A transgender school teacher has been given a payout of $60,000 after complaining of being harassed by colleagues for over a year who allegedly “misgendered” her, despite an official investigation stating otherwise.
Leo Soell, who works as a fifth grade teacher at Gresham-Barlow school in Oregon, submitted a complaint to Oregon district officials that she had been “harassed” by colleagues after coming out as transgender last September.
In the complaint, she claimed that her co-workers continually called her “she,” “lady,” and “Miss Soell,” while other staff had conspired to stop her using a gender neutral bathroom, despite the school hosting an hour long training session on transgender issues.
Officials have refused to release the investigation’s findings publicly but have confirmed that they did not find any evidence of wrongdoing.
However, despite the verdict, the school decided to recompense Soell $60,000 on grounds of emotional damages, and district officials have confirmed they will introduce gender-neutral bathrooms in all local schools as a result.
Speaking after her settlement, Soell said,”I actually feel safe now. There will always be people who push the boundaries, but I’m not worried about them anymore because I know that my district supports me.”
The school’s principal, Heidi Lasher, also emailed staff to instruct that the new policies “require that all staff address transgender or gender non-conforming employees with their correct name and pronouns.”
“If you are found to be in violation of these policies, you will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal,” she added.