Transgender teacher, Maryland school district settle lawsuit

September 27, 2022 GMT

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A transgender teacher who said she was harassed by students, parents and colleagues has settled a lawsuit with a Maryland school district with an agreement that includes policy changes and training.

Attorneys for Jennifer Eller said the settlement reached Monday with the Prince George’s County Board of Education also included monetary compensation. The lawsuit was filed in 2018 in U.S. District Court.

“I’m relieved to see this case finally come to a resolution and satisfied to see that our case led to the adoption of these policy changes and training protocols to improve the school environment for everyone, including LGBTQ+ students and teachers,” Eller said in a statement. “This settlement vindicates my pleas for help and sensitivity training on LGBTQ+ issues for students and staff. Every student and every teacher should feel safe, welcomed, and respected in a school environment.”

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Eller said she was told to present as male, be referred to by male pronouns and threatened, according to a news release. After Eller filed formal complaints, she said administrators took away her Advanced Placement English class and she was brought to a disciplinary hearing that resulted in no discipline.

The school district “reaffirms its commitment to promoting and maintaining learning and working environments that are safe, positive and affirming for all students and staff regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson Meghan N. Gebreselassie said in a statement. The suit was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, she said.