain confidential.

Kudos to Destin for standing up to the school district and to SPLC for successfully resolving the case!

For Youth Allies’ early coverage of this suit, check out these posts:

MK

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*Photo of school by Sypder_Monkey, available on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported license.