The Chicago Board of Education is being sued after a 12-year-old school girl was shown the movie Brokeback Mountain in class — the film depicts a homosexual affair between two cowboys and contains graphic scenes of homosexual sex.
The lawsuit was brought against the board by Jessica Turner and her grandparents, Kenneth and LaVerne Richardson, claiming the child suffered psychological distress after viewing the R-rated movie in her class at Ashburn Community Elementary School last year. The film received the rating for language, nudity and drug use show in the content. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges the video was shown in class without permission from the students' parents and guardians.
A substitute teacher, identified only as Ms. Buford, was reportedly the one responsible for showing the film. "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," she told her students according to the lawsuit.
"It is very important to me that my children not be exposed to this," Kenneth Richardson, Turner's guardian, said. "The teacher knew she was not supposed to do this."
Turner told her grandfather she felt she was compelled to stay in her seat and view the film, the suit stated. The plaintiffs have alleged charges of negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit names Ashburn principal Jewal Diaz and Ms. Buford, as well as the Chicago board. The Richardson's are seeking about $500,000 in damages.
Richardson said he had already complained to the school over reading material being handed out to the students that contained foul language.
"This was the last straw. I feel the lawsuit was necessary because of the warning I had already given them on the literature they were giving out to children to read."