Palm Coast teen says teacher singled him out for being gay

A Palm Coast mother has decided to pursue a lawsuit against the Flagler County School District.

This, after her 15-year-old son said one of his teachers singled him out for being gay.

Luke Herbert told News 13, “It hurts. I may be different, but I’m still human and for them to treat me like that is ridiculous.”

As a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School, Herbert said high school has been tough, especially since he’s gay.

“People haven’t been nice, let’s put it that way,” Herbert said.

Herbert said classmates have bullied him before, but now it’s gotten worse. One of his teachers has singled him out.

“He stood in front of the class and said ‘you can’t put Mountain Dew or Pepsi in the same fridge or they’ll turn gay’. He [also] came over to me and I was like ‘hi.’ He said hi, like he was imitating me or mocking me,” Herbert said.

Herbert and his mother said they went to school officials several times, but weren’t taken seriously.

“As a parent, it’s hard because you feel like you have to be there every day, begging them to please help. That’s how I felt,” Dorene Davenport said.

Recently, Herbert and his mom sat down with school officials, as well as the teacher himself. Herbert said the teacher apologized and officials promised to switch his classes, but that never happened.

“I don’t feel safe with him being there,” Dorene said.

A district spokeswoman told News 13 they are investigating the case, but said they can’t comment further than that.

For Herbert, he hopes what he went through can help other teens in his situation

“There are a thousand Luke’s out there and I’m not the only one out there and so I think this is something that should be heard,” Herbert said.

A school official told News 13 they take these cases very seriously and if the teacher is found guilty, he will be disciplined. Since they can’t release details, they won’t say if that has already happened.

Currently, Herbert has stopped going to school. He said after what his teacher said, and the reaction from his classmates, he can’t imagine going back. He is now looking into other options like home schooling.




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