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HSR Attorney Dan Stormer and Lambda Legal Win $850,000 Settlement on Behalf of Lesbian Teacher Fired for Helping Gay Students

By Lisa Keller of Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP posted in Workplace Discriminationon Sunday, April 21, 2019.

The lawsuit, settled April 18, 2019, on behalf of teacher Julia Frost against the Hesperia Unified School District, also dictates improvement to school policies protecting LGBTQ students and teachers against discrimination.

Frost's co-counsel, Dan Stormer, said her lawsuit "forced Hesperia to establish desperately needed policies protecting the rights of LGBT students and teachers" and "compensates her for the harm HUSD caused to her career."

"I applaud Ms. Frost's courage in standing up for LGBT teachers and students," Stormer said, "and insisting that our schools must be welcoming for LGBT people."

In 2013, Frost helped Sultana High School Gay-Straight Alliance Club students contact the ACLU of Southern California about a pattern of discrimination against gay and lesbian students. She was fired shortly after the ACLU got involved, and in March 2013, the ACLU sent a letter to Hesperia USD alleging a pervasive environment of discrimination.

Frost subsequently sued the district in San Bernardino Superior Court in November 2013.

In 2015, after the ACLU sent the district a letter describing allegations of an environment hostile to gay and lesbian students and demanding changes, the district agreed to revise its policies as well as training and complaint reporting procedures.

"It was important for me to bring this challenge, but I'm also happy it's settled," Frost said, "I'm also pleased to know that there are now clear, written policies in place at HUSD that hopefully will not allow what happened to me to happen to anyone else who, like me, was doing their job and looking after the interests of students."

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