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    Friday, December 02, 2005

    What Would Mr. Belding Do?

    SF Gate:

    A federal judge ruled that a lesbian student can sue her school district and her principal for revealing her homosexuality to her mother.

    Charlene Nguon, 17, may go forward with her suit claiming violation of privacy rights, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ruled in a decision dated Nov. 28 and announced Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

    Orange County's Garden Grove district had argued that Nguon openly kissed and hugged her girlfriend on campus and thus had no expectation of privacy.

    However, the judge ruled that Nguon had "sufficiently alleged a legally protected privacy interest in information about her sexual orientation." ...

    Nguon sued after Santiago High School Principal Ben Wolf told her mother about her sexuality last year.

    "The person to decide when and how to talk with our family about this should have been my daughter, not her principal," her mother, Crystal Chhun, said in a statement.

    District officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also claims discrimination, contending Nguon was suspended several times for ignoring orders from the principal to stop hugging and kissing her girlfriend. Heterosexual couples engaging in similar behavior were not disciplined, the lawsuit contends.


    First, I think it's awesome that Nguon's mother recognizes that it was her daughter's right that she not know her sexual orientation until Nguon decided to tell her. I think a lot of parents would be grateful to Mr. Wolf for "alerting" them and would certainly not support their child in a lawsuit like this.

    Second, though this is set up as specific to a lesbian student, it reminds of what my sister went through when she was in school and a teacher had heard rumors about her sexual behavior. This bitch called my sister a slut, then called up my mother to tell her what she'd heard. My sister was totally shamed about her early sexual experiences because of this teacher, when it was most certainly not her business what my sister did when she wasn't learning history (I think she was a history teacher, but I could be wrong on that- you get the point.) I'd love to know just how often boys are "turned in" to their parents for "rumors" about their being "players" with the girls. There is so much weird policing of teen's sexuality in schools, but it never seems to apply to straight boys. I remember how we girls would be threatened with being sent home for wearing "provocative" clothing (tank tops in August, that is), while boys routinely sexually harassed us walking down the halls, even in class, with absolute impunity. There was all this controversy because there was a "gay" article in our student newspaper, but the final issue of that newspaper each year was filled with categories like "Best Legs" to "honor" the seniors. We won't talk about condoms, but it's fine for the history teacher (mine this time) to tell the guys we "theater girls were prettiest and easiest".

    Thanks to Broadsheet for pointing this out.

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