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School District Denies Charges of Discrimination and Harassment on the Basis of Sexual Orientation

Yesterday, Action Alameda News reported on a lawsuit against the Alameda Unified School District over alleged harassment and discrimination against a former gay employee on the basis of sexual orientation. The District denies the allegations.

Alameda Unified School District General Counsel Danielle Houck told Action Alameda News that “The District denies each and every allegation of Mr. Boucher and is vigorously defending this suit.” Gene Boucher was a male employee in the finance of the department in 2008 when he was “outed” as gay to his co-workers; Boucher alleges he suffered harassment and discrimination that ultimately forced him to resign. He named his supervisor Lydia Lotti as a tormentor in the suit.

Ms. Houck also told Action Alameda News that the District provides sexual harassment prevention and diversity training to all District supervisors every two years, and that this year is a training year. She also said that “The supervisor(s) which are the subject of the Boucher lawsuit received this training prior to the events alleged in the complaint.”

The alleged discrimination took place through 2008, and Mr. Boucher resigned in March, 2009, as the District prepared to introduce controversial new anti-bullying curriculum with a special focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues; the curriculum was approved by the board in May of 2009. Houck denied that there was any relation between the Boucher case and the LGBT “Lesson 9.”

Court documents show that the District is represented in the Boucher case by Louis A. Leone, Esquire, of the firm Stubbs & Leone, of Walnut Creek. Houck told Action Alameda News that the District does not have any payment vouchers to firm to support a public records request intended to capture the cost of the suit to date.

The case is Boucher v. AUSD, RG-09468496, filed with the Superior Court of California, Alameda County.

An un-related slip-and-fall case, Greenwood v. AUSD, RG-09455327, also handled by Stubbs & Leone, appears from court records to have been settled earlier this year.

4 comments to School District Denies Charges of Discrimination and Harassment on the Basis of Sexual Orientation

  • bette

    well duh.

    Anyone with a brain in their head who read the original story thought ” I’ve worked with a hump like this.” The guy who alsways has a reason why his output, compared to fellow workers, is about 50%. It’s always some excuse, someone else’s fault.

    The guy’s a slacker who used a variety of excuses as to why his services were no longer needed. Like wet spaghetti, he threw them against the wall and the thought the gay one would stick. Probably because of all the publicity about the bullying curriculum lawsuit.

    Alameda is one of the least homophobic places I have lived and worked and that includes SF.

  • It’s pretty standard practice for any agency/organization to declare a lawsuit in progress to be “without merit” and the “allegations baseless” and assert that they will “vigorously defend” the charges, regardless of the actual merit or not of the suit.

    It’s likely this suit will settle through mediation rather than go to trial.

  • Alameda Resident

    Bette, easy for you to say that he was a slacker. DO you know him personally? Why so quick to jump to the side of the school district. Shit like this happens every single day. There are a lot of ignorant people working in this school district. Don’t be so quick to judge that HE was a slacker.

    As for Alameda being the least homophobic — true .. but there are still people out there that are closed minded and ignorant.

  • Anonymous

    It’s always the first course of action for them (AUSD in this case) to come out and deny all allegations. It’s really standard practice. I mean, what do you expect them to say, “yeah we screwed up and he’s right about everything?” They wouldn’t do that. Even if they know there is wrong doing the first thing they do is Deny Any and All Allegations.

    From the first article it doesnt’ appear that he was a slacker. It doesn’t appear as if he made excuses to me. I think you’re reading way more into than what was there in the article.

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