Lesbian teacher sues, says job lost over support for gay history month

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A former teacher is suing a central Michigan school district that did not renew her contract following a dispute over a poster raising awareness for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history month.

The Argus-Press of Owosso reported that Brook Johnson filed the suit in federal court in Flint, Mich., against the Corunna Public Schools and some current and former district officials. She is alleging a violation of the 1st Amendment.

The district says it’s declining comment because officials haven’t been served with the lawsuit.

Johnson says she got negative evaluations because she was involved with a high school diversity group that put up a gay Pride-themed display for LGBT history month.

Johnson was the club’s adviser in 2009, when the school board voted to remove a club poster from a school showcase citing community values.

The board later reversed its decision – after hearing from the ACLU.

Johnson’s contract with the district expired in 2011, and she maintains that, after the controversy over LGBT history month, the district wanted her gone.

Johnson's attorney, Jon Marko, told michiganradio.org, “They wanted to punish her for exercising her 1st Amendment rights. And because they disagreed with her, they were going to drive her out. And that’s what the ultimately did and she was ultimately fired.”