Feds close Grissom JROTC harassment complaint

Feds close Grissom JROTC harassment complaint

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights closed its consideration of a complaint filed by a high school student against Huntsville City Schools in 2012.

The complaint said that students were subject to a hostile environment on the basis of sex or failing to conform to gender stereotypes and that the school system retaliated against the student after she complained.

The Office of Civil Rights found that Huntsville City Schools "investigated the student's complaint of harassment in a timely manner and took immediate action to end any harassment that may have occurred."

They also "did not find any evidence that suggested that this incident was sufficiently serious to limit or deny the student or any others the ability to participate in or benefit from the JROTC program or the school."

In 2012, the student alleged that a JROTC leader lectured a Grissom High School student about the Bible and homosexuality after she told the instructor she wanted to move to San Francisco in the future.

The student's mother and GLBT advocates contacted the school about the allegations and made a complaint against the school system.

In their findings, the Office of Civil Rights said they found "insufficient evidence to support a conclusion that students were subject to a hostile environment based on gender stereotyping."

Advocate James Robinson, who was the person who initially filed the complaint on behalf of the student, released a statement Monday regarding the ruling, saying that they are neither surprised nor disappointed with the findings.

"It is important to remember that the First Seargent never denied what happened. He actually apologized," Robinson said. "The on-going problem was with the Huntsville City School System's refusal to answer the parent's questions or respond respectfully to her requests. We accomplished all of our goals when the investigation was opened because at that point the Hsv. City Schools were forced into being accountable. We raised awareness of the problem of bullying that exists in our schools and we continue to work to support students today."

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