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Gay Beaverton teacher settles for $75,000

March 3, 2011

Gay Beaverton student teacher settles for $75,000
Religion Legal News Note:

A Beaverton School district teacher who told a fourth grader that he was gay has been given his job back and $75,000. Seth Stambaugh, an elementary school student teacher was fired from Sexton Mountain Elementary after a fourth grader asked if he was married. Stambaugh replied that he was not because he would choose to marry another man. A parent who overheard the conversation filed a complaint with the school district.

Recently the two parties have been involved in mediation and the parties agreed that the Beaverton School District would pay Stembaugh $75,000 as a settlement. Both parties agreed that litigation was not in the best interest of either party. In addition, the school district plans to provide additional training for topics such as sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for teachers.

Stembaugh, who is a student teacher is finishing up his final year of his master’s degree in elementary education at Lewis & Clark College. A recent KATU article, “School district settles with gay student-teacher for $75K” can be read here.

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platypus March 3, 2011

Interesting. He answers with far more information than he was asked and somehow that is not worth litigating? He provoked this by exploiting a child’s curiousity. As far as I’m concerned, he just got 75K for having an alternative lifestyle.

Amanda March 4, 2011

If a student asked a straight teacher if he was married, and the he answered truthfully, would that be “answering with far more information than he was asked” or “exploiting a child’s curiosity”?

Stambaugh didn’t say anything about sex or anything obscene. Beaverton has a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, so Stambaugh deserves the compensation for how the school district treated him – they would not have taken the same action if a heterosexual teacher disclosed an innocuous comment about his relationship.

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