Sunday, January 1, 2006

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Two 16-year-olds who were expelled from a Lutheran high school because they were suspected of being lesbians have sued the school.

The lawsuit, filed in Riverside County Superior Court, seeks the girls’ re-enrollment at the small California Lutheran High School, unspecified damages and an injunction barring the school from excluding homosexuals.

Kirk D. Hanson, an attorney for the girls, said the expulsion traumatized and humiliated them. He declined to say whether his clients are indeed homosexual.

The lawsuit says that the school’s principal, Gregory Bork, called the girls into his office and interrogated them about their sexual orientation.

In a Sept. 12 letter to the girls’ parents, the lawsuit says, Mr. Bork acknowledged that officials had seen no physical contact between the girls but said their friendship was “uncharacteristic of normal girl relationships and more characteristic of a lesbian one.”

Mr. Hanson said the 142-student school in Wildomar, Calif., must comply with state civil rights laws because it functions as a business by collecting tuition.

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