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Central Bucks School District’s Right-Wing School Board Fed Community False Information, Says ACLU PA in New Court Filing

Taxpayer-funded lies, costing more than $1 million, are highlighted in an amended complaint filed on behalf of teacher Andrew Burgess.
Central Bucks School District students and community members practice joyful resistance to Policy 321 in January outside of CB West High School. Photo by Kevin Crawford Imagery.

In an amended complaint filed Monday in federal court, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has alleged that Central Bucks School District administration and its right-wing board of directors majority, along with legal counsel from the law firm Duane Morris, have deceived the public and provided false information in a report that was issued last spring.

“The district got what they paid for – a one-sided investigation that was never intended to take seriously the allegations of a hostile environment for LGBTQ students at Central Bucks,” said Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania said in a press release. “They wanted to scapegoat Andrew to distract from their egregious failure to support LGBTQ+ students in the district.”

The filing represents the most recent development in a legal case initiated in April. The lawsuit, brought by Andrew Burgess, a district teacher, contends that the district took retaliatory measures against him due to his advocacy on behalf of a transgender student subjected to harassment and bullying within the school environment.

READ: Central Bucks Wants Republican Who Attacked a Middle School’s LGBTQ Student Club to Investigate ACLU’s Complaint of Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

The ACLU claims that Burgess was suspended for violating a not yet created board policy and that district investigators failed to talk with the student or the student’s family who could have verified details provided by Burgess.

“What they’ve done here is illegal retaliation,” Walczak said. “They were warned by the Office for Civil Rights not to retaliate against Andrew or anyone else who filed complaints, and they did it anyway, at the cost of over a million dollars to district taxpayers.”

More information about this case, including the latest filing, is available at aclupa.org/Burgess.

READ THE BEACON’S CENTRAL BUCKS SCHOOL DISTRICT COVERAGE:

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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