NORTH BEND — In a statement to The World, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon says it is “troubled” by North Bend School District’s reassignment of former high school principal.

“It is troubling that people with a clear track record of violating student rights will remain in positions of power in the district,” Kelly Simon wrote in an email, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Oregon. “It is also concerning that the district still has not acknowledged the harms they have caused our clients and other LGBTQ students in North Bend.”

This is in reaction to the district’s announcement earlier this week that it was moving former principal Bill Lucero to the North Bend Middle School as the new vice principal. This change was forced by a settlement agreement between the district and the ACLU of Oregon, which specified that Lucero be removed from any high school position and restricted him from becoming the principal at the middle school.

The settlement was a result after two students revealed discrimination against LGBTQ students from the administration, a teacher who referred to same sex marriage as bestiality, and at least one student being forced to read the Bible as punishment.

The World has asked whether or not Lucero is receiving a pay cut with the demotion, but is still waiting on an answer.

“Administrators and students in North Bend should know that the ACLU of Oregon will closely monitor the implementation of the settlement to ensure that students do not continue to face discrimination,” Simon wrote.

Also since the settlement was reached, the Oregon Department of Education canceled the hearing to discuss the discrimination allegations back in May. ODE Communications Director Marc Siegel explained that though the department can’t change the settlement and is not one of the active parties in it, it is still reviewing it to make sure no further action is needed on their part.

“The Oregon Department of Education is committed to assisting school districts in providing safe and respectful places of learning for all students,” Siegel wrote in an email. “All students deserve to feel valued, welcome and safe at school. . . .”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.


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