MOORE, S.C. (CBS Local) — A fourth-grade student who wrote an essay on LGBTQ rights at her school in South Carolina was forced to write a new essay after she was told the topic “would create a undesirable situation at the school,” according to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court.
Hannah Robertson, who filed the suit on behalf of her minor daughter, claims the school’s principal told her that it was “not age-appropriate to discuss transgenders, lesbians and drag queens outside of the home.”
The lawsuit claims the principal then directed the girl to change her essay topic to bullying.
She claims Foster violated her daughter’s First Amendment right to free speech and caused both mother and daughter emotional distress and is seeking $1 million in damages, according to told CBS affiliate WSPA.
Robertson’s attorney, Eric Poston, said they want to hit the district financially to help send a message to other school leaders in the state.
“Fundamentally she wants people like her grandfather to be treated equally and in a state like South Carolina, you’re gonna need more than a hammer. You’re gonna need a gun,” Poston told WSPA.
The school district said in a statement last week the claims in the lawsuit are “inaccurate.”
Spartanburg County School District 6 released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
“The district has forwarded a copy of this lawsuit to our attorney and look forward to sharing our side of the story,” the statement said. “We are serious about treating every child with kindness, respect, and without discrimination.”