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Allegations of LGBTQ Discrimination in Buffalo Public Schools

Crystal Boling-Barton, the principal of McKinley High School in Buffalo, has been put on administrative leave after a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union accused Buffalo Public Schools of violating students’ constitutional rights. The action is on behalf of a student at McKinley High School who claims his requests to form a Gay Straight Alliance club at the school were repeatedly denied. Robert Boreanaz, Barton’s attorney and a senior partner at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, spoke to WGRZ about the case. The full story is available on the WGRZ website.

Lawsuit allegations

The lawsuit filed alleges that, over the course of three years, Barton repeatedly ignored and denied LGBTQ students’ attempts to form a GSA. The suit also alleges that McKinley High School has fostered a culture of “exclusion and discrimination” against LGBTQ students and used a policy that did not allow same-sex couples to attend prom together as an example.

Response to allegations

Mr. Boreanaz told WGRZ that this lawsuit is “the very first occasion Principal Barton has ever heard this complaint or these concerns.” He also disputes the suit’s claim that Barton prevented same-sex couples from going to prom together. As long as the guests are under the age of 21, students may bring the guest of their choice. Mr. Boreanaz went on to say that the suit “really doesn’t provide the necessary details that a typical lawsuit would sort out in a court of law.”

In regards to his client, Mr. Boreanaz said, “Mrs. Barton is a very progressive and experienced principal with a long track record of dedication to treating students equally and treating students with respect regardless of race, ethnicity, or orientation.”  

About Robert L. Boreanaz

Mr. Boreanaz, a member of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Labor and Employment Practice Area, focuses his on union-side labor law and plaintiff-side employment law. He has extensive trial experience, arguing before state, appellate, and federal courts.

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