ACLU files new complaints in discrimination case

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed new complaints of gender and religious discrimination in Declo High School.

Among the new complaints, as reported by The Times-News in Twin Falls Friday: A teacher talked of beating the student at the heart of the complaint.

In October, Sierra Norman and her mother filed a complaint against Declo High School and the Cassia County School District, saying Sierra Norman was unjustly barred from running for student body president. She said she was barred from running because she is not Mormon. District officials says she was barred because she was taking too many dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

In the latest complaint, the ACLU says the district has failed to change its discriminatory policies. According to the Times-News, a teacher and coach also was overheard saying “someone should Ray Rice Sierra” — a reference to the pro football player facing assault charges stemming from a February 2014 incident in a hotel elevator.

Cassia district superintendent Gaylen Smyer says the school discrimination complaint was investigated. “They’re entitled to make all the accusations they want, and then we will respond through the legal system,” Smyer told The Times-News.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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