A Texas school district settled out of court this week with a former student who sued after one of her softball coaches revealed her sexual orientation to her mother against her will.
Mail Online reports:
Skye Wyatt, now 21, received a $77,500 settlement from the Kilgore Independent School District after a 2009 incident in which she was booted off the school softball team and the coach told her mother she was gay.
Wyatt sued claiming breach of her constitutional right to privacy and violation of state law, as well as emotional stress from a ‘destroyed’ relationship with her mother, according to the Longview News-Journal. The school maintains it did nothing wrong despite the payout.
The former softball player claimed in the suit a coach Rhonda Fletcher confronted her about dating another female student when she was 16, which she was in fact doing but denied.
Fletcher threatened the young girl, saying she would be tossed from the team and outed to her mother, Wyatt claimed.
Fletcher and at least one other coach called Wyatt’s mother in to the school that afternoon to break the news, and then booted her off the team the day after, she said.
The coaches’ actions ‘totally destroyed’ Wyatt’s relationship with her mother for ‘almost two years,’ she claimed in a 2011 sworn statement first reported by the Dallas Voice.
‘It was incredibly difficult for me to go through all of the pain of being outed and kicked off the softball team without feeling close to my mom,’ she wrote, according to the Voice.
Wyatt also claimed the traumatic experience negatively affected her grades and led to insomnia, cutting herself and consideration of suicide.
Terms of the settlement include the payment and for district employees to undergo sensitivity training at regular intervals for the foreseeable future.
The district maintained in a statement that its employees had done nothing wrong, that the settlement was made by their insurance company and that no policies will be changed.
‘The Kilgore ISD board believes that the actions of its employees were in all things lawful,’ the school said. ‘No policies are going to be withdrawn, changed or modified.’
‘The payment of settlement funds in this case… is a business decision of the insurance company,’ the statement continued, adding that it is not possible to appeal.
This is what happens when people fail to mind their own business. Do you think the school was out of line? We sure do.