Liv Funk and Hailey Smith

Liv Funk and Hailey Smith are recent graduates of North Bend High School. North Bend is a small town on the southern Oregon coast.

In 2016-2017, the principal of North Bend High School was making LGBTQ students read aloud from the Bible for punishment.

Liv Funk on the left, Hailey Smith on the right.
Photo by Doug Brown

Liv Funk & Hailey SmithWitnesses say the principal’s son thought it was amusing to drive his car straight at a lesbian couple in the school parking lot, swerve at the last moment, then scream “f****ts” out of the car window.

One of the social studies teachers included pointed anti-marriage equality themes in his lessons, including telling students it would be like marrying their dogs.

Complaints had no effect, and when approached with concerns about safety, the school resource officer made a point of telling the LGBTQ kids they were going to hell.

Finally, Liv and Hailey made a complaint to the Oregon State Board of Education. A month later, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon was involved.

In May, 2018, the Department of Education and ACLU crafted a settlement between Hailey Smith and Liv Funk vs. the North Bend School District that led to the dismissal of the principal and the school resource officer.

No money changed hands. The two young women sought an acknowledgement of harm, the removal of the principal and resource officer, and policy changes to protect future students. They also requested a donation of $1,000 to a local LGBTQ organization.

A year later, the picture isn’t entirely rosy. The principal has been moved to another school in the district and has been given a raise in salary. The conservative community has pushed back in other ways.

However, the settlement also requires the school district to work with the ACLU to provide anti-discrimination training. The school district will also face extra scrutiny from the state’s Board of Education for the next five years.

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