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Gay student settles lawsuit

ALBANY — A gay teenager in upstate New York who had claimed he was relentlessly bullied by classmates while school administrators stood by settled his lawsuit Monday against the school district.

Jacob — who is identified as “J.L.” in the lawsuit and doesn’t want his name revealed — sued the Mohawk Central School District in federal court last summer with help from the New York Civil Liberties Union. Now 15, he said school officials did virtually nothing to stop bullies who picked on him because he acted differently from other boys.

The U.S. Department of Justice had sought to intervene, citing the “issues” it raised in enforcing federal civil rights laws.

Under the settlement filed in federal court, the district agreed to implement changes to protect students from harassment, including additional staff training. The district will report on its progress to the Civil Liberties Union and federal justice officials.

The district also agreed to pay $50,000 to Jacob’s family and to reimburse them for counseling services. The district didn’t admit to any wrongdoing under the settlement.