Justice – Settlement for Student Victims of Anti-Gay Harassment

Judge Diane Ritchie pic

Judge Diane Ritchie

Judge Diane Ritchie earned her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law, Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Diane Ritchie served as Deputy District Attorney for Santa Clara County. Before taking the bench Judge Diane Ritchie was also in private practice, opening the law firm Diane Ritchie & Associates where she handled civil landmark cases including Flores v. Morgan Hill, Case No. C-98 20358 JW, Unified School District, United States District Court, N.D. Cal.

In the Flores case, six former Morgan Hill School District students accused the school district of failing to protect them when they were harassed by their schoolmates for being gay. The students also accused teachers and school administrators for not protecting them against the harassment.

After an appeal to the Ninth 888 five years, the case was finally given a trial date in the federal district court by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The ruling was an affirmation of the constitutional rights of all Americans to equal protection as enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, the case never made it to trial. It was settled out of court.

The settlement agreed upon was $1.1 million, the former students in the case receiving this compensation for the harm they suffered from their years of harassment. Part of the settlement also required the school district to put in place training programs to educate students against anti-gay harassment.

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