A father is suing a Jewish school on behalf of his daughters, alleging one of the girls was discriminated against because their father was single and gay and that she later contemplated suicide because of her alleged mistreatment.
The man is identified only as John Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit he brought Wednesday against Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am, alleging civil rights violations. fraud breach of contract and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
“(John Doe)” is a single homosexual man who works hard to provide a good life for his two beautiful daughters and to send them to the best schools he can,” the suit states.
John Doe grew up in Israel and chose Pressman Academy for his daughters “because it is supposed to be the best school that would instill those same values in his children,” the complaint states.
The daughters are referred to as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 in the complaint, which seeks unspecified damages and an injunction directing the school hierarchy to refrain from discriminating against students of single parents or those who are gay.
A Pressman Academy representative could not be immediately reached.
The school initially did not know John Doe was gay, but officials found out later when Jane Doe 1 was interviewed by a school psychologist, the suit states. From then on, matters got “progressively worse for Jane Doe 1 and her father,” the suit alleges.
In 2016, Jane Doe, while seeing a tutor because of depression and its interference with her school work, told the mentor, “I want to kill myself,” the suit alleges.
Jane Doe 1 was enrolled at the academy in September 2010 when she was 2 1/2 years old, and her sister started there in September 2015, the suit states. They were removed by their father at the end of the 2016-17 school year, according to the lawsuit.
Pressman teachers and other staff members repeatedly asked the sisters Jane Doe 1 told others in her class that she was “different,” the suit states, and both sisters were often urged to bring a surrogate mother to school’s Mother’s Day celebration.
“Further, Pressman failed to address the bullying that Jane Doe 1 was subjected to because she has no mother and her father is a homosexual man,” the suit states.
By repeatedly asking the girls to bring a female family member to Mother’s Day festivities, the school was “essentially asking the girls to bring a surrogate mother instead of John Doe, who is as good a parent as any, and the only person (the sisters) would want to attend,” the suit states.
At one point school officials told John Doe that it would be “best of Jane Doe 1 go to another school,” the suit states.
Pressman was the only school Jane Doe 1 ever attended and she thought her treatment there was normal until she saw a therapist who convinced John Doe to remove his daughters from the academy, the suit states.
The complaint further states that another student chided Jane Doe 1 by calling her an orphan because she did not have a mother, the suit states. B.D. also often asked other students if they would “sacrifice your life to kill Jane Doe 1,” the suit alleges.
School officials did nothing when Jane Doe 1 complained about B.D., according to her complaint.
Despite now attending another school, Jane Doe 1 “continues to suffer from the discrimination and bullying she experienced at Pressman Academy,” the suit states.
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